Dan Claxton (Smithtown East) has been the talk of the State since Indoors, when he cleared the 7-foot barrier twice. He was the State Champion, and the National runner-up. But before the Smithtown East senior was making waves, it was the West side of town that was getting all the attention.
Back in 2013, we called them the "Smithtown Three." Senior Mike McCann was the State Leader, and eventual State Champion in the High Jump, clearing a best of 6-10. Fellow Senior Devin Mirenda was NY #3 in the Long Jump, hitting 22-11.75, while also following up a strong 1-2 punch in the HJ with a 6-6 clearance. Rounding out the trio was then-Junior Benjamin Bonhurst, who would be the third best Shot Putter in the State Indoors, before moving to State Leader that Spring, then State Record Holder that next year.
So whatever happened to the Smithtown Three? Well, two of them have moved into the College ranks, and are continuing to make waves, four years later.
Mike McCann Clears Best Of 7-2.5
Just last week, Mike McCann made history. At his home invite at the Husker Spring Invite, he made his first ever clearance over the 7-Foot Bar. Even better than that, the bar went up, and McCann cleared a big 7-2.5 for a new personal best. Now competing for the University of Nebraska, McCann is a Senior, and is ranked #6 in the NCAA Division 1 standings. The mark came in his first Outdoor Meet of the season, meaning there is plenty left in the tank. The mark also moves him to the highest High Jumper to hail from Smithtown, past or present.
That's a big note, as Smithtown, both East and West, have High Jumping in their blood. They are one of the few district's, despite two separate schools, to have multiple athletes in a field event on both the guys and girls side, to crack the All-Time List. Back in 1987, sisters Dawn and Melinda Case cleared 5-9 to make the list, while Claxton and McCann make up the list for the boys.
McCann is chasing the New York Alumni Record of 7-9.25, set by Tom McCants in 1988. The Auburn HS grad won the Jesse Owens Classic in Ohio to set the mark.
Benjamin Bonhurst Adjusts Well To The 16lb Shot
A year after setting the Indoor State Record in the Shotput, and Benjamin Bonhurst was a freshman at Florida State University. He would make a statement early, tossing a strong 62-6 his first Indoor Season with the team. He continued Outdoors, taking 5th in the ACC's as a freshman. One year later, and Bonhurst was hovering around the 60-0 mark, now taking 7th in the ACC's Indoors.
And then, in his Junior year, it was time for a change. So Bonhurst transferred to University of South Carolina. There, he would transition well, throwing well Indoors. Once Outdoors, he is back over the 60-0 mark, hitting a 61-7 at the Pepsi Florida Relays. He is now #16 in the NCAA Division 1 rankings.
Ironically, the NCAA D1 leader was a graduating classmate of Bonhurst's. "Pobo" Efekoro recently threw a 66-10.75 to hit the leading mark. The New York State Alumni Record is currently held at 71-9, set by CJ Hunter in May of 2000. The FDR HS was contesting for a spot at the Olympic Trials.