By Christopher Hunt
When Mel Mosley of Middletown won the state championship in the 600 meters last year, he was just as shocked as everyone else. He didn’t come into the race at Bishop Loughlin as a sleeper or even an underdog but that didn’t stop him from dropping jaws all over again.
Mosley owned the 600 at the Bishop Loughlin Games Saturday, winning in 1:18.96, the third-fastest time in New York State history and
the eighth-fastest time in United States history.
“I was supposed to go out in 26,” Mosley said. “But I look down when I run and I saw this shadow behind and so I wanted to get away.”
So Mosley zoomed through the first 200 in 23 seconds and breezed through the 400 around 51.
“On the second lap I tried to slow down a little bit but then I heard the bell on the last lap and when you hear the bell you just have to go,”
So he kept pushing and Daniel Simon and Robert Rhodes of Boys & Girls kept chasing. Simon finished second in 1:20.43. Rhodes was fourth in 1:21.31 and Thomas Gaither of DeMatha (Pa.) placed third in 1:20.94.
“It’s great,” Mosley said of the race. “I wanted to do this last year when Randy (Patterson of Newburgh) and Mike (Quercia of Marcellus) were still here. Now I know I don’t have that same competition so I have to go out and do it by myself.”
His goal for the end of the season was 1:18. His goal now?
“I don’t even know,” he said.
The state record is 1:18.70 set by Terrence Livingston of Great Neck South two years ago. For his efforts, Mosley was awarded the meet’s most outstanding athlete on the track. Marquis Dendy of Middletown in Delaware won the field’s most outstanding athlete after winning the long jump in 24-0 and finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 46-0.5. Dendy, outdoor long and triple jump national champ, fell in the pit after his best triple jump attempt and was taken to the medical office.
The first in the series of automatic qualifiers for the Millrose mile was also decided as Matt Jablonski of Loyola Blakefield (Md.) crushed a bunched pack in the last 150 to win the mile in 4:19.55. For most of the race, the chase pack struggled to circumvent Westbury’s Owen Skeete, who customarily darted to the front but surged whenever anyone attempted to take over.
That was until Jablonski bolted on the back straightaway.
“I wanted to make a hard move,” Jablonski said. “I didn’t want to have any doubts. I didn’t want it to be close.”
The Oregon-bound senior said he’d been watching the Millrose Games on television since he’s freshman year and always dreamed about going. He wanted to punch his ticket to Madison Square Garden early.
“I really didn’t care about the time,” said the 4:10-miler. “I just wanted to make sure I qualified.”
Danny McFadden of Hertiage (Newport News, Va.) won the 55 hurdles in a nation-leading 7.37, a personal best.
“In the beginning, I said I gotta win this because I’m not from here,” McFadden said, also remembering that he struggled last year when he made the finals and finished fifth. “That was a huge motivation for me. I wanted to come back here and win.”
The meet may have also introduced a new star sprinter to the New York track scene. Sheepshead Bay senior Devin Lee won the 55 meters in his debut season in 6.49 (6.43 prelims). Sheepshead Bay coach John Padula said he’d be trying to convince Lee, the football team’s starting tailback, to follow many of Sheepshead Bay’s football players and join the track team.
“I asked this kid every day,” Padula said. “I don’t mean like a few times a week. I mean I literally grabbed him by the arm and told him he should join the track team. He finally listened.”
Lee said Padula’s constant nagging and the fact that his scholastic football career concluded in the fall was enough for him to give track and field a try. He also ran a leg on the Sharks winning 4x200 relay.
“It’s been going great,” Lee said. “It’s a lot different. Guys are a lot faster.”
It almost seems like Chukwuebuka Enekwechi of Francis is restarting his high school career. The senior set a nearly seven-foot personal best in the shot put last week and added another foot to that by winning the shot put Saturday in 61-3.75.
“I didn’t expect,” Enekwechi said. “Anything near the 60-foot line, I celebrate it. It still hasn’t really sunken in yet.”
Tyler Tate completed a boy-girl sweep for Tatnall in the 2-mile, winning in 9:33.39 after Tatnall’s Haley Pierce broke a 29 year-old meet record in the girls meet. Jackson Memorial’s Greg Caldwell led wire-to-wire in the 1,000, winning in 2:32.01. Kellenberg claimed the 4x800 in 8:10.68 and Boys & Girls posted a stellar national leader in the 4x400, winning in 3:21.30, with Simon and Rhodes on the end. Sheepshead Bay won the 4x200 in 1:30.21.
Reach Christopher Hunt at email@example.com.