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…)

03/01/14 6:54pm
03/01/2014 6:54 PM
Riverhead junior Jacob Robinson picked up a medal as a member of Section XI’s third-place distance-medley relay team. (Credit: Bill Hedges)

Riverhead junior Jacob Robinson picked up a medal as a member of Section XI’s third-place distance-medley relay team. (Credit: Bill Hedges)

NYSPHSAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

If ever there was a mystery event in high school boys winter track, it is the distance-medley relay.

In the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships, each section sends out a team usually consisting of runners from four different schools who have never run in a meet together. Each runner runs a different distance than his teammates.

The event is not usually run during the rest of the season, and with no previous results to refer to, which team will win is anybody’s guess. Even the runners themselves aren’t sure whether they are headed for a first-place finish — or dead last. (more…)

02/01/14 7:42pm
02/01/2014 7:42 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia was first in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600 Saturday at the Small School County Championship.

Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia won the 3,200-meter race for the second straight year Saturday at the Small School County Championship. (more…)

05/23/13 11:35pm
05/23/2013 11:35 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Jordan Wright crosses the finish line first in the 200-meter dash Thursday at the Division III Championship.

DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP

Shoreham-Wading River junior Jordan Wright sprinted to a pair of victories Thursday at the Division III Championship and nearly led a relay team to another win.

Wright won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes at Connetquot High School as the Wildcats finished second in team scoring behind Bayport-Blue Point.

Wright ran 10.99 seconds in the 100. He easily secured the victory in the 200 by running 22.10. Jared Gray of Bayport finished behind Wright in 22.64 for second.

The Wildcats tallied 95.33 points for second place behind the Phantoms, who ran away with the championship with 172.

The Wildcats finished second in the 4 x 100 relay by the slimmest of margins. Wyandanch crossed the finish line a tenth of a second ahead of the Wildcats.

Wright ran the opening leg of the relay, before handing off to Max Maritato. Bryce Casey ran the third leg before handing the baton to Isreal Squires for the final 100 meters.

The Wildcats finished in 44.33 while Wyandanch crossed in 44.32.

Squires ran the last leg on an injured ankle he suffered just before the meet on Tuesday, the first day of competition. The injury prevented Squires from competing in the triple and high jump. He long jumped 22 feet for third.

Junior Ryan Udvadia won the 1,600 in 4:25.79. He outckicked Port Jefferson sophomore James Burke down the final 100 meters for the victory.

Shoreham’s 4 x 800 relay team of Udvadia, Keith Steinbrecher, Jack Kelly and Matt Gladysz took first in 8:27.3.

Steinbrecher was third in the 3,000 steeplechase in 10:28.24.

joew@timesreview.com

03/05/13 8:00pm
03/05/2013 8:00 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia finished 10th in the 3,200 at the state meet Saturday.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia finished 10th in the 3,200 at the state meet Saturday.

Everything had built this season toward an all-state finish at the New York State Championships for Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia. He had qualified in two events, the 3,200 and 1,600, at the state qualifier Feb. 13. Then at the Long Island Elite Invitational Feb. 22, he ran a superb time of 4 minutes 17.26 seconds in the 1,600 as a final tune-up for the championship.

But in the week leading up to the big meet at Cornell University in Ithaca, Udvadia came down with a head cold, wiping away crucial practice time.

“The day of the race he felt all right,” said Shoreham coach Brian Wrinkle.

But the missed time slowed Udvadia enough to keep him off the podium. He still ran a respectable time of 9:31.34 in the 3,200 for 10th place in the federation Saturday. With an hour to recover, he ran 4:37.2 in the 1,600 to finish 30th overall.

“He wasn’t feeling good after the two-mile,” Wrinkle said. “He persevered and did his best.”

There was never any thought to scaling back to one event, Wrinkle said. Backing out of an event at the last minute would have denied the fourth-place finisher from the qualifier an opportunity to compete as a replacement. Udvadia was the first Wildcat to qualify for states in two events since Bobby Andrews in 2009.

The Wildcats got such a break with junior Jordan Wright, a fourth-place finisher in the 55-meter dash at the qualifier. Wright learned a little over a week before the state meet that he would get a chance to run. William Floyd senior Diamonte Corley finished second at the state qualifier in the 55. He also won the 300 and was a member of the winning 4 x 200 relay team. So he opted to skip the 55 at the state meet.

Wrinkle said they were hopeful Wright could get a spot at states so they never stopped training.

“I took the paper work from the meet that day because I really thought it would happen,” he said. “We stayed fresh and prepared and ran right through.”

Wright had an impressive showing, finishing third in his first heat in 6.65. In the semifinals he ran 6.68 to finish 14th. The top eight advanced to the finals. Sayville senior Chris Belcher was the state champ in 6.35, just shy of the state record of 6.31.

Udvadia will get one more chance to run the 1,600 this weekend at the New Balance Indoor Nationals at The Armory in New York. Udvadia will compete in the emerging elite division, which is second to the championship race.

“He wants to get some speed in and end the season on a high note,” Wrinkle said.

joew@timesreview.com

02/23/13 12:00am
02/23/2013 12:00 AM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior Dan Normoyle, one of three Blue Waves to pole vault 14 feet in the same meet, took first place in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior Dan Normoyle, one of three Blue Waves to pole vault 14 feet in the same meet, took first place in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational

LONG ISLAND ELITE TRACK INVITATIONAL

After all the drama and all the excitement subsided, it was time for photographs. Photos for posterity.

Five smiling pole vaulters posed for photos in front of the pole vault mat, each athlete holding up one finger from one hand and four fingers from the other to represent the number 14. That is 14, as in 14 feet, the height each of them cleared.

Most high schools don’t have one pole vaulter who can clear 14 feet. Riverhead had three of them reach that height on Friday night.

Dan Normoyle, Charles Villa and Jonah Spaeth all reached 14-0 — along with two other pole vaulters — in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational at St. Anthony’s High School. Riverhead’s pole vaulting coach, John “Doc” Andresen, said it is the first time in the school’s history that three Blue Waves cleared 14 feet in the same meet.

“It’s never been done on Long Island, I don’t believe, certainly not in Riverhead,” he said.

Because the three Riverheaders handled 14-0 along with Smithtown West’s Karl Nilsen and Syosset’s Michael Wilkens, a tiebreaking procedure was used to determine the places. Normoyle finished first, Villa was second and Spaeth finished in a tie for third with Nilsen, leaving Wilkens fifth.

“I thought it was unbelievable,” Normoyle, a junior, said. “Five guys over 14 is just crazy. … It’s great to be part of the legacy of our school, to make a name for ourselves.”

For Villa, a sophomore, the height was a personal record. Villa said that as the bar was raised higher, he started getting nervous and began doubting himself a little bit.

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia moved up from the middle of the pack and finished second in the 1,600 meters in a personal-best time of 4 minutes 17.26 seconds.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia (6) moved up from the middle of the pack and finished second in the 1,600 meters in a personal-best time of 4 minutes 17.26 seconds.

In the end, there was no need for doubt or nerves.

“It was great, all of us just getting 14,” Villa said. “It was just amazing.”

Villa’s first vault was at 12-6, with Normoyle and Spaeth entering the competition with the bar at 13-0.

One of the challenges of pole vaulting is dealing with the fatigue factor as the height rises.

“I was getting a little light-headed near the end,” said Spaeth, a senior who set the Riverhead indoor record of 14-6 earlier this season.

Pole vaulting can be a fickle event, as Andresen knows only too well. “Any time something goes wrong, we have the expression, that’s pole vaulting,” he said. “You know, it’s like a horse race, anything can happen.”

Spaeth will compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships along with Normoyle on March 2 at Cornell University.

“We’re coming to the point of the season where [personal records] start to weigh in,” Spaeth said. “This is when it’s supposed to happen, now.”

The Long Island Elite Track Invitational, which brings in many of the top athletes in Nassau and Suffolk counties, is seen as good preparation for the state meet. It surely was a good run for Shoreham-Wading River’s Ryan Udvadia and Jordan Wright.

Udvadia achieved several things with his race in the 1,600 meters. The junior posted a personal-best time of 4 minutes 17.26 seconds that was good enough for second place. The time should also place him in the seeded race at the state meet. Plus, the performance was a timely confidence boost.

“When you have good competition, it’s good,” Udvadia said. “Everybody says low competition, it’s easy to win, but I’d rather get second and do a great time.”

The one person Udvadia didn’t outrun was Northport senior James Dickinson, who won in 4:16.60.

“Coming into this meet, I didn’t see him as a threat, but he really came through,” Udvadia said. “He really did a great job, and he really pushed me to what I needed to do.”

Wright, competing in the 55-meter dash, also clocked a personal record, 6.65 seconds, to win his preliminary heat. The junior then posted a 6.67 in the final, good enough for third place.

Wright said the moments near the starting line before the gun goes off may test the nerves of some runners, but are important, nonetheless.

“It helps you a little bit, though, the adrenaline,” he said.

Two Riverhead juniors turned in sixth-place finishes: Davion Porter (5-10 in the high jump) and Marcus Moore (42-3 1/2 in the triple jump).

Porter said the quality competition helped him, too. “It gets you motivated and [helps you to] try to strive for higher heights,” he said.

Another Riverheader, senior Anthony Galvan, was 11th in the 1,000 in 2:43.51, slicing a second off his personal record. “That’s really something right there,” he said.

Riverhead sophomore Jacob Robinson finished first in the frosh/soph 300 in 37.73 seconds.

As the meet was winding down, and after Riverhead’s pole vaulters had finished their night’s work, the mild-mannered Andresen may have been among the most satisfied people in St. Anthony’s beautiful fieldhouse.

“He just had a smile on his face,” Normoyle said. “He doesn’t say much, but he was excited.”

bliepa@timesreview.com