Joe Galeano seemed born for the high jump when he joined the Centereach HS track team on Long Island for the indoor season in 1984. He was already flying well above the other athletes his age to heights that would earn him the indoor frosh record at 6-3 and outdoor frosh tops at 6-8. By his sophomore year he reached to new class records of 6-8 indoors and 6-10 outdoors, also adding a 6-10.25 in the summer while winning the Empire Games. Though records are a little sparse for these years, we know he took 4th at indoor States in the high jump in 1985.
But as Centereach coach Harry Schneider noted, "He came to us a high jumper, and routinely we have our high jumpers double in the hurdles." Centereach had enjoyed past successes in both the high jump and hurdles in awhile back as Harold Schwab had won two States hurdles titles (120 yard high hurdles and 180 yard low hurdles) in 1972 while his brother Ray won the high jump in 1977.
Blessed with both speed and hops plus size, Galeano was taking a 5th at the 1985 indoor states in his sophomore year in the 55m hurdles at 7.72. During the outdoor season he was recorded to have won the 110 high hurdles at the Arlington Relays in an already very fast 14.5 time. He then took 3rd in both the HJ at 6-9 and the 110H at 14.69.
Galeano was, as some who knew him back then said, "a bit of a character." One aspect of that character was a big desire to make a career for himself as a break dancer, and he almost quit the team to pursue his dreams after his sophomore year. His coaches kept him in track, however, and in his junior year he was flying fast enough in the 110H to take a 4th at the Penn Relays. At 1986 outdoor States he ran a 14.23 on opening day trials and then crushed the state record on Saturday with a 13.75 time. He was also 3rd in the high jump at 6-8. At the Empire Games in August he took a double win with another 6-10.25 height in the high jump and a 14.0 time in the 110H.
1987 was a year of near domination for Galeano as a senior. Indoors at a couple meets at Rockland Community College in January, he ran 7.4 to win the 55H and jumped 6-5 in the HJ at the Rockland Coaches meet, and then got the Outstanding Male Athlete award at the Suffern meet for winning the 55H and placing 3rd in the 300m. He ran a 7.35 in the 55H to win at the Eastern States meet in the Armory. At States he swept the titles in the HJ at a meet record 6-10 and in the 55H at a state record 7.22, a mark that would stay #1 ever until February 23, 2020 when North Rockland's Emanuel Joseph would run 7.21 at the Section 1 State Qualifier. At the 1987 indoor States, Galeano also contributed a 48 flat leg to Centereach's 4x400m squad to help them get 3rd. Galeano won a National title in the hurdles a week later at the National Scholastic Indoor Championship.
The 1987 outdoor season for Galeano started with a triple win at the NY Relays in the HJ, 400m intermediate hurdles, and the shuttle hurdle relays. A short while later he suffered a rare defeat in the HJ at the Arlington Relays to his friend and top rival Joe McDonald of Kingston. But after that he got another triple win at the Eddy Games with a 13.90 in the 110H, 6-4 in the HJ, and a leg of Centereach's 4x200m champs. At States at Baldwinsville he jumped a personal best 6-11 to win the high jump. While there he also ran the 3rd fastest US time ever of 13.46 in the 110H. No NY guy has run faster than 13.73 in the last 33 years.
Galeano extended his senior season by heading out to the elite Golden West Invite in Sacramento a week after States to take 5th in the HJ at 6-8 and then run his second-fastest ever 55H at 13.64 to get the win. At US Juniors matched against some young collegians his time was slower at 14.37 for 3rd place.
After graduation Galeano headed to the University of Tennessee and had a good freshman year while winning the 55H in SEC indoor meet at 7.23. He later transferred to NYIT in Westbury, from which he graduated. He appears to have had a varied career, and recently he has received some more national attention as a chef for Magical Butter, a food company specializing in marijuana-infused dishes and treats, and as the owner of Chef Joey's Edibles, a cannabis food service.
Before Galeano started setting and then breaking his own state records in the 110H, the top mark was held by Dirk Morris of Brooklyn Tech who ran a 13.93 in 1984 at the Eddy Games.