02/06/14 4:11pm
02/06/2014 4:11 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.

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.

There won’t be much of an offseason for Ryan Udvadia when he arrives at college next fall.

The standout distance runner from Shoreham-Wading River signed a National Letter of Intent this week to attend High Point University in North Carolina. He plans to compete in cross country, indoor and outdoor track — the running trifecta.

“I’m pretty sure I can handle it,” Udvadia said after a signing ceremony in the school library Thursday. “I just got to keep up my school work. I’m looking forward to it.”

Udvadia is the latest in a long line of talented distance runners to come through the Shoreham program. He’s excelled in all three seasons, most recently winning the 3,200-meter race Saturday at the Small School County Championship. He’ll compete this weekend at the Section XI State Qualifier, where he’ll look to earn a trip to states for the second straight year in both the 3,200 and 1,600.

Udvadia said the college search turned out to be easier than he expected.

“Luckily I found this school and started talking to them in early July,” he said. “It all worked out really well.”

DePaul University was another school he had been looking at before deciding on High Point. The process of searching for a school picked up intensity toward the end of last school year, Udvadia said. He fielded emails and filled out questionnaires before the recruitment from coaches picked up in July.

“They would send me messages on Facebook with their email,” he said.

A nearby Long Islander currently competes for High Point. Adam DeVito of Miller Place competes in jumping events for the High Point track team.

The cross country portion of the college season will represent a new challenge for Udvadia. Most races are 8K, as opposed to 5K in high school.

“It’s going to be harder training,” he said. “I’ll be prepared for it.”

joew@timesreview.com

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…)

01/11/14 3:23pm
01/11/2014 3:23 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Riverhead’s Charles Villa cleared 15-01 in the pole vault at The Armory Saturday to finish in first place.

For the second weekend in a row, Riverhead’s Charles Villa topped 15 feet in the pole vault as he chases the indoor school record. Villa cleared 15-01 to take first place Saturday at the Molloy Stanner Games at the Armory in New York.

Villa was two inches shy of the mark he cleared last week at the Hispanic Games, also at the Armory.

Villa was the only competitor to top the 15-foot mark. Joseph Crispi of Msgr. Farrel was second at 14-07. Riverhead’s indoor school record was set last year by Dan Normoyle at 15-03 1/2.

Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia finished fourth in the 3,200-meter race at the Stanner Games Saturday morning.

Udvadia ran 9 minutes, 23.75 seconds, finishing behind three runners from Northport, who swept the top three spots. Tim McGowan (9:17.96) and Mike Brannigan (9:17.99) crossed at nearly identical times.

Riverhead’s Marcus Moore was sixth in the triple jump at 42 feet 11 1/2 inches.

In other results, Jack Kelly finished 20th for Shoreham in the 1,000 (2:43.22) and Matt Gladysz was 22nd (2:43.46).

On the girls side, Riverhead’s Madison Blom continued her strong start to the season by finishing eighth in the shot put with a top mark of 33-09.

12/26/13 7:00am
12/26/2013 7:00 AM
GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia, shown here earlier this season, ran the fastest 3,200 time in the state Friday.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia, shown here earlier this season, ran the fastest 3,200 time in the state Friday.

Whether it was indoor track, outdoor track or cross country, Shoreham-Wading River runner Ryan Udvadia tallied win after win in 2013.

Going back to winter track at the start of the year, Udvadia dominated at the league championship, winning the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. He went on to win the 3,200 at the small-school county championship and earned a trip to states in two events.

He continued to excel through the spring outdoor season, when he once again qualified for the state meet in both events. He was the top 3,200 runner in the county. Most recently during the cross country season, he was the top runner in Class B and, at the state championship, finished second in Class B.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 sports stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

11/09/13 6:37pm
11/09/2013 6:37 PM

NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia ran a season-best 15 minutes, 19.3 seconds to finish second in the Class B New York State Championship race Saturday morning at Queensbury High School.

Udvadia helped lead the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish as a team. Udvadia, who was first among the team scorers, finished three seconds behind T.J. Hornberger of Lake Shore.

Shoreham’s top five all runners all posted sub-17 times. Junior Matt Gladysz finished second for Shoreham and 17th in team scoring in 16:21.4, followed by seniors Connor McAlary (16:30.7), Keith Steinbrecher (16:42.9) and Jack Kelly (16:45.8).

Shoreham eighth-grader Katherine Lee finished 13th overall in the girls Class B race in 18:32.7. Her teammate, sophomore Kaitlyn Ohrtman, was 29th overall in 18:53.7. They were the only girls for Shoreham to qualify for the state meet.

View the complete results here.

10/23/13 12:00pm
10/23/2013 12:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats were the Division III champions and second overall in the county at Tuesday’s division race. Coach Bob Szymanski joined players (from left) Ryan Udvadia, Jack Kelly, Connor McAlary, Matt Gladysz, Keith Steinbrecher, Ryan Groskopf and Michael Godfrey afterward.

SECTION XI DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS

Runners often refer to the final stretch of a race as “the kick.” In Suffolk County, few — if any — runners have a better “kick” than Shoreham-Wading River’s Ryan Udvadia.

Whether in a cross country race or track & field, Udvadia is known for his ability to close out races with perfect efficiency. As Tuesday afternoon’s Section XI Division Championship race unfolded at Sunken Meadow State Park in what was going to be the toughest race for Udvadia so far this season, he knew it would come down the “kick.”

The race, which featured the top runners from across the county, ultimately came down to Udvadia and Northport’s Mike Branigan.

Udvadia was aiming to keep his perfect record intact this season, but on this day, Branigan’s “kick” outdid Udvadia, who settled for second place in 16 minutes 16.65 seconds. Branigan finished four seconds ahead of him at 16:12.61.

“Today I had a kick, but it wasn’t as strong as it normally would be,” Udvadia said. “Branigan just had a stronger kick.”

It wasn’t all bad for Udvadia, who still finished first among Division III runners. And the Wildcats won the Division III team title, edging out East Hampton, 41-94.

The championship race features the top two teams from each league plus four at-large teams. From that race, an overall winner is determined, as well as winners for four divisions, which are based on school enrollments. The Wildcats finished second overall behind Northport to top their third place finish from a year ago.

Udvadia said he tried to take the lead from Branigan going up the infamous cardiac hill.

“I wasn’t getting as big of a lead, so I decided to just hold back and let it come down to a kick,” he said.

Udvadia’s time was his fastest at Sunken Meadow this year, but well off his previous bests. That’s due in large part to the different configuration of the 3.1-mile course, which some coaches believed was slightly longer, extending some times by as much as 40 seconds.

Last fall’s hurricane wreaked havoc on much of the course, which had to be altered this season until a new bridge could be completed in one spot. Coaches were hopeful that the old course could be ready for the state qualifier race Nov. 1.

It was the second straight year the division race came down to Udvadia and Branigan. Last year Branigan edged Udvadia by less than a second as both runners clocked in under 16 minutes.

“It is disappointing when you lose your first meet,” Udvadia said. “But I just got to look forward to next week.”

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Travis Wooten ran the top time for the Blue Waves.

Connor McAlray (17:26.67), Matt Gladysz (17:30.55) Keith Steinbrecher (17:46.54) and Jack Kelly (17:56.45) rounded out the top five for Shoreham, which clinched its 11th straight league title last week in a dual meet win.

“These guys never do bad,” Udvadia said. “They always have a good day.”

The Wildcats finished first as a team in the Varsity 1 race at the Brown Invitational Saturday in Rhode Island behind Udvadia’s first-place time of 15:34.6. That was his best time this year. Steinbrecher, Gladysz and McAlary finished ninth-11th.

The Riverhead boys, fresh off their first league title in 15 years, ran in the championship race Tuesday and finished fifth as a team in Division II.

“I think we kind of gave everything we had to get that title,” said Riverhead coach Patrick Burke.

Senior Travis Wooten, who posted Riverhead’s top time Tuesday in 18:37.44, said it was a challenge as a team to rise up to another level in this race after achieving the goal they so adamantly sought.

“It’s a mental thing,” he said. “We had a goal in mind to be league champions. We achieved that goal and now we also have to say we want to do more than that. It’s hard to do that when we told ourselves all season, ‘let’s win dual meets, let’s win the league.’ ”

The next finishers behind Wooten for Riverhead were: Nick Cunha (18:46.84), Joseph Gattusso (19:22.89) Luke Coulter (19:35.62) and Eric Cunha (19:42.41).

The Blue Waves began the race lined up all the way toward the left of the starting line, which added another challenge. The  Riverhead runners needed to run at an angle first to cut down toward the main course. The teams are lined up based on seedings.

“We knew we had to go out a little quick,” Wooten said. “The problem is if you got out fast for too long than you’re stuck with that lactic acid buildup for the rest of the race and it makes the race miserable.”

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River eighth grader Katherine Lee was seventh overall in the championship race Tuesday.

In the girls’ championship race, Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katherine Lee finished seventh overall in 20:21.48. She helped lead the short-handed Wildcats to a fifth-place finish in Division III.

The Wildcats were without three regular runners due to sickness and injury. Shoreham coach Paul Koretzki said he didn’t want to push the kids in this race in hopes of having them fresh for the state qualifier.

Lee finished first at the Brown Invitational Saturday in the Varsity 1 race in 18:37.2.

“She’s very good,” Koretzki said.

Alexandra Hays finished second for Shoreham in 21:15.47.

The Riverhead girls ran in the team qualifier race Tuesday. Freshman Gabriella Marcucci posted the top time for the Blue Waves in 23:00.03.

“She’s come from like our fifth strongest runner to now probably our strongest runner for the future,” said Riverhead coach Justin Cobis.

Sophomores Meghan Van Bommel (23:44.54) and Megan Carrick (23:48.12) were next for the Blue Waves. Eighth-grader Grace Dillingham ran 24:18.55.

McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill ran the fastest time for the Monarchs in the team qualifier race in 22:25.71. She was 17th overall in the race. For the boys, senior Matt Abazis ran 19:54.61 for the Monarchs’ top finish.

joew@timesreview.com

07/04/13 12:00pm
07/04/2013 12:00 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | The start of the 5K Race Thursday morning.

Ryan Udvadia is no stranger to winning races. After a banner season last year as a junior for Shoreham-Wading River’s cross country and track teams, Udvadia kicked off his summer with a pair of victories in the SWR July 4 Foot Races.

Udvadia won the 5K race in 16 minutes 39.32 seconds, well ahead of the second-place finisher. He warmed up for the 5K by running the 13 and over 1-mile race. He crossed the finish line together with Dan Purschke and Keith Steinbrecher.

Udvadia will be going into his senior year at Shoreham.

The 29th annual race, which raises money for scholarships, featured a large turnout despite the humidity and heat early in the morning. The race began near the Miller Avenue School in Shoreham.

A Shoreham graduate was the top female finisher in the 5K. Kathryn Sheehan, who ran track at Marist College, crossed in 18:42. Sheehan said she is planning on running the New York City Marathon.

06/08/13 3:25pm
06/08/2013 3:25 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle.

NYSPHSAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

Before the proceedings began, Dan Normoyle dubbed the occasion “Big Pole Saturday.” It was appropriate enough, with the 29 best high school boys pole vaulters in the state competing in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships at Middletown High School.

The theory is that the longer the pole, the higher it will propel pole vaulters through the air. Normoyle, though, actually used two poles of the same length: 15 feet, one a little thicker than the other. Afterward, he acknowledged that, in his case at least, it wasn’t “Big Pole Saturday.” Normoyle didn’t quite go as high as he would have liked, but the Riverhead senior still turned in the third-best performance in the competition, and that’s not bad at all.

Normoyle cleared 14 feet 6 inches, finishing behind Justin Farrenkopf of Ellenville (15-0) and James Steck of Shaker (14-6). Another Riverheader, junior Charles Villa, was ninth at 14-0.

“It was tough today,” Normoyle said. “It wasn’t my best, but I put my all into it. There was nothing else I could have done. It wasn’t the best day for a lot of people.”

That includes the meet favorite, Warwick Valley junior Todd Uckermark, one of two pole vaulters who failed to clear a height.

Normoyle, the Section XI champion who broke his own school record by reaching 15-0 in a state qualifying meet eight days earlier, complained afterward that he lacked confidence. Then, using a phrase Yogi Berra would have appreciated, he said pole vaulting is “90 percent mental, and the rest is in your head.”

Because of heavy rain on Friday, the scheduled two-day meet was condensed into one day. Normoyle said he was in a better mental state to compete on Friday. Instead, he went to lunch with his parents and saw a movie that day.

Villa entered the competition at 13-0, and Normoyle started at 13-6. They both made heights without missing to be among the 12 pole vaulters still standing after reaching 14-0. For some of the athletes, that height represented a ceiling.

“That’s the dividing line right there,” Villa said. “That’s where it starts to really get hard.”

Both Riverheaders passed on 14-3, going straight to 14-6. That’s when Villa ran into trouble, fouling on his first two attempts and then failing on his third and final one. Normoyle made good on his first attempt at 14-6, but he couldn’t handle 14-9, although he came awfully close on his final try, just nipping the bar.

“I just didn’t have the rhythm today, I guess,” said Normoyle, who gave up playing football to devote himself to pole vaulting.

Normoyle may have been disappointed, but his coach, Steve Gevinski, wasn’t disappointed in him.

“I thought he was amazing, just the strength and the speed he showed was unbelievable,” said the Riverhead coach.

Friday’s postponement made life difficult for Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia, who had to run two long-distance finals on Saturday as a result. Udvadia clocked a time of 9 minutes 10.24 seconds to take sixth place in the 3,200 meters, which saw Nick Ryan of Fayetteville-Manlius triumph in 8:58.28.

“I dozed off during the race,” Udvadia said. “I wasn’t paying attention. I let the front pack get too far ahead.”

Ryan nearly pulled off an impressive double later in the day, with only a few hours to recover. He was nipped at the finish line by Eric Holt of Carmel in the 1,600 final. Holt’s winning time was 4:07.00, just 55/100ths of a second faster than Ryan. Udvadia was eighth in 4:17.11.

“I’m not disappointed,” he said. “Honestly, anything under 4:20 I’ll be happy with.”

Two Mattituck athletes made their first appearance in the state meet. Darius Brew, a freshman and the youngest competitor in the triple jump, came in 23rd place with a distance of 40-3 1/2.

“I feel I did O.K,” Brew said. “It’s acceptable because I’m young, but I feel I could have done better.”

His teammate, junior Sal Loverde, did not have one of his better days, throwing 126-0 for 28th place. The winning throw was 181-9 by Jericho’s Noah White.

“It was unreal,” Loverde said. “The amount of competition is great.”

CARTER SETS HER BEST TIME IN 100 Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Danisha Carter posted a personal-best time in the 100 meters. The junior was 16th in the 100 in 12.89. She was 13th in the 200 in 26.32.

“I think I did [well] for the competition that I was up against,” Carter said. “My back has been killing me, so I came in thinking I wasn’t going to do [well] at all.”

McGann-Mercy was represented by another athlete at Middletown’s sparkling Faller Field. Delina Auciello, a junior celebrating her 17th birthday, was reportedly not feeling well with a stomach ache, but still competed in the 3,000 finals. She finished 25th in 11:28.73.

Competing in the state meet can be a humbling experience. Even top runners can find themselves near the back of the pack.

McGann-Mercy coach Ben Turnbull said, “New York State is a big state.”

bliepa@timesreview.com