02/21/14 6:17pm
02/21/2014 6:17 PM
Riverhead shot putter Maddie Blom made a throw of 36 feet 6 inches to finish fourth in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational. (Robert O'Rourk photo)

Riverhead shot putter Maddie Blom made a throw of 36 feet 6 inches to finish fourth in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational. (Robert O’Rourk photo)


If Maddie Blom’s aim in competing in the prestigious Long Island Elite Track Invitational on Friday was to face top-flight competition in advance of the upcoming state meet, it worked.

While some of Long Island’s best shot putters may not have exactly brought out the best in Blom, they came quite close. The Riverhead High School senior turned in a throw of 36 feet 6 inches — within one inch of her personal record. It was good for fourth place in the meet at St. Anthony’s High School. Finishing ahead of Blom were Manhasset senior Tara Belinsky (41-11), Holy Trinity junior Kristina Insingo (41-4) and Half Hollow Hills West senior Oyinkansola Adewale (39-4 1/4). (more…)

02/08/14 5:40pm
02/08/2014 5:40 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Maddie Blom, whose throw of 35 feet 9 1/2 inches brought her second place in the shot put at the Section XI Championships, qualified for the state meet.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Maddie Blom, whose throw of 35 feet 9 1/2 inches brought her second place in the shot put at the Section XI Championships, qualified for the state meet.


Ithaca isn’t exactly France, but that is where Maddie Blom wanted to go, and she is headed there. (more…)

02/08/14 5:13pm
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | From left, Shoreham-Wading River's Ryan Udvadia, Mount Sinai's Daniel Connelly, Tim McGowan and his brother Jack McGowan of Northport all finished within 0.25 seconds of each other in the 3,200 meters.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | From left, Shoreham-Wading River’s Ryan Udvadia, Mount Sinai’s Daniel Connelly, Tim McGowan and his brother Jack McGowan of Northport all finished within 0.25 seconds of each other in the 3,200 meters.


Jordan Wright is known for his fast starts in the 55-meter dash. It is because of them, perhaps, that he is headed toward a fine finish to his final high school boys winter track season. (more…)

01/05/14 4:09pm
01/05/2014 4:09 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katharine Lee was first in the 1,500 meters and second in the 600 on Sunday at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katharine Lee was first in the 1,500 meters and second in the 600 on Sunday at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

Sunday was anything but a day of rest for one of the Shoreham-Wading River High School girls winter track team’s most promising young runners.

Katharine Lee, an eighth-grader with fleetness of foot, took first place in the 1,500 meters and second in the 600 in a crossover meet at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

Lee breezed to victory in the 1,500 in 5 minutes 8.81 seconds. The next finisher was Eastport/South Manor junior Ashley Schafer in 5:17.68.

In the 600, Lee was edged out at the finish by Bay Shore senior Jacqueline Anderson. Anderson’s winning time was 1:43.41. Lee clocked 1:45.43.

Another Shoreham-Wading River runner, Kaitlyn Ohrtman, was a runner-up in the 1,000. Ohrtman, a sophomore, finished in 3:15.63, taking second to Bay Shore junior Nia McCaslin (3:13.87).

Shoreham-Wading River also picked up second place in the 4×800-meter relay in 11:19.56. Samantha Steele, Taylor Flanagan, Francesca Lilly and Lee ran for the Wildcats.

One of the top shot putters in Suffolk County, Riverhead’s Maddie Blom, showed why she is so highly regarded. Despite her claims of feeling a little under the weather, the senior turned in a throw of 36 feet 3 3/4 inches, good enough for second place. Half Hollow Hills West senior Oyinkansola Adewale took the event with her effort of 38-11 1/2.

Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter finished third in the 300 in 46.04 seconds. Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Megan Kelly was one place behind her in 46.46.

A teammate of Carter’s, sophomore Meg Tuthill, was fourth in the 600 in 1:50.19.


02/23/13 3:58am
02/23/2013 3:58 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Laura Lee ran the 600 meters in 1 minute 40.32 seconds to finish fifth.

Laura Lee had an inkling that this was going to be a good day for her. And why not? With a fast track and a high level of competition, the conditions were ripe for a personal record, or pr in runners’ shorthand.

“I definitely knew it was a possibility,” she said.

Possibility became reality for Lee when the Shoreham-Wading River senior ran the 600 meters faster than she ever had before, in 1 minute 40.32 seconds. That left her in fifth place in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational at St. Anthony’s High School on Friday. She followed Bishop Kellenberg’s Jazmine Fray (1:36.52), Island Trees’ Alexa Dolgos (1:38.33), Bay Shore’s Jacqueline Anderson (1:39.98) and Sacred Heart’s Rosalie Caracciolo (1:40.23).

So, it was a plaque and a pr for Lee, who may have run in her final indoor high school event. She said she was unsure if she would compete in a national meet.

“Today went really smoothly, and the girls pushed the pace,” Lee said. “It’s an honor to run in the Long Island championships. It’s my senior season so I’m really glad to get a pr. I was really happy.”

Looking ahead to the future, Lee said she is excited about going to Williams College (Mass.), where she will run track and field, and possibly cross country as well.

In other events:

Riverhead pole vaulter Danielle Thomas went over the bar at 8 feet 6 inches, bringing her ninth place. The junior cleared 9-0 for the first time a week earlier.

“There are a lot of seniors who are graduating, so hopefully that opens up some room for her next year to really propel her upstate,” said Riverhead coach Justin Cobis.

Riverhead sophomore Maria Dillingham took 13th place in two events. In addition to running the 600 in 1:46.90, she also competed in the frosh/soph 300-meter dash, posting a time of 46.59.

Dillingham said it was an honor to compete in the prestigious meet.

“I wanted to get here all season,” she said. “I’m happy to be here.”

Cobis said of Dillingham: “She’s a very good competitor. She’s as tough as nails. She had a little bit of an off night tonight but, you know, she’s had a great progression through the entire season and she’s going to take that into the spring season and really propel forward.”

Shoreham-Wading River freshman Kaitlyn Ohrtman came in fourth in the frosh/soph 1,500. Her time was 5:02.79.


ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead's Maria Dillingham, right, and Miller Place's Kiera Lopez running side by side in the 600 meters.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead’s Maria Dillingham, right, and Miller Place’s Kiera Lopez running side by side in the 600 meters.

02/04/13 3:17pm
02/04/2013 3:17 PM


The Section XI Small School Championships are condensed and demanding. Over the span of four hours, some of the best high school girls winter track athletes may compete in as many as three events each.

That is why Shoreham-Wading River coach Roger Sullivan is judicious about what events he enters his athletes in. Sullivan said he confers with his assistant coach, Paul Koretzki, and they strategize, trying to figure out the best approach for the Wildcats.

“It’s a matter of looking at the other teams, and trying to figure out where we can score the most points,” said Sullivan.

It seems that they didn’t do a bad job, either. Shoreham-Wading River finished in the top one-third of the team scoring of the meet on Sunday at Suffolk County Community College West in Brentwood. By the time all 15 events were scored, Shoreham-Wading River was tied with Bellport with 26 points each for seventh place among the 21 teams. Miller Place won the meet with 80 points.

“We did probably a little better than we thought we [would do] in terms of points,” said Sullivan.

Headlining the day for Shoreham-Wading River were third-place finishes by senior Laura Lee in the 600 meters (1 minute 43.23 seconds), freshman Kaitlyn Ohrtman in the 3,000 (10:56.17) and the 4×200-meter relay. The relay team of senior Amanda Welischer, Lee, freshman Megan Kelly and senior Ashlyn Courtney Vicari clocked a time of 1:56.19, which is 2/10ths of a second off its season-best time.

Shoreham-Wading River senior Meghan Serdock turned in a personal-best throw of 30 feet 7 1/4 inches to grab fourth place in the shot put.

“Megan getting fourth in the shot was a big positive for us because we didn’t expect to get any points there,” said Sullivan.

Another fourth-place finisher was Welischer, whose 9.29 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles sliced 2/100ths off her previous season-best time.

Shoreham-Wading River was missing its best sprinter, junior Krista Braaten, who injured her ankle while performing in gymnastics and missed the league and county meets.

“She probably would have scored in the 55 and I’m sure she would scored in the long jump,” said Sullivan, who was uncertain about the extent of Braaten’s injury.

Although the winter track season has ended for most of the athletes, the top ones still have more competition ahead of them, with the Section XI Championships, a state qualifying meet, on Sunday. Sullivan said he expects Shoreham-Wading River to be represented in that meet by Lee in the 600, Ohrtman in the 3,000 or the 1,500, Serdock in the shot put, and Welischer in the 55-meter hurdles.

All in all, Shoreham-Wading River didn’t turn in a bad showing at the small school meet.

“In the events where we really do well, Miller Place was really strong,” said Sullivan, referring to running distances of 600 meters and longer. “The kids competed well. If we didn’t have a few injuries, I think we would have been stronger in some events, but that’s how it goes.”

Bishop McGann-Mercy ranked 20th in the team scoring with 3 points, a point apiece coming from three sixth-place finishers. Danisha Carter, a junior, ran the 300 meters in 47.83 seconds; junior Delina Auciello completed the 600 meters in 1:44.11; and freshman Margaret Tuthill turned in a time of 3:10.12 in the 1,000.

DILLINGHAM FIFTH IN 600 Riverhead sophomore Maria Dillingham finished fifth in the 600-meter final in the Section XI Large School Championships on Friday at Suffolk County Community College West. Dillingham’s performance brought the 21st-place Blue Waves their only 2 points in the meet. Riverhead’s 4×800-meter relay team of freshman Megan Carrick, junior Rachel Conti, Dillingham and freshman Megan Van Bommel finished one place out of the scoring, taking seventh in 10:32.73. Bay Shore won the team title with 101 1/2 points.


11/29/11 4:22pm
11/29/2011 4:22 PM

At practice Tuesday, Shoreham-Wading River coach Paul Koretzki planned to put his girls through an annual test. He’d line up cones along the track, then have the girls begin at the starting point for the 300.

ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Shannon McDonnell is a standout in the jumps and middle distance events.

“They run and we see how many cones they can get in 40 seconds,” Koretzki said. “If they get the last one, they’re Shannon and Laura.”

That would be Shannon McDonnell and Laura Lee, two of the top returning runners for the Wildcats. McDonnell, who will run track at Yale next year, had a tremendous winter season last year as a junior. She won the league title in the long jump and was second in the 600 and third in the 300. Her best run in the 600 came at the state qualifier, when she ran 1 minute 37.65 seconds to win the event and advance to the state championship.

Koretzki said McDonnell will start off running the 1,000 and 300 before focusing back to the 600 later in the season.

Lee, a junior, also ran the 600 at the state qualifier, finishing in seventh place. She can also run the 1,000 and 300. She finished second in the 1,000 at the league championship last year.

The Wildcats were second as a team at the league championship last year, finishing 15 points behind Bayport-Blue Point.

The distance runners will be a strength for the Wildcats. Eighth-grader Kaitlyn Ohrtman, an all-county cross country runner, will run distance events along with senior Audrey Kelly.

Junior Kylie Trettner, an all-league race walker, returns for the Wildcats. She trained last year with Danielle Opatovsky, who was an all-American for Shoreham in the race walk.

In the field events the Wildcats return sophomore Madison Hubner in the shot put.

The Riverhead Blue Waves are led by first-year head coach Justin Cobis, who has been with the program for three years.

“It’s nice because we have a lot of kids coming back from the spring and from last winter who did some good things that we can build on,” he said. “And we actually have a lot of new blood in the program. We have some young kids that are starting to get some experience.”

Some of the top returners for Riverhead include seniors Fatima Brown and Rachel Harrison-Smith. Brown is a jumper/sprinter who finished fourth last year in the long jump at the league championship. Harrison-Smith was a ninth-place finisher in the 1,500 at the league championship.

Sophomore Kyra Braunskill, who had a strong season last spring as a freshman, should be one of the top triple jumpers in the county. She jumped 35 feet 10 inches at last year’s division championship in the spring.

Sophomore Rachel Conti will run middle distance events for Riverhead. She had a strong season last year, placing fourth in the 1,000 at the league championship. In the shot put the Blue Waves return Madison Blom. She was sixth in the shot at the league championship last year as a freshman.

The biggest name from last year, Juliana Marcucci, who narrowly missed qualifying for the state meet in the 1,500, did not return to Riverhead. Cobis said Marcucci, a senior, transferred out of the district.

“She’ll definitely be missed, but we have such a great, deep group this year that they’ll do fine,” Cobis said. “We wish her luck.”

The McGann-Mercy Monarchs have big shoes to fill after Olivia Schumann graduated. Schumann was the small-school county champion in the 300 and also ran on the school’s 4 x 200 relay team that won first place at the county championship. Two other members of that relay team also graduated.

The Monarchs also had a strong 4 x 400 relay team last year that finished fourth at the state qualifier, competing against every team in the county.

The Monarchs return seniors Sasa Vann in the sprints as well as Tori Tremble, who also ran on the 4 x 200 relay last year.

In the middle distances, the Monarchs feature sophomore Delina Auciello and eighth-grader Meg Tuthill.

Two seniors for Mercy are Lauren Valle, who will run the 1,500, 3,000 and race walk, and Emily Venesina, who will run the 1,000 and 1,500.
In the field events the Monarchs feature seniors Shannon Nunez, Catherine Andes and Bianca Compas in the shot put.

“I’d say last year we really focused on the relay,” said Mercy coach Gregg Cantwell. “I think this year we’re going to do more individual stuff because we don’t have quite as deep of a team. If a relay happens to pop up in the middle of the season, I’ll focus on the really a little more.”

Cantwell said the goal is for as many girls to make the county championship and state qualifier meets as possible.

The team opens the season with its first crossover meet Saturday at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood.


03/05/11 9:40pm
03/05/2011 9:40 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Olivia Schumann earned a gold medal in the state meet by running a leg for Section XI's winning intersectional relay team.

The powers that be at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association winter track championships did not have great expectations for Olivia Schumannn and her Suffolk County girls medley relay teammates on Saturday. After all, they seeded the quartet sixth.

Schumannn and her teammates stunned many observers as Suffolk won the event at Barton Hall on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca.

“I was really surprised,” the Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School senior said. “I thought we were going to just get a medal. I didn’t think we were going to win.”

The Suffolk quartet was timed in 10 minutes 28.63 seconds.

As it turned out, Schumannn, who ran the 200-meter leg, brought home not one, but two gold medals. One was awarded by New York State, which included the Catholic High School Athletic Association team that finished second in the competition. The other was from NYSPHSAA, an organization that does not have parochial or New York City schools as members.

Schumann said finishing first “was a big deal because it was my senior season and I wanted to go to states.”

It was not known whether Schumannn was the first McGann-Mercy athlete to win an individual state title, but it certainly made Gregg Cantwell one “really proud” coach.

“It really hit me [Saturday] night,” he said. “I told her [Schumannn] that the rest of your life you’re going to be a state champion. It’s pretty cool.”

If there was one problem entering the race, it might have been the handoffs because the runners had not met each other until Friday.

“We went to the track the night before and we practiced handoffs,” Schumann said. “It wasn’t a problem.”

Cantwell called the handoffs “real smooth.”

When Catherine Sandkuhl of North Babylon completed the 600 meters in the opening leg, she passed the baton to Schumann, and Suffolk was in the first place. When Schumann handed off to Christine Hagen of Kings Park for the 1,000 phase of the race, Section XI still was in the lead.

Schumann was clocked in 26.6 in the 200 leg, tying her personal best.

“I was confident because I had run the time before,” she said. “I felt good going into the race.”

“On a flat track, that’s pretty good,” Cantwell said. “She ran really well.”

By the time Melanie Notarstefano of Sachem East took the anchor leg in the 1,600 portion, Suffolk had fallen to second place, barely behind the leader. She made up the lost ground as team beat out the CHSAA team.

“Our anchor stayed right behind her for four laps,” Cantwell said. “Another girl almost caught her, but she held on really well for the win.”

When Notarstefano crossed the finish line, Schumannn was yelling and screaming. “The other girls were very excited,” she added.

There will be little time to rest. This weekend, Schumann and McGann-Mercy teammates will run in the 4×400 relay in the Emerging Elite section at the nationals in the Armory in the Bronx Friday through Sunday.

“I think we’ll do very well,” she said. “Everyone there will be very fast. They make us push harder.”