After his high school boys winter track team’s performance in the Suffolk County Large Schools Championships on Saturday, Riverhead Coach Sal Loverde is hopeful of sending at least two athletes to the state championships.
Loverde is optimistic after strong first-place finishes by senior Treval Hatcher and junior Kashaun Boynton led the Blue Waves to a seventh-place showing at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.
The Blue Waves will return to Suffolk West for the state qualifiers on Saturday. The state meet is scheduled for Cornell University in Ithaca on March 5.
“We feel we can send at least two athletes to the states,” Loverde said. “That’s pretty exciting.
“We’re poised to have a solid state qualifying meet.”
As a team, the Blue Waves (24 points) finished four points behind sixth-place Connetquot. Longwood (86) won the meet.
“We were pleased with the way things went,” Loverde said. “With a few jumps here and a little something, we’re sitting fourth or third. It’s a comfortable position to be in.”
Hatcher grabbed first-place honors in the triple jump with a leap of 46 feet, 6 inches. He also finished 17th in the long jump at 19-11.
“He’s pretty pumped up about his situation,” Loverde said.
Boynton won the 55-meter high hurdles in 7.88 seconds, defeating Northport’s Lucas Hoffman (third), who finished ahead of him at the Stanner Games last month. Boynton also took 12th in the 55-meter dash in 6.89.
“He did a fine job,” Loverde said. “If he takes, first, second or third at the qualifiers, he will be a candidate to go upstate, which is wonderful.”
Hatcher and Boynton teamed to help the Blue Waves to a ninth-place showing in the 4×200-meter relay team. The quartet, which included junior Kevin Williams and sophomore Jeffrey Pittman, was clocked in 1:38.46.
Pittman stood out individually, earning fourth in the long jump with a leap of 20-2. He also placed 20th in the 300 with a clocking of 39.01.
Freshman Clifton Russell finished a strong seventh in the long jump at 19-10 1/2.
Loverde noted that Pittman and Russell are underclassmen, so there is much more room for growth. “That’s pretty exciting to have that situation going on,” he said.
Williams took eighth in both the 600 (1:27.24) and the triple jump (44-1 3/4) and senior Danny DeCabia added a 10th-place showing in the shot put with a throw of 43-11.
Loverde said Williams will focus on the triple jump in the qualifiers. “It’s pretty hard to compete with both events going on at the same time,” Loverde said. “He is seeded third [in the triple jump] in the county. He could go upstate as well.”
In other results:
Senior Rob Mullen (4:52) and sophomore Anthony Galvan (4:59.6) took 16th and 17th, respectively, for Riverhead in the 1,600. Another Riverhead senior, Alex Liquori, finished 19th in the shot put at 43-7.
Riverhead was ninth in the 4×400 relay in 3:58.59 behind seniors Michel Beierle and Mullen, junior Sebastian Jakubiuk and sophomore Brian Fungfeld.
The Blue Waves started preparing for the qualifiers Monday with a special program. “We have a pretty solid game plan,” Loverde said. “These kids will be ready to compete.”
Bishop McGann-Mercy did not record any points in the small schools championships. The Monarchs’ 4×200 relay team took ninth in 1:45.54. Their 4×400 team was 10th in 4:01.25.