The Freeport boys’ track team will be strongly represented at the state championships in Syracuse this weekend after seniors Sebastian Buckeridge and Icke-Wicasa Quiles won their respective events during the qualifier at North Shore High School last week.
Buckeridge was running third heading into the final 15 meters of the 400-meter dash final, but rallied and leaned over the finish line to edge Roosevelt’s Malcolm Livingston by three hundredths of a second to win with a time of 50.42 on June 1.
Buckeridge, who did not run last year, won the county title in the 400 the week before at Long Beach High School with a time of 50.14 and was also the Division 1A champion in that category by winning the final on his home track with a time of 50.95 on May 17.
“He has a combination of speed and strength,” coach Charles Gilreath said. “He’s able to get out pretty quick and maintain his speed and [is] able to bring it home.”
Quiles, who also competes in football and wrestling, won the boys’ pentathlon at North Shore with a whopping 3,308 points after sweeping the 110 hurdles, shot put, high jump, long jump, and 1,500-meter events. His total was 566 points better than runner-up Nicholas Bianco of Massapequa.
Quiles was already a strong triple and long jumper since joining the team in the ninth grade and began mastering the 110 hurdles as this season progressed. Gilreath said he was averaging about 18.9 seconds at the beginning of the season and has since lowered it to 16.26 at the state qualifier.
“It was something he wanted to do last year, but he had an injury, so I couldn’t teach him some of the things,” Gilreath said. “Every week, he tried something and got better and better. He’s the best kid in the state right now.”
Quiles also shined at the county championships by winning the long jump with a leap of 22 feet.
Junior Trevon Campbell had the fifth-best time in the 400-meter dash at the counties and won his heat with a time 51.92 seconds, just three hundredths better than Isaiah Gray-Jordan of Uniondale. Campbell also impressed at the Division 1A meet by finishing second in the 400-meter hurdles and fourth in the 400-meter dash.
“That was one of his best meets,” Gilreath said of Campbell’s showing at the division meet. “He went out and took control of the [hurdles] and he was right on that [first place] guy from Farmingdale. I think next year will be a really good year for him.”
Senior Robert Drayton Jr. also took his heat at the counties in the 800-meter event with a time of 2 minutes, 7.92 seconds, and finished fourth overall.
“Robert had a good season,” Gilreath said. “He looked like the Robert Drayton that I had in ninth grade. I was very pleased with his performances in the last few meets.”
Senior Jason Peralta won the division title in the 1,600-meter race with a time of 4 minutes, 33.84 seconds.