WILDCATS 87, MUSTANGS 56
Isreal Squires is no fan of the cold. Especially when it comes to jumping.
When the Shoreham-Wading River boys track team competed in its first dual meet of the season in late March, snowfall forced the final few events to be cancelled.
“It was really cold,” the Shoreham-Wading River sophomore said.
Under more ideal conditions Thursday against Mount Sinai, Squires showed off his versatility and potential by winning three individual events plus running in a victorious relay as the Wildcats won 86-57 in League VII.
The highlight for Squires came in the high jump, where he cleared a personal best 6 feet.
“When the weather gets warmer, he’ll perform better,” said Shoreham coach Bob Szymanski. “He doesn’t like the cold. I tried to get him out for winter track, but he injured his ankle in football.”
Back to full strength, Squires came close to clearing 6-2 in the high jump. He could have taken another attempt, but with the meet winding down, his legs were needed to anchor the 4 x 100 relay team.
Squires darted from the high jump area to the track where he lined up to take the baton for the final 100 meters. By the time the baton arrived in his hand, the victory was well in hand and Squires cruised in for the victory as the Wildcats finished in 46 seconds.
Squires was a part of a three-headed monster for the Wildcats. Junior Ryan Udvadia took care of the distance events by winning the 3,200, 1,600 and 800. Junior Jordan Wright dominated in the sprints by winning the 100 dash and 200. Wright ran the opening leg of the 4 x 100 relay and Udvadia closed out the 4 x 800 relay for the Wildcats.
As Udvadia cruised around the bend for the final 200 meters of the relay, a teammate yelled out to him that someone was right behind him. Udvadia didn’t flinch, knowing he was all by himself.
“It’s awesome,” Squires said of watching Wright and Udvadia. “Because you know you’re going to win, especially with Ryan. He runs like a 4:17 mile. That’s crazy.”
Udvadia ran the 1,600 in 4:47 against the Mustangs to conserve some energy with no real threat to him on the track. With a competitive fight for second place unfolding, Udvadia slowed down at times to try to rally in teammate Keith Steinbrecher. It wasn’t enough, however, as Steinbrecher settled for third.
In the 3,200 Udvadia won in 10:10.1 Steinbrecher took third in 10:14.4.
“Udvadia stepped up for me,” Syzmanski said. “I usually will not put him in more than three races in a meet, particularly how hard that is.”
In the 800 Udvadia won in 2:01.
“It just shows how gutty a kid he is that he ran all four races,” Szymanski said.
Udvadia had about 10 minutes to recover between his first two races, the 1,600 and 800. Then he had about 30 minutes before running the 3,200.
Squires began the meet by jumping 21 feet in the long jump. He followed that with a victory in the 400 dash in 52.7.
The 400 will ultimately be his top event when the season heats up in May.
“The 400 is my favorite,” Squires said.
Szymanski said Squires has the potential to be top-three in the division in the long jump and high jump.
“If he’s fresh he’ll do 6-2, 6-3 this year,” Szymanski said. “And he’s only a sophomore.”
Wright, a state qualifier during the winter season, ran the 100 in 11.0 and the 200 in 22.9. The Wildcats also got a big day from junior Matt Leunig, who won the 400-hurdles in 1:01.7 and was second in the 110-hurdles in 18.0.
Senior Kyle Fleming won the shot put with a top mark of 43-6 1/2 and was second in the discus (123).
In the pole vault senior Tom Sager cleared 12-0 for second place. Junior Max Maritato was second in the high jump at 5-8 and also ran on the 4 x 100 relay team.
Shoreham improved to 3-0 in dual meets, setting the stage for what will likely be a fight to the finish with Bayport-Blue Point. The Wildcats and Phantoms will meet in the final meet of the season.