05/31/13 9:14pm
05/31/2013 9:14 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle cleared 15 feet, breaking his own school record by 3 inches. He took first place while teammates Charles Villa (14-0) and Jonah Spaeth (14-0) were second and third, respectively.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle cleared 15 feet, breaking his own school record by 3 inches. He took first place while teammates Charles Villa (14-0) and Jonah Spaeth (14-0) were second and third, respectively.

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP STATE QUALIFIER

Dan Normoyle has a personal motto that he is ready to offer whenever he is asked how high he can pole vault. “The sky’s the limit,” he says.

It’s an apropos motto for a pole vaulter. Pole vaulters, after all, are a special breed. They are adventurous, courageous, often free-spirited, and they tend to not put limits on themselves as they soar to greater and greater heights.

They are dealing with a flukish event in which so many things can go wrong. But on Friday, so many things went right for Normoyle and his fellow Riverhead pole vaulters.

It was as simple — and impressive — as one, two, three.

Riverhead pole vaulters, led by Normoyle’s record-setting performance, swept the top three places in the Section XI individual championship state qualifier at Port Jefferson High School.

Normoyle, a senior, cleared 15 feet on his last attempt at that height, surpassing the school record of 14-9 that he set last week in the division championships. But that wasn’t the only notable element of the day’s proceedings. Riverhead junior Charles Villa took second place at 14-0, edging teammate Jonah Spaeth, a senior who also cleared that height, by a tiebreaker.

“Being able to say we took one, two, three in the county championships is really cool,” said Normoyle.

Normoyle cleared 14-6 on his first try, and that must have helped him toward the record, saving energy required for each attempt. He said he believed he could handle 15 feet. “That was the big thing,” he said. “I knew I could do it, so it definitely gave me the confidence to do it.”

Normoyle missed all three of his attempts at 15-5.

“Fifteen-five would have been nice,” said Normoyle, who qualified along with Villa for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships that will be held June 7 and 8 at Middletown High School.

The three Riverheaders were among the top four seeds in the meet, with Normoyle the favorite. A persuasive argument could be made that this is the golden era for Riverhead pole vaulting.

Riverhead coach Steve Gevinski thinks it is.

“I never heard of that [happening] in the pole vault, that the top three [places] are swept,” by one team, he said. “It’s not like it’s a bad year in the pole vault. It’s probably one of the better years in the pole vault in Suffolk County. So, to do it, they almost raised the bar for the whole county, these guys.”

Referring to the one, two, three finish, Riverhead’s pole vaulting coach, John Andresen, said, “It is almost unheard of.”

Smithtown West senior Karl Nilsen, who was obviously struggling with an ankle injury, was tied for fourth with Mount Sinai junior Charlie Kollmer at 13-6. After the three Riverheaders were the last ones still in the competition, Normoyle said he told a coach, “This might be history.”

It is the third time this season that Riverhead’s pole vault record was raised. Spaeth set a school record last year when he reached 14-6. Then, earlier this season, Normoyle and Villa both cleared 14-6, leaving a three-way tie for the school mark that lasted for about five minutes before Normoyle hit 14-9.

Spaeth, who went to the state meet last year, will miss out this year, but Normoyle and Villa will make their first appearances in the state competition.

“I always wanted it,” Villa said. “I get to go, finally, after all the years of dreaming of going to the states.”

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Ryan Udvadia of Shoreham-Wading River made up ground quickly and surged to victory in the 3,200-meter final in 9 minutes 17.27 seconds.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Ryan Udvadia of Shoreham-Wading River made up ground quickly and surged to victory in the 3,200-meter final in 9 minutes 17.27 seconds.

UDVADIA GIVES SZYMANSKI A SCARE Shoreham-Wading River coach Bob Szymanski was kidding — or at least it sounded like he was kidding — when he said he thought he was going to need a defibrillator as he watched the thrilling finish to the 3,200-meter final.

Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia trailed Northport sophomore Mike Brannigan by about 25 meters with some 200 meters to go, and Szymanski appeared to be panicking, worrying that Udvadia had given Brannigan too much of a cushion.

Not so, though. The top-seeded Udvadia made up ground quickly, taking the lead for the first time while coming off the final turn and winning in 9 minutes 17.27 seconds.

Szymanski could do without that kind of drama.

“I have faith in him, but … it’s still scary,” the coach said. “The only thing I saw that was in our favor was the kid looked back over his shoulder. Someone heard Ryan was coming.”

Brannigan ended up in third place in 9:23.72. He was passed by a teammate, junior Tim McGowan (9:20.60), for second place.

Another Shoreham junior, Connor McAlary, was 10th in 10:01.37. Riverhead junior Travis Wooten came in 18th in 10:22.77.

Udvadia said he was nervous, but confident at the same time. He sensed Brannigan starting to slow down with 400 meters to go.

Known for his late kick. Udvadia had something left in the tank for the strong finish.

“It was painful and tough, but I got it,” said Udvadia, who is headed to his first outdoor state meet. “Even when I don’t think I have a kick, I do have a kick.”

An example was the Penn Relays earlier this season. Udvadia was seeded 14th in the 16-runner 1,600 race. He went from dead last to finish seventh in 4:15.64.

Udvadia said he took a glance at Szymanski during Friday’s race and knew his coach was stressed. “I saw the look on his face,” Udvadia said. “I could tell he was talking to himself.”

TRACK NOTES Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Israel Squires finished fourth in the long jump, covering 21-9.

bliepa@timesreview.com

05/31/13 8:54pm
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck pentathlon athlete Shannon Dwyer competing in the 100-meter high hurdles on Friday.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck pentathlon athlete Shannon Dwyer competing in the 100-meter high hurdles on Friday.

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP STATE QUALIFIER

Delina Auciello is headed upstate and while she is up there, she will undoubtedly enjoy a piece of cake.

Auciello and another Bishop McGann-Mercy junior, Danisha Carter, both qualified on Friday for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls track and field championships. The timing is interesting, with the state meet to be held June 7 and 8 at Middletown High School. June 8 will be Auciello’s 17th birthday.

“That’s why I really wanted to go,” she said. “Yeah, it’s a birthday present.”

Auciello was ninth overall and the top Division II finisher in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10 minutes 58.39 seconds on Friday in the Section XI individual championship state qualifier at Port Jefferson High School. It was only her third time running the 3,000 competitively, and she was emotional following her race.

“I’m going to cry,” she said, but she successfully held back tears during an interview.

Auciello went to the state meet when she was a freshman as an alternate on a 4×400-meter relay team.

Cater punched her ticket to the state meet in both the 100- and 200-meter events by virtue of her performances on Friday. She clocked times of 13.03 seconds, bringing her 12th overall in the 100 preliminaries, and 26.22, good for seventh overall in the 200, but also qualifying her for Saturday’s finals in that event.

“We made it, yes,” Carter said. “I’m really, really excited, and it’s totally unbelievable.”

Carter said she was so amped up about the state qualifier that she “could not go to sleep last night at all. I was so pressured. I really, really wanted to do so good.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carter did well in the 200. She said it’s her favorite and best event. “That’s my race,” she said.

Earlier this season, Carter broke the school record in the 200 with a time of 26.20, which is just 2/100ths of a second off the time she recorded on Friday.

Now the two Monarchs will get to run on an even bigger stage.

“That’s all we wanted from the beginning of the year,” Carter said. “It’s what we’ve been looking forward to.”

If nothing else, it should make for a memorable birthday for Auciello.

TRACK NOTES Riverhead junior Kyra Braunskill took sixth place in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet 6 1/2 inches, a personal record.

The second and final day of the state qualifying meet will be tomorrow.

bliepa@timesreview.com

05/31/13 4:33pm
Splish Splash water coaster

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Bootlegger’s Run, the newest attraction at Splish Splash is 983-feet long.

Bootlegger’s Run, the newest attraction at Splish Splash in Riverhead will open Saturday, June 1, becoming the first water roller coaster in New York. Up to four riders get into toboggan-like cars that act like inner tubes during the ride’s drops, but shoot up the three hills of the coaster using magnetic devices called linear induction motors. The multi-million dollar ride is the most expensive in the park’s history.

CLICK FOR FULL STORY & VIDEO

05/31/13 2:00pm
COURTESY PHOTO | Phillips Avenue Elementary students

COURTESY PHOTO | Phillips Avenue Elementary students at last year’s community festival.

Educators, parents and local residents are ready for the annual community festival at Phillips Avenue Elementary School in Riverside scheduled for Saturday.

The family-friendly event will feature a performance by children’s entertainer Brady Rymer, a BMX stunt show, bike rodeo and petting zoo.

The Carnival of Fun includes: rock wall climb, football throw, bouncy house, face painting, hula hoop contest and other activities.

Members of the local fire departments, Riverhead Parks and Recreation Department and business owners will also have booths at the event to share information with the community.

There will more than 20 vendors, a silent auction, food and beverages.

Tickets cost $3. There is no charge for Phillips Avenue students and children under 2.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rain date is June 2.

For more information, call 631-369-6786.

jennifer@timesreview.com

05/31/13 12:11pm
COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead High School's top 15 students. Front left to right: Daniel Raynor, Daniel Tysz, Samantha Colt, Alexandra McKillop, Charlotte Palmer. Middle row left to right: Julia Vunkannon, Jayson Cosgrove, Brian Unruh, Leia Kent, Jaclyn Griffith. Middle row left to right: Julia Vunkannon, Jayson Cosgrove, Brian Unruh, Leia Kent, Jaclyn Griffith. Back row left to right Roger Rosenquist, Kyle Trypuc, Peter Schumejda, Karla Reyes, Jonah Spaeth, SUNY Binghamton.

COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead High School’s top 15 students. Front left to right: Daniel Raynor, Daniel Tysz, Samantha Colt, Alexandra McKillop, Charlotte Palmer. Middle row left to right: Julia Vunkannon, Jayson Cosgrove, Brian Unruh, Leia Kent, Jaclyn Griffith.
Back row left to right Roger Rosenquist, Kyle Trypuc, Peter Schumejda, Karla Reyes, Jonah Spaeth.

The Riverhead School District announced Friday the class of 2013’s top 15 students, including this year’s valedictorian and salutatorian.

Valedictorian Daniel Raynor, whose weighted grade-point average is 109.54, will be attending Yale University to study physics. He was named National AP Scholar during his junior year, which is the first time in the district’s history that a junior earned the award.

Daniel Raynor was recently named National AP Scholar. The designation is the highest achievement in the AP Scholar Program, school officials said.

He was named a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship Program, an honor that indicates he was among the top-5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the competition.

In addition, he’s a Mentathlete, a member of the Math Club, Foreign Language Honor Society, National Honor Society, Protein Challenge Team, CSI Challenge team, LI Challenge Team, Student Government vice present, Youth Court, Latin Team, and an actor in Blue Masques Drama Club.

Daniel Raynor is also in the chamber choir and plays baritone horn in the band. He practiced photography while interning with photographer Steve Berger. He tutors elementary students and is a counselor at Camp Invention.

“Although my parents were relieved to know that they had successfully found a way for me to keep myself amused by giving me math workbooks, something much greater happened to me: I had discovered my enthusiasm for mathematics,” he said. “My interest in math led to my even greater interest in science and its practical applications. My interest in math and science has led me to a decision to pursue the study of physics in college.”

The Class of 2013 Salutatorian is Daniel Tysz, who earned a weighted grade point average of 108.06. He will be attending SUNY Stony Brook to study math and biochemistry and plans to practice medicine.

“Intelligent, focused and caring are the first words that come to mind when I think of Daniel Tysz,” his guidance counselor Christy Salerno said. “Dan has two great gifts: a wonderful memory and the focus and drive to take advantage of it. In spite of being an extraordinary student academically, he is very humble and his peers look up to him for that.”

Daniel Tysz earned a 98 average in trigonometry and took an AP Calculus BC course. This fall, he was named an AP Scholar with distinction. He has been the school’s student of the month and outstanding student of the year. He was also on the Advanced Latin Certamen Team, which won second place in this year’s competition at SUNY Stony Brook.

He’s a volunteer in the “Going Green” program where he teaches students about the importance of recycling and environmentalism. He also volunteers at his local church. Daniel Tysz has been a member of Key and Math clubs, and tutors high school students in geometry.

Other top 2013 Riverhead High School grads include:

• Samantha Colt, University of Rhode Island, pharmacy
• Alexandra McKillop, Cornell University, pre-med neuroscience
• Charlotte Palmer, Case Western University, history/psychology;
• Julia Vunkannon, St. Joseph’s College, physics /chemistry/neuroscience
• Jayson Cosgrove, Rowan University, engineering
• Brian Unruh, SUNY Binghamton, undeclared
• Leia Kent, Albany College of Pharmacy, pharmacy
• Jaclyn Griffith, Monmouth University, social work
• Roger Rosenquist, SUNY Stony Brook, computer science
• Kyle Trypuc, St. Joseph’s College, secondary education/history
• Peter Schumejda, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, biology
• Karla Reyes, SUNY Stony Brook, biology
• Jonah Spaeth, SUNY Binghamton, pre-med

jennifer@timesreview.com

05/31/13 11:00am
NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Hall on Howell Avenue.

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Hall on Howell Avenue.

Things even got heated at a Town Board work session Thursday, during a talk about downtown parking lots.

An argument between councilmen Jim Wooten and Councilman John Dunleavy resulted in the other three Town Board members briefly leaving the room.

The two continued to argue in front of the public.

It was also learned Thursday that Riverhead Town didn’t need to use as much of the town’s surpluses in 2012 as expected,  according to the town’s annual financial report for that year.

The report is required by the state each year and is unaudited, town finance administrator Bill Rothaar said Thursday. The town’s budget for 2012, which was adopted in November of 2011, allocated $2.6 million in fund balance to lower taxes, Mr. Rothaar said. But the town in 2012 brought in about $500,000 more in revenue than the budget anticipated, and spent about $1 million less than expected.

Because of this, the town only needed to use about $1 million in surplus funds in 2012, and not the $2.6 million it had anticipated in the adopted budget, Mr. Rothaar said.

The board also discussed moving the Lighthouse Mission’s food distribution program for the needy, which is run on Fridays, from the parking lot south of East Main Street to another spot.

To see what else was discussed at Thursday’s work session, read a recap of reporter Tim Gannon’s live blog of the meeting by clicking below.

 

 

May_30,_2013_-_Agenda by rnews_review

05/31/13 5:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A helicopter spraying a Jamesport potato field in 2010.

Manufacturers of atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S., are pulling the product off Long Island.

Starting next spring, products containing atrazine – an herbicide commonly used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds – will bear a label indicating they are prohibited for use on Long Island, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. The restriction, however, was not put in place by the state DEC – pesticide manufacturers, including Syngenta, voluntarily decided to restrict the product’s sale.

The pesticide is commonly used by Long Island corn and potato growers, as well as municipalities and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to control weeds at right of ways, said Joe Gergela, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau.

The manufacturers’ decision follows years of debate concerning atrazine’s presence in Long Island’s groundwater. It is the third-most prevalent pesticide detected in the groundwater, after metalaxyl and imidacloprid.

Between 2007 and 2010, atrazine was detected 124 times in 51 different locations on Long Island, according to the state DEC. Fifty-two of those findings involved 15 different locations on the North Fork.

The majority of those detected concentrations fell well below drinking water and groundwater standards, the DEC states in a data report.

A statement from Syngenta explained that the decision to pull atrazine followed the manufacturer’s involvement with the state DEC’s development of the Long Island Pesticide Use Management Plan, still in its draft stage.

“Older pesticide products that have been detected in groundwater at levels well within EPA guidelines, like atrazine, have been part of the discussion,” Syngenta representatives said in a statement to the newspaper.

Local farmers said alternatives for atrazine are available.

“I hate to lose another tool that we have for weed control, but there’s quite a bit of other alternatives that we can use. It’s not like some of the other pesticides,” said Phil Schmitt, a corn grower in Riverhead.

“We will live without it,” said Mr. Gergela. “We don’t like to lose it because we won’t get it back and it is harder to get the newer and better products here in Suffolk.”

Mr. Gergela said he believes it was a business decision made by the manufacturers.

“It costs millions of dollars to do the testing required to get a pesticide or herbicide registered for use here,” Mr. Gergela said. “We are such a small part of the market it is not worth it for them to go through the hoops.”

Syngenta’s Long Island customers represent less than half a percent of all its U.S. customers, representatives said.

Farm bureau members say their biggest concern is making sure the effective alternatives are available to growers.

“Almost all of the new pesticide products being produced are safe and more effective, so we are trying to get them [to be sold in the area],” said Jeff Williams, manager of governmental relations with the New York Farm Bureau. “It’s a frustration that while these products are coming off the market we are still working to get the newer products on.”

cmiller@timesreview.com

05/30/13 6:09pm
05/30/2013 6:09 PM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead firefighters douse the brush fires from a brush truck Thursday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead firefighters douse the brush fires from a brush truck Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters rushed to Nugent Drive in Calverton Thursday afternoon after five brush fires broke out simultaneously along the road, Riverhead fire officials said.

“[The fires] didn’t get going too much because [the brush] is still green,” said Riverhead third assistant chief Pete Jackman. No one was injured in the blazes, fire officials said.

The small fires were under control in about 40 minutes.

Mr. Jackman said that while it’s not unusual for brush fires to start in the summer, but said these fires were out of the ordinary.

“It’s just weird that there’s [all] of them in a row,” he said.

The cause of the fires is under investigation by the Southampton and Brookhaven Town fire marshals.

Southampton Town police alerted Riverhead firefighters of the fires about 4:50 p.m., said Riverhead second assistant fire chief Kevin Brooks. The full Riverhead department responded to the fire, along with Flanders Fire Department in brush trucks and fire engines.

Manorville firefighters were also called to the scene, but dismissed before they arrived. Local ambulance crews were on standby in case the fire grew more dangerous.

The fires began along a roughly half mile stretch on the north side of Nugent Drive near Pinehurst Boulevard west of the Suffolk County center in Riverside. The fires, which burned near the fences that separate the side of the road from the forest, did not cause any major property damage.

psquire@timesreview.com