05/11/11 11:12pm
05/11/2011 11:12 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Olivia Schumann won three individual events, helping Bishop McGann-Mercy capture its third straight league championship.

Three consecutive years as the Suffolk County League VIII girls track and field champions.

Make that three successive years as unbeaten champions.

Yet, it never gets old for the Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs.

“You can’t ever say that it gets tired because every season you get new kids in,” Coach Tricia Nunez said. “It’s a great accomplishment for any coach to be able to get a team to that point. It’s all them. All we do at this point is cheer. We’ve given them the workouts. We’ve given them the training. And when they come to the meets, we’re here to cheer them on and support them.”

Nunez and her assistant coach, Gregg Cantwell, had plenty of reasons to cheer and be cheerful as the Monarchs (6-0, 6-0) clinched the title in their last dual meet of the season, a 95-54 win over previously unbeaten and host Port Jefferson Royals (5-1, 5-1) last Wednesday.

“Its really exciting,” said senior Olivia Schumann, who won three individual events and was part of a winning relay team. “We work so hard. We train in the rain and snow. It’s so exciting especially [since] it’s my senior year because we just really wanted this.”

Another senior, Kayleigh Macchirole, who captured three events and finished second in another, admitted she entered the meet with some trepidation because she knew how good the Royals were.

“Well, for the team, I was really nervous because I know Port Jefferson is the team to beat,” she said “They are our biggest competition in the league. We all kind of brought our ‘A’ game today.”

Many of the Monarchs did on a sunny and warm afternoon, although Schumann and Macchirole were not at full strength.

Macchirole fought a cold and slept on the team bus on the way to the field. “I was a little tired,” she said.

But not tired enough to slow her down en route to wins in the 200-meter run (26.6 seconds), shot put (29 feet 11 1/2 inches) and discus (86-2), Macchirole took second to teammate Sasa Vann in the 400, who won in 59.4.

“I’m satisfied,” said Macchirole, who noted that she achieved three personal records. “I cut off a lot of time in my 200. I was close to the my goal in the shot put and I threw a lot over my PR in discus.”

Schumann said she had “really bad shin splints.” Yet, she emerged victorious in the 100 (13.0), 400-meter intermediate hurdles (1:09.9), the high jump (4-10) and anchored the winning 4×100 relay team (53.1).

“I kind of coasted,” she said. “They told me not to kill myself. I’m running this weekend, so they wanted me to try to take it easy if I could.”

It’s not an easy balancing act when you’re trying not to overdo it while striving to win.

“A lot of it is knowing what the other team has,” Schumann said. “If you don’t, then you kind of suck it up and run. I don’t feel the pain when I’m running. I just feel it after the fact. I’ll worry about that when the race is over.”

Nunez said that having talented competitors and role models such as Schumann and Macchirole has been an absolute joy.

“They’re [the] kind of athletes that a coach dreams of having,” she said. “And having two of them on one team, you feel like you’ve hit the Lotto. On top of their extremely talented abilities on the track, they’re super people that work for the team.”

Other Monarchs who won included Meg Tuthill in the 800, Isabella Franz in the 1,500 and Lindsay Gelling in the 1,500 racewalk. McGann also finished first in the 4×400 relay (4:32) and 4×800 relay (11:10.2).

But the biggest surprises came in the 400 intermediate hurdles and the 800. Tori Cataldo, running the 400 intermediate hurdles for the first time, finished second in 1:13.8.

Fiona Nunez took 20 seconds off her time in the 800 for a personal record.

“You usually don’t see something like that,” the coach said. “She ran the 800 at the beginning of the season and really struggled with it.”

04/26/11 2:27pm
04/26/2011 2:27 PM

Brian Costello of Mount Sinai “did not see race or status. Had no hate, no jealousy and no anger,” said his brother, Robert Costello.

And he had always wanted to drive a car. In fact, he seemed to have loved everything about cars.

“Can I have the car alarm?” he would ask incessantly, Robert Costello recalled during a funeral eulogy for his brother Tuesday. “Can I have some keys? Robbie, do you have the black car?”

“Yes, Brian,” Robert Costello continued from the altar, choking back tears. “Here are the keys. Here’s the car alarm. Here’s the car.

“Drive home. Be free.”

A tear-soaked gathering of about 70 mourners then slowly broke into cathartic applause inside Infant Jesus R.C. Church on Myrtle Avenue in Port Jefferson.
Brian Costello’s remains were later cremated in a private ceremony.

The 36-year-old man had been riding last Wednesday in a bus operated by Maryhaven Center of Hope, which runs several Long Island facilities for the disabled, when almost the entire length of the vehicle’s driver’s side was crushed by a toppling tractor trailer whose driver had lost control on a hilly curve on Sound Avenue.

Brian Costello, who was a Maryhaven care recipient, died a short time later at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, police said. Eight others, including both drivers, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at area hospitals and later released, officials said.

Robert Converse, 54, of Bellport was traveling east about a quarter-mile west of Edwards Avenue in Baiting Hollow about 3:15 p.m. when his truck, loaded with gravel, flipped on its side and collided with the bus, scattering gravel across the roadway and into nearby trees.

Mr, Converse was then pulled from the truck’s cab by a Good Samaritan, witnesses told the News-Review. The truck driver appeared to have suffered facial injuries and was bleeding from an ear, they said.

“We saw smoke. The driver of the Jeep was pulling the truck driver out,” said 16-year-old Jaime Rockowitz of Wading River, passenger in a car that had come upon the scene. The driver “was a little out of it. He was staring up in space.”

Although no charges or violations were immediately issued to Mr. Converse, who was driving for Gap Leasing Corp. of East Moriches, police are still searching for clues to what may have caused the crash. Riverhead police expect to present their findings to the Suffolk County District Attorney for review, officials said.

“We’re looking into everything,” Riverhead Detective Sgt. Joseph Loggia said when asked whether the investigation is focusing on the driver or on mechanical failure.

“[Mr. Converse] gave a statement to his actions, as far as what happened, but nothing I would say is incriminating,” Sgt. Loggia said, adding that the investigation will “take time,” in part because of the numerous agencies involved.

Police have ordered a toxicology report to see if the driver had any drugs or alcohol in his system, Sgt. Loggia said.

The post-crash inspection of the truck did not show any mechanical violations, he said.

The Suffolk Police Crime Scene Unit, the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are assisting in the investigation.

According to the Motor Carrier Safety Administration website, Gap Leasing Corp. did have another truck involved in a crash with injuries within the last two years. A manager at Gap Leasing did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

At the time of the crash, the Maryhaven bus, driven by Gary Rosset, 61, of Ridge, was headed west toward the organization’s Port Jefferson headquarters. It was being. Mr. Rosset was not expected to be charged, police said.

“Our hearts go out to the [Costello] family,” said Lou Grossman, a Maryhaven administrator.

Witnesses to the crash said the tractor-trailer had flipped onto its side and that the impact blew out all the windows in the truck’s cab. They also saw EMT workers run down the hill to attend to bus passengers.

“I saw them run over there with a respirator or something,” said witness Greg Scherer, 22, of Shoreham, who was headed west on Sound Avenue in a white Nissan when he came upon the crash. “They were doing CPR on someone on the bus.”

Sound Avenue west of Edwards Avenue remained closed for much of the evening as detectives investigated the cause of the crash.

Riverhead firefighters were called to the scene to wash the area of fuel, which was spilling from one of the vehicles.

Brian Costello is survived by his father, Robert, his mother, Carol, and a brother, Robert.

“The family is at the moment, as you can understand, upset…[but] thanks everybody for their thoughts and prayers,” said the family’s attorney, Brian Odwyre, the morning after the crash.

At the funeral, Robert Costello also said that his brother not only loved his family, but had many friends. “Brian touched the lives of everybody he met,” he said. “If you showed him kindness, he was your friend.”


Staff writers Samantha Brix and Vera Chinese contributed reporting to this article.

01/10/11 9:50pm
01/10/2011 9:50 PM

GEORGE FAELLA PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy forward Amy Boden led the Monarchs with 16 points.

PORT JEFFERSON — The Bishop McGann-Mercy High School girls basketball team recorded a relatively easy victory over Port Jefferson on Monday, yet the Monarchs still suffered a loss.

Point guard Brieanne Bieber was forced to watch most of the Suffolk County League VIII game on the sidelines after suffering a sprained left ankle in the first quarter of the 47-22 win.

She probably will be out for 10 days, according to Coach Jacki Paton. Bieber could miss Thursday’s home game against Shelter Island and the Jan. 18 game at The Ross School.

“It definitely affects us,” Paton said. “When we played our first league game she literally got 10 tie-ups. Defensively, that’s going to hurt us. She’s the one who’s double-teaming off the ball. She just reads things well.

“She does a lot of little things where she doesn’t get a lot of stats, but she’s the gnat on the court. She just pressures people. She puts them into tough situations and then she knows how to work with her teammates to create defensive situations that are going to help us offensively.”

Bieber was injured with 1 minute 13 seconds remaining in the first quarter while defending against Port Jeff (0-3, 0-1). “I picked up on their run play,” she said. “I was going to cut off the pass. As I was cutting down the lane my ankle just rolled on me.”

She was replaced by Emily Yakaboski, watching the game with her left leg propped up on a chair. “It’s really frustrating,” she said. “I’m just going to rest it and ice it for a bit and hope for the best.”

The Monarchs (3-4, 2-1) could not have asked for anything more on Monday. Bieber scored the first basket as the Monarchs grabbed a 13-0 first-quarter advantage. They dominated just about every part of the game, whether it was shooting, rebounding or forcing turnovers.

McGann-Mercy defeated Port Jeff, 38-21, in a non-league game on Dec. 7. Asked if she saw anything different this time, Royals Coach Debbie Edgar-Brown replied with a laugh, “Every shot they threw up today went in.”

Still, Paton wasn’t totally satisfied.

“I would have liked them to come out a little more aggressive,” she said. “But they moved the ball nice. We were trying to work on certain things, looking for certain things out of our offense. We found some other options that we haven’t been using. Defensively, the second half, they picked up the intensity a lot.”

Forward Amy Boden, who led the Monarchs with 16 points, agreed. “It was a Monday that got us,” she said. “We weren’t on our game, but we picked it up in the second half.”

Boden connected for eight points in each of the first and third quarters, seemingly scoring whenever she wanted to.

Paton said Boden has improved her game with better decision-making.

“She’s definitely our go-to-girl,” she said. “But the greatest thing about her right now is that she’s learned to play to play very mature. If she does get double-teamed she can find the weak side pass to get somebody in a great scoring position. She can take somebody one-on-one. She has been facing up very well. She has been finishing strong.

GEORGE FAELLA PHOTO | Ashley Yakaboski came off the Bishop McGann-Mercy bench to supply five points and five rebounds.

“It’s just about getting her the ball. She has learned that if she is doubled, she can trust her teammates.”

Port Jeff committed 39 turnovers, some forced, some unforced. McGann-Mercy made 24 turnovers.

“They were anticipating our passes,” Edgar-Brown said. “They’re very aggressive.”

The huge first-period lead allowed Paton to rest her starting five in the second quarter, giving her substitutes some quality time early on.

Forward Teresa Gomes, (team-high six points) scored Port Jeff’s first points 1:14 into the second quarter. The Royals cut the margin to 15-8 before McGann-Mercy went on a 12-4 roll to take a 27-12 halftime lead.

The subs tallied 21 points as nine players made the scoresheet. Dani Gehring and Ashley Yakaboski (team-high five rebounds) finished with five points apiece.

“We wanted everybody to get some playing time to see what they could do,” Paton said. “They all have been working hard. They’ve all been committed. It’s 13 kids, so its hard to get them all in. It gave them a great opportunity to play and get more experience.”