06/16/14 4:08pm
06/16/2014 4:08 PM

NEW BALANCE OUTDOOR NATIONALS

In track and field, the competition can make all the difference.

The competition in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals meet helped Shoreham-Wading River High School senior Keith Steinbrecher in one sense, but running the 2,000-meter steeplechase in a slower heat hurt him in another. (more…)

05/31/14 5:26pm
05/31/2014 5:26 PM
From left, Half Hollow Hills West's Jarried Redwood, Shoreham-Wading River's Jordan Wright, Smithtown East's Shane Harris and Smithtown West's Andrew Lapreziosa lunging toward the finish line in the 100-meter dash finals. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

From left, Half Hollow Hills West’s Jarried Redwood, Shoreham-Wading River’s Jordan Wright, Smithtown East’s Shane Harris and Smithtown West’s Andrew Lapreziosa lunging toward the finish line in the 100-meter dash finals. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS/STATE QUALIFIER

The steeplechase is one of the most demanding events in track and field. Not only is it a grind physically, but it also presents an element of danger. That, along with the event’s novelty, may also be part of its allure. Bad things can happen when exhausted athletes try to clear barriers and navigate water jumps.

That was seen Saturday during the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Section XI Individual Championships/state qualifier. Around the midpoint of the race, Miller Place senior Jeremy Miekley ran into a barrier, slowing him up. Then, Huntington senior Nick Sherman took a fall at the last barrier before the final sprint to the finish line. (more…)

05/30/14 8:03pm
05/30/2014 8:03 PM
Shoreham-Wading River's Ryan Udvadia passed Northport's brothers on the last lap before coming in first place in the 3,200 meters. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River’s Ryan Udvadia passed the Northport brothers Tim and Jack McGowan with about 450 meters to go before coming in first place in the 3,200 meters. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS/STATE QUALIFIER

One of Ryan Udvadia’s biggest fans is none other than his coach, Bob Szymanski. Szymanski believes in Udvadia, and not only speaks highly of the Shoreham-Wading River High School senior, but puts his money where his mouth is.

Before the 3,200-meter race in the Section XI individual boys track and field championships/state qualifier on Friday, another coach wagered one dollar that Udvadia would not finish in first place. Szymanski accepted the bet. (more…)

05/24/14 1:00pm
05/24/2014 1:00 PM
Shoreham-Wading River's Matt Gladysz hands off the baton to Connor McAlary in the 4 x 800 relay Friday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River’s Matt Gladysz hands off the baton to Connor McAlary in the 4 x 800 relay Friday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Reflecting back on his running career, Shoreham-Wading River coach Bob Syzmanski described the steeplechase as the “toughest event I’ve ever done.”

Considering the length of the race (3,000 meters), and obstacles (a water pit included!), it’s no surprise Shoreham senior Keith Steinbrecher agrees with his coach on that assessment.  (more…)

05/01/14 8:21pm
05/01/2014 8:21 PM
Bryce Casey raced to victory in the 200 meters in 23.3 seconds as undefeated Shoreham-Wading River captured the League VII championship outright. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Bryce Casey raced to victory in the 200 meters in 23.3 seconds as undefeated Shoreham-Wading River captured the League VII championship outright. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

WILDCATS 76, PHANTOMS 65

Like a giant orange shot put, the sun burned through the white clouds and smiled down on the Shoreham-Wading River High School track. For the Shoreham boys track and field team, there was a lot more than just sunshine to smile about, though. (more…)

09/13/13 7:00pm
09/13/2013 7:00 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia was honored as the top runner in the county.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia was honored as the top runner in the county last fall.

PREVIEW

Bob Szymanski, the Shoreham-Wading River boys cross country coach, was talking to a reporter about his team’s star runner, Ryan Udvadia, when he suddenly interrupted himself. “You know how to spell Udvadia, right?” he asked the scribe.

It didn’t sound as if Szymanski was joking, but he could have been. Udvadia’s exploits in cross country as well as track and field have made headlines.

In cross country last fall, Udvadia was voted the Runner of the Year in Suffolk County by coaches. The all-state runner finished among the top 10 in the state meet. He was one of only two boys to break 16 minutes at Sunken Meadow State Park last year, clocking 15:57 on the 3.1-mile course. He won a county championship, all seven invitationals he competed in as well as all six of Shoreham’s dual meets, all victories by the League VI champion Wildcats, by the way.

“Ryan is one of the top two to three runners in all of Long Island,” Szymanski said of his senior captain. “Ryan is in great shape right now. He was running six days a week in the whole month of August, and he’s ready to go right now. Now the only problem is he has to stay perfect again and we’ll be O.K.”

Well, the truth is the Wildcats are more than O.K. They have claimed 10 straight league titles, nine county crowns in the past two years, including the last two Class B championships, and show no signs of slowing down. They haven’t lost a dual meet in three years. And, as talented as Udvadia is, they have other strong runners, too.

Pete Steinbrecher, Jack Kelly, Matt Leunig, Connor McAlary, and Roman Brown — all returning seniors — should produce points. Ryan Groskopf, a junior, and Michael Godfrey, a sophomore, are competing for the No. 6 and No. 7 spots along with Brown. Szymanski said he was not sure where junior Matt Gladysz will fit into the picture.

Also among the team’s 21 runners are some good looking freshmen: Anthony Peraza, Chris Sheenan, Sebastian Rodriguez and Anthony Lynch.

So, things are looking up for the Wildcats.

Said Szymanski, “The important thing is we have to keep the team healthy and the coach sane, which isn’t easy to do.”

The top seven runners for Riverhead wear a distinction. Literally.

While their teammates wear practice jerseys that read, “Blue Waves,” the top seven have jerseys that read, “Cross Country.” As coach Patrick Burke sees it, it’s motivation, something for runners to strive for. “The guys that have those jerseys, they feel a certain amount of honor and respect,” he said.

Having graduated Anthony Galvan, who now runs for SUNY/Cortland, Riverhead still has Travis Wooten, a senior all-league runner in his fifth year on the team. He leads the pack along with senior Joe Gattuso and junior Nicholas Kunha.

“We’re expecting great things from Travis,” Burke said. “Travis has been a top-five runner as a freshman and he was our second-best runner last year right behind Anthony Galvan. We’re hoping that this is the year for him.”

Also wearing the coveted practice jerseys earmarked for the team’s top runners are junior Jeremy Bornstein, junior Owen O’Neill, freshman Eric Kunha (Nicholas’ brother) and sophomore Connor Behr.

“I’m looking forward to seeing those people, the top runners, reach their potential,” said Burke.

With 11 freshmen and 10 sophomores on a team of over 30 runners, the future looks bright for Riverhead. “We have some depth and we have the younger guys coming up that are going to challenge the top seven,” said Burke.

Burke said a good number of his runners have been training over the summer in preparation for the season. Cross country is a sport without shortcuts. There is only one way to succeed, and that is through putting the miles in.

“It’s grueling,” Burke said. “To be a good runner, you have to put the mileage in.”

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