Senior short-distance runner and long jumper Lamar Hayes is nearing the finish line of his Division I career. After four years of placing in a number of races and overcoming an injury, Hayes came back to finish his long and successful run at Stony Brook.
The 22-year-old from Voorhees, New Jersey, comes from a major basketball family. His mother Lateefah and his father Leonard played basketball at Saint Peter’s College. His older brother Lenny played for the Stony Brook basketball team and graduated in 2013. His younger brother Lewis plays football and basketball at Williams College in Massachusetts.
Hayes decided to take a different route. He played soccer and basketball throughout high school until he broke his ankle in October of his senior year. At that point, he decided to take a different course by going after track and field.
Hayes broke his foot twice playing his family’s pastime. Hayes later suffered a stress fracture in his foot during his sophomore year of college and broke it again last year. He took a medical redshirt his junior year, which allowed Hayes to continue running for Stony Brook for one more year.
With a permanent screw in his foot, he was ready to compete during the winter season.
Hayes dominated the Fordham Christmas Classic, winning the 60-meter dash and long jump.
He placed third in the 200-meter dash finals in the America East Indoor Championship, and won the 300-meter dash in 26.24 seconds at Stony Brook’s Quad Meet.
Long distances are not Hayes’ cup of tea. He said if his coach asked him to run a mile, it would take him quite a while.
“Nobody looks forward to running,” Hayes said. “But during the race everyone loves racing.”
This Saturday, April 19, Hayes competed in Stony Brook’s Wolfie Invitational. He placed second in the 100-meter, 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Hayes said he prefers the long jump over sprinting.
“Long jump is definitely more entertaining, just because you get more than one crack at it, “ Hayes said, as the competitors are allowed three jumps in that particular event. “Running is more like ‘ready, set, go’ and you’re off, the race is over. I like long jumping more because there are so many different aspects of it, other than just running.”
Hayes looks forward to life after graduation. He majors in health science, with a concentration in healthcare management. Hayes’ long-term dream has been to do missionary work. He would love to go to Somalia and back to Ghana, after he visiting during his junior year of high school.
“What I’m going to miss the most is definitely making fun of my teammates,” Hayes said. “And being able to have a team, watching them compete.”