The only thing Robert Rhodes lost at the finish line was his shoe.
The Boys & Girls sophomore surged passed and then held off both Midwood and Medgar Evers in the final straightaway. He got his right shoe kicked off as he hit the finish line with his left to give the Brooklyn school its first win in the PSAL boys 4 x 400 relay since 1996 at the 103rd Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden last Friday night. Khamani Davis Park, Daniel Simon, Rohan Stewart and Rhodes, the favorites in the event, won in a time of 3:32.27.
“The guy from Midwood [Gavin Henry] was on the left of me and Medgar Evers tried to go on the right, but we went around on my left and he kicked my shoe off and I almost fell,” Rhodes said. “I had to hold this [win].”
Henry appeared to be pulling away from a tight field around the final turn before Rhodes made his push to win a race that saw the Hornets, Cougars and Kangaroos all had leads at some point. Campus Magnet, which finished fourth, also challenged early. Midwood’s team of Donald Williams, Andy Nicholas, Alex Sterling and Henry placed second in a time of 3:32.36 and Medgar Evers was third in 3:32.37.
“[Rhodes] has to push out more effort,” Stewart said of his thoughts as Midwood grabbed the late lead. “We know he has it in him.”
Fieldston made sure its opponents never had a lead. The Eagles relay team had just watch its girls squad pick up a win in its version of the Independent 4 x 400 just prior to its race. The boys left no doubt that it would be their day. Junior Alex Moore quickly set the pace and a quick one. Fieldston led from nearly start to finish and the squad of Moore, Baxter Lehman, Adam Toobin and Mike Brooks cruised to victory in a time of 3:50.55 in the first ever running of the race at the Millrose Games.
“We never really slow down,” Moore said. “We can’t get too comfortable. We are trying to run as hard as we can the whole race.”
He said seeing the girls, who stuck around to watch their counterparts run, gave his team a boost prior to their race. Packer Collegiate was second in 3:51.54 and United Nations third (3:55.47).
“When we first got here we were blown away by everything,” Moore said. “To win is even better.”
A victory seemed like a possibility for St. Joseph by the Sea as Adam Civitano took a late lead during the third leg of the CHSAA boys 4 x 800. Unfortunately for the Vikings, Long Island powers Chaminade, Kellenberg and St. Anthony’s surged during the final leg. The Friars won the race in a time of 8:13.44. Civitano, twin brother Alex, Nick Italiano, and Paul Brancale slipped to fifth and finished with a time of 8:20.10. Mario Lavelamet, Myles Phillips, Ryan Phillips and Will Weinlandt passed Sea late to give Regis a fourth place finish in 8:19.46.