If the Nassau Class A indoor track and field championships were a series of tests, Kazeem Scott aced them all. The Freeport junior won the long jump, 55 meters, and was on the winning 4 x 200-meter relay team Tuesday night at St. Anthony’s High School. When it came to the long jump, it all started with a simple equation.
“Long jump is really just speed + height = distance,” said Scott, who jumped 20 feet, 10 ¼ inches en route to the victory. It was the eighth longest jump on Long Island this season, according to milesplit.com.
Scott said he jumped off the wrong foot – something he’ll correct – but still wasn’t making any excuses.
“It was a problem, but it wasn’t a problem,” he said. “At that point, I just had to hit the board hard and jump as high as I could.”
Scott had a smooth stride down the runway, something he said has been a bit of a struggle at times this season. There was no stuttering as he approached the pit, and it showed in his takeoff.
“I had more of an aggressive run towards the board,” he said.
In the 55, Scott said he ran too low in the opening phase of the prelims, but corrected that in the finals.
“I just started faster,” said Scott, who ran 6.68 to victory. “I was even calculating where I should lift my head up. I know my speed, I know my body and I just reacted.”
Scott also was a part of the winning 4 x 200 relay team (1:37.12), along with Matthew Drayton, Dorian Boyd and Jordon Quinn.
Syosset won the boys team championship with 80 points. Jordan Altman won the 1,000 in 2:40.76. After getting boxed in at the start, he found himself in last place on the far straightaway during the opening lap. Later in the race, Altman broke the box, maneuvered his way up, and took the lead at the bell, holding off a charging pack off the final turn.
“I knew it wasn’t a 400 or 800,” Altman said. “I had time to move up. With 400 to go, I was able to find a way out of that box and find a way to get to the lead. With 200 to go, I just hammered it down.”
Altman’s teammate, Jake Miller, won the 600 in 1:26.94. He edged out Westbury’s Renzo Chevez (1:27.01) at the line.
“In the last 150, I wanted to pass (Chevez) on the outside,” Miller said. “When we got to the 100, I wasn’t there yet. So I tried to stay in lane 1, that way I could run more distance. The last 50 was all grit and everything I had to try to get him.”
Miller and Altman, along with Steven Berg and John Hernandez, won the 4 x 800 relay in 8:27.04.
On the girls side, Port Washington won the team title. Paige Nettesheim won the 600 in 1:43.37.
On her 18th birthday, Mepham’s Camylin Blake won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.58 seconds and the 300 in 44.18 seconds.
“As a gift to myself, I just wanted to be able to remember my joy of the sport as a young athlete and enjoy it,” Blake said. “(In the 300), I started well and maintained my form and composure very well.”
Blake said she will concentrate more on the hurdles as the indoor season moves into the ‘state championship’ portion. The Nassau state qualifiers are scheduled for Feb. 16.
The plan for the qualifiers and beyond?
“I’m going to working on creating a very sound, compact, and near perfect race,” Blake said.