BOB LIEPA PHOTO
Peyton Gambino of Bishop McGann-Mercy competed in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles.
After a hard day’s work was done, it was fun time.
The athletes on the Bishop McGann-Mercy High School boys track and field team made funny faces and comical poses when they gathered for team photos after their final dual meets of the season last Thursday. And why not? They had earned the right to let loose and feel good about themselves.
By splitting their final two Suffolk County League VII meets, the Monarchs finished their dual-meet season with a 3-6 record, overall and in the league. It was one more win than last year, a sure sign of progress.
Speaking of the season, McGann-Mercy’s new coach, Matt Perry, said: “It’s been great. The team has just been improving [by] leaps and bounds. They’ve worked hard. They came out here, this meet, we knew it was going to be close with both teams, and they came out with a real positive, strong, competitive attitude, and it showed on the track.”
McGann-Mercy senior Bradly Frabizio recorded personal-best times in both the 100 and 200 meters. Frabizio’s times of 11.9 and 24.9 seconds in the events brought him first place in a 77-51 win over the Mattituck Tuckers in the double-dual meet at McGann-Mercy’s Harold T. Murray Memorial Field. The Monarchs lost to the Wyandanch Warriors, 76-55. Wyandanch, which evened its records at 4-4, 4-4, also defeated Mattituck, 75-56. The Tuckers dropped to 2-6, 2-6.
“I think overall it was one of our best meets so far because we knew it was close,” said Christian Muralles, the Monarchs’ only other senior aside from Frabizio. “We just pushed ourselves that much more.”
Frabizio might have even posted a faster time in the 100 because the race had to be run again after officials mistakenly had the sprinters run 110 meters the first time. “I did what I could,” said Frabizio.
John DeSuno brought McGann-Mercy first place in the shot put against Mattituck with a distance of 40 feet 3 inches. Also turning in winning performances for the Monarchs against Mattituck were Ryan Walker in the 400 meters (56.8) and Sean Cappiello in the 800 (2:22).
“It’s definitely been exciting,” Frabizio said. “We’re a better all-around team than we were last year. We have quality talent. It’s depth in places where we didn’t have depth.”
Perry said, “Maybe not everyone got their best times, but everyone gave their best effort, and that’s all you can expect.”
John Hamilton had a big day, winning three individual events for Mattituck. The junior took the 800 meters in 2:18, the 3,200 in 11:18.9, and the high jump at 5-0. In addition, he ran the anchor leg for the triumphant 4×800-meter relay team. That team, which included Nick Troisi, Anthony Howell and Wilson Quizphi, was timed in 10:03.7.
“I definitely pushed myself today,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been improving throughout the season.”
Mattituck Coach Jim Underwood said, “I was happy for him because he’s been one of the guys who’s been solid and consistent.”
Of all the events Hamilton competes in, his favorite is the 800.
Not many track athletes are fans of the 800, which is essentially a demanding long sprint, but Hamilton said he likes the fast tempo and competitiveness of the event. “It takes a lot of endurance,” he said.
Troisi, a senior, won both hurdling events. He finished first in the 110-meter high hurdles in 19.0 and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1:05.1. Also winning for Mattituck were Corey Zlatniski in the 1,600 in 5:09.2 and Bill Goggins in the discus with a throw of 84-9.
But with only 20 athletes on its roster, Mattituck runs into the problem of having a shortage of bodies.
“It’s rough,” Underwood said. “It’s discouraging.”
After the meets were completed and after the visiting teams had departed in their buses, the Monarchs gathered on the infield to share some laughs and present their two seniors with flowers.
Muralles said, “It’s sad at the end.”