Whether it was finishing in the money, breaking school records or reaching personal bests, the Riverhead High School boys winter track coach, Sal Loverde, admits he could not have asked for anything more from his team at two meets on Saturday.
“We definitely did what we hoped for,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been training for. … We feel we’re poised to be where we want to be.
“We’re glad they’re moving in the right direction. They’re starting to see distances improve and times go down. It gives them confidence. We’re pleased with that.”
With league and county championships and state qualifiers right around the corner, the Blue Waves’ timing could not be any better.
Senior Treval Hatcher led the parade by winning the triple jump in the Stanner Games at the The Armory Track and Field Center in New York City. He broke his school indoor track record for the second time this season. Hatcher had a leap of 47 feet 1 inch, the best long jump by a Suffolk County athlete this year.
“That’s a real serious jump,” Loverde said. “It’s early, too. This could be a very exciting experience for him.”
Sophomore Kashaun Boynton finished second in the 55-meter high hurdles in 7.94 seconds, another school record. He also finished 21st in the 55 meters in 6.92.
“We’re kind of happy about that,” Loverde said.
Junior Kevin Williams broke yet another school track record as he was timed in 1:27.42 in the 600, four seconds off the mark.
Riverhead’s 4 x 200 relay team took 27th in 1:38.71, which Loverde said was “a great time for us. I look forward to that getting lower to put us in a competitive situation.” The quartet included Boynton, Hatcher, Williams and Shakeem Ramos.
In a freshman-sophomore meet at Suffolk County Community College West on Saturday, several Blue Waves also distinguished themselves.
Clifton Russell captured the freshman long jump at 19-2, and he ran a 1:41.5 in the 600 run. “We’re very pleased with that,” Loverde said.
Freshman Marcus Moore finished second in the triple jump with a leap of 35-10. “It’s exciting for a young kid,” said Loverde, who commuted between both meets. “It’s complicated to learn, but he did a fine job.”
Matthew Pittman might have endured the most frustrating experience of the day. He earned a third-place finish in the sophomore long jump at 18-9. But Pittman could have won the event with a leap of around 20 feet, Loverde said, but one of his fingers touched the sand, pushing his distance back.
Other encouraging results included sophomore Eddie Weston at 43.0 in the 300 and sophomore Anthony Galvan, who ran a 5:09 mile. Loverde said it was “a heat that he wasn’t pressed very much. If he was, he could have broke five minutes.”
If Galvan follows suit along with the rest of his teammates in improving their times and distances, a five-minute mile will be history soon enough.