03/09/13 10:59am
03/09/2013 10:59 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 FILE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle set a school record Friday in the pole vault at the New Balance Indoor Nationals.

Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle set a school record Friday by clearing 15 feet 3 1/2 inches in the pole vault at the New Balance Indoor Nationals at The Armory in New York.

Normoyle finished second in the emerging elite division behind Sean McEvoy of Fordham Prep, who cleared the same height but took first based on the number of jumps.

Normoyle came into the meet after a fifth-place finish at the New York State Championships last weekend when he cleared 14-06, which matched the previous record also held by senior Jonah Spaeth.

Spaeth had an impressive showing as well at the Nationals, clearing 14-03 1/2 for fourth place. Junior Charles Villa also competed in the competition but did not clear an opening height.

It’s been a banner year for the three pole vaulters this winter. The Blue Waves nearly sent all three to states. And at the Long Island Elite Track Invitational Feb. 23, all three cleared 14 feet, a rare feet in the pole vault.

“It’s never been done on Long Island, I don’t believe, certainly not in Riverhead,” Riverhead pole vaulting coach John “Doc” Andresen said after the meet.

The Indoor Nationals continues today and Sunday. Click here for live video coverage.

joew@timesreview.com

02/12/13 11:26pm
02/12/2013 11:26 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia won the 1,600 Tuesday night and also was second in the 3,200 to qualify for the state meet in both events.

Ryan Udvadia’s expression never wavered. There was no hint of concern, no panic anywhere in sight.

Running from behind is his style.

Through the first few laps of the 3,200-meter race Tuesday night at the Section XI State Qualifier at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood, the Shoreham-Wading River junior casually drifted in the back of a crowd of a dozen runners as if on an afternoon jog through the neighborhood.

“He’s got a very good kick,” said Shoreham coach Brian Wrinkle. “And he knows if he stays with the pack, he’ll be able to use that to his advantage.”

Udvadia put the “kick” on display late in the race, briefly surging into first before North Babylon senior Kris Moran hit an extra gear to win the race down the stretch. Udvadia, the top seed in the event, settled for second in 9 minute 25.94 seconds, which still earned him a trip to the state championship March 2. Moran won in 9:24.78.

A second-place finish left Udvadia disappointed, but his night wasn’t done yet. He still had the 1,600, which had always been his second event this winter after the 3,200. He came into the qualifier seeded fifth in the 1,600 and even his coaches before the start weren’t too sure if he could qualify, especially since he was the only one in the group to have already run a race.

Udvadia shocked everyone when he raced to the front of the pack in the final lap, comfortably winning down the stretch in 4:28.0.

“In a distance race you never know how it’s going to develop,” Wrinkle said. “You never know how it’s going to start and where it’s going to go. And both races just fit into his race strategy.”

Udvadia said with three laps to go in the 1,600, he could see Mike Branigan of Northport start to kick. Udvadia stayed with him, but didn’t want to push too hard yet. Going into the final lap on the straightaway, Udvadia passed him and turned it up for one all-out lap around the track.

“I got a little nervous at this point because I hear everyone cheering everyone’s name and I was slightly turning my eyes so I could see what was going on,” he said.

What he could see at the end was a first-place finish and two opportunities to run at the state championship.

“Once the state meet comes I should be able to break 4:20 and 9:10,” Udvadia said. “Those are my goals.”

Udvadia became the first Shoreham runner to qualify in two events in the indoor season since Bobby Andrews in 2009. Andrews did it in the same two events and won both.

“It’s a dream come true,” Udvadia said. “It really is.”

The pace in both events Tuesday wasn’t terribly fast at the start, which tends to happen at a big meet, Wrinkle said, where the times are less of a motivator.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham junior Jordan Wright finished fourth in the 55-dash.

“Big races become strategy,” he said. “I just think people run differently in these races.”

With 400 meters to go in the 1,600, Udvadia knew he had a chance of winning.

“I realized how close I was to Branigan and how much energy I had,” he said.

The slow pace at the start signaled to Wrinkle that Udvadia would be in it at the end.

“I knew it was going to be a kicker’s race and I was more and more confident,” he said. “He came back 15 seconds faster in the second half, which he does.”

Udvadia plans to run both events at the state meet and could have a chance to medal in both. The 3,200 will still likely be his better event.

“He never ceases to surprise me,” Wrinkle said.

While Udvadia was the only local athlete to qualify for the state meet, another Shoreham runner missed out by the narrowest of margins. In the 55-dash, junior Jordan Wright placed fourth in the finals, missing third place by one-hundredth of a second, which would have qualified him for states. The top two finishers in each event qualify, plus the third place finisher if the qualifying standard is met.

Wright ran 6.73 seconds in the finals, topping his previous best of 6.76 that he set in the preliminaries. The qualifying standard was 6.74.

“I was just hoping to get into the finals,” Wright said. “I did better than I expected to.”

Wright played basketball in the winter in previous years. But after a successful track season last spring, he opted to stick with the sport this year for both seasons.

At the start of the finals, Wright said it was “nerve-wracking.”

“I just figured I’d go all out,” he said. “This race may be my last, but I’ll try to get the best time I can possibly get.”

In the fall Wright played football, which delayed his start to the track season.

“I think with this conditioning in as he gets ready for the outdoor season, he’s going to be in great shape,” Wrinkle said.

Riverhead junior Daren Jefferson had the top finish for the Blue Waves. He jumped 40 feet 10 1/2 inches in the triple jump for sixth.

For the girls, Shoreham senior Laura Lee was the closest to qualifying. She ran 1:42.43 in the 600 to finish fifth. Mercy junior Delina Auciello was sixth in the 600 in 1:43.32.

In the 1,000 Mercy freshman Meg Tuthill was sixth in 3:14.09. Riverhead sophomore Maria Dillingham won her heat in a personal best time of 3:14.79 to finish seventh.

Shoreham freshman Kaitlyn Ohrtman was eighth in the 3,000 (10:58.14) and 13th in the 1,500 (5:11.78).

joew@timesreview.com

01/26/13 9:17pm
01/26/2013 9:17 PM
JUSTIN COBIS PHOTO  |  The Riverhead 4 x 800 relay team of (from left)  freshman Meghan Van Bommel, junior Rachel Conti, sophomore Maria Dillingham and freshman Megan Carrick won the League III title Saturday afternoon.

JUSTIN COBIS PHOTO | The Riverhead 4 x 800 relay team of (from left) freshman Megan Carrick, junior Rachel Conti, sophomore Maria Dillingham and freshman Meghan Van Bommel won the League III title Saturday afternoon.

By the time the four members of Riverhead’s 4 x 800 relay team prepared to take the track for the final event of Saturday’s League III Championship, three runners had individual medals to their name.

“None of them were satisfied with that because each of them wanted to run a little better,” said Riverhead coach Justin Cobis. “So I said let’s use that as motivation.”

The goal quickly became defending the 4 x 800 title, which the Blue Waves won last year. Three of those runners were back this season.

“They really took that challenge on,” Cobis said.

The Blue Waves’ quartet succesfully defended their title, running 10 minutes 46.56 seconds to hold off Hauppauge, the team that won the overall League III title, by just under four seconds.

The trio of junior Rachel Conti, sophomore Maria Dillingham and freshman Meghan Van Bommel were all apart of last year’s league title team. The addition this year was freshman Megan Carrick, who ran varsity last year and was an alternate on the relay.

The relay victory was the highlight of the meet for the Blue Waves, who only tallied 21 points for a seventh-place finish. With a young roster, the Blue Waves are better suited for the spring season when many of their strong athletes return from playing other sports like basketball. While the Blue Waves knew going into the meet they wouldn’t be in contention for the championship, the relay victory provided a welcome endnote.

“This is really another way to have a positive end to a great league championship meet,” Cobis said.

Conti ran the opening leg of the relay and stayed close to par with a strong leadoff runner from Hauppauge. Conti handed off to Van Bommel, who gave the Blue Waves a lead at the halfway point of the race.

Carrick ran the third leg and despite feeling nauseous during the meet, battled through it to keep the Blue Waves close. Hauppauge gained about a four-second advantage over Riverhead going into the final leg.

That’s when Dillingham took over and worked her magic.

She quickly surged out of the gate to draw even with Hauppauge over the first 200 meters. From there she stayed even with Hauppauge, waiting to make her next move. With 200 meters to go, she hit the accelerator and grabbed the lead for good.

“When we saw it was a four-second gap and we knew that Maria had the baton, we kind of knew at that point we would be OK,” Cobis said. “She’s tough as nails.”

Dillingham had a fourth-place finish in the 600 (1:44.47), taking a second off her best time.

Conti had the best individual finish for the Blue Waves, finishing third in the 1,000 (3:19.23). Van Bommel was sixth in the 1,500 (5:28.43).

joew@timesreview.com

01/26/13 4:23pm

Shoreham-Wading River finished second in the League V Championship Saturday morning. Click here for a recap. Scroll below for photos from the championship.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  McGann-Mercy junior Danisha Carter races in the 55-meter dash alongside Shoreham-Wading River freshman Megan Kelly.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy junior Danisha Carter races in the 55-meter dash alongside Shoreham-Wading River freshman Megan Kelly.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River freshman Kaitlyn Ohrtman won the 3,000 and 1,500.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River freshman Kaitlyn Ohrtman won the 3,000 and 1,500.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  McGann-Mercy senior Caitlyn Walsh races in the 1,000 with Shoreham freshman Christy Capek.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy senior Caitlyn Walsh races in the 1,000 with Shoreham freshman Christy Capek.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  McGann-Mercy freshman Meg Tuthill was second in the 1,000.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy freshman Meg Tuthill was second in the 1,000.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  McGann-Mercy junior Delina Auciello was third in the 600.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy junior Delina Auciello was third in the 600.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  Shoreham-Wading River  senior Laura Lee was second in the 600.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Laura Lee was second in the 600.

 

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  McGann-Mercy junior Danisha Carter competes in the 300.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy junior Danisha Carter competes in the 300.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  Shoreham senior Amanda Welischer competes in the 55-hurdles.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shoreham senior Amanda Welischer competes in the 55-hurdles.

 

 

 

 

 

01/21/13 9:00am
COURTESY PHOTO | Navy Officer Commander John Karin presents Cadet Anthony Mammina with the Meritorious Merit Award as Lt. Col. Peter McCarthy looks on.

COURTESY PHOTO | Navy Officer Commander John Karin presents Cadet Anthony Mammina with the Meritorious Merit Award as Lt. Col. Peter McCarthy looks on.

A Riverhead High School senior and NJROTC cadet received the corps’ highest honor during their annual inspection Friday morning for saving a fellow runner who had suffered an asthma attack during a cross country meet last September.

Anthony Mammina was competing in the Suffolk County Coaches Invitational last year when he found another runner from a different school who had suffered an asthma attack and was lying on the ground, unconscious. Though other runners ran past the fallen competitor, Anthony stopped to help the teen.

Anthony, a Boy Scout trained in first aid, used an emergency inhaler nearby to help the boy regain consciousness, and then with the help of another runner carried the victim to a first aid station.

Anthony then finished the race.

Anthony, who has overcome a seizure disorder to run in track meets across the country, was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Award by Navy Officer Commander John Skarin during the inspection Friday.

In a citation issued to Anthony, Navy Commander J.W. Hankins praised his actions as “in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Junior Officers Training Corps program.”

“Cadet Mammina’s quick thinking, positive action and heroic behavior helped to save another athlete’s life,” the citation reads. “His willingness to get involved, apply his first aid knowledge, and his compassion for a fallen competitor are a testament to his strong sense of honor, sportsmanship and determination to do the right thing.”

psquire@timesreview.com

01/12/13 11:57am
01/12/2013 11:57 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead sprinter Jeff Pittman competes in a meet last season. The Blue Waves boys and girls teams are at the Stanner Games in New York today.

One of the biggest events in track & field is underway today at the Armory in New York. Athletes from Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River are both competing in the Molloy Stanner Games, which draws athletes from across the East Coast.

The action kicked off at 9 a.m. today and will continue through the day.

Below is a live video stream of the action from the Armory. Be sure to check back for a recap on how all the local athletes fared.

12/11/12 2:08pm
12/11/2012 2:08 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Cliff Clark, No. 301,competing at the highest level in the 1972 Olympic Trials 5000 Meters with Steve Prefontaine, No. 229, Tracy Smith, No. 398, and Gerry Lindgren in the striped shirt.

When I think about cross country or 10K races or anything to do with sports on Shelter Island, my mind always turns toward Clifford Clark.

Back in the ‘60s, when running wasn’t popular, you could always see a young Cliff jogging around the island. I remembered him as a basketball and baseball player in high school and when college came for him, he became a runner.

Back then if you noticed someone walking or running along the street you would always stop and ask if they needed a ride, but today, you know better. Back in the late 60’s I got the bug when I read a book that I think did more for walking and running than any other. Written by Dr. Kenneth Cooper (an M.D. and U.S. Air Force colonel) and published 1968, it and was simply titled “Aerobics.” Dr. Cooper made running sound both fun and simple. His “Bedrock Principle # 1” declares that almost everyone should engage in regular, but moderate aerobic exercise. Cooper wrote: “The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence demonstrates conclusively that abandoning a sedentary lifestyle and following a MODERATE exercise routine will greatly reduce your risk of dying from all causes — and enhances your chance of living a longer, more active life.”

That was enough for me.

So this week, when I met with Cliff Clark, I couldn’t help notice throughout the entire conversation the values that make Cliff who he is. Namely, that it’s important to give back to the sport. Cliff is all about passing on his knowledge to anyone who wants to better themselves. Although a championship runner himself, like everyone, he had his idols. One was Dr. Clark, his college coach from Harding College, and the other, his father. Unfortunately, Dr. Clark, died at an early age, but not before passing on his message to Cliff about helping others. After the doctor’s passing, it was Cliff who took on the role of student coach at Harding College. His other idol, his father, he felt was a master teacher always ready to share his expertise with anyone.

When I mentioned to Cliff my knowledge of Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s work and how he inspired me to run and later walk for over 20 years, Cliff informed me that he knew him. They were both in the Air Force and the doctor actually confided in Clark and asked for his help and thoughts while writing his famous book.

During our conversation, I couldn’t help noticing how uncomfortable Cliff was that he was getting credit without giving credit. But let’s get real; back in 1967 when no one was thinking of running, he started a kids’ running group and a two-mile race. Interestingly, the winner of that first run was Justin Gibbons of Southampton, and 13 years later the first 10K winner was also the same Justin Gibbons. He coached the school team for 18 years starting in 1976 and produced star runners like Janelle Kraus, Alexis Hamblet and Toby Green.

Together with John Strode, and Jack Fath and Cliff put together the first 10K run with all three believing the purpose was to give back to the sport. Even though Cliff is currently out of the limelight of the 10K, the success of this race has put Shelter Island on the map for the last 30 years. For the past seven years this race has been in the capable hands of Mary Ellen Adipietro as director. Although many islanders work the race, Cliff said I must give credit to a few people who are always there to make things better, such as James Eklund, Chuck Kraus and Jackie Tuttle.

Over the last few years things were starting to slow down a bit for Shelter Island runners. New school superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes, a man that believes strongly in lifetime sports and a running program, decided to become proactive. So this past August, Toby Green started and is coaching the Shelter Island running club. At the present time they have 15 kids that are involved three days a week after school on Saturdays.

Stay involved and don’t let this fail because in the long run, this program will build both character and a healthy body in all of us.

12/09/12 2:23pm
12/09/2012 2:23 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Sasa Vann competing for Mercy last winter.

Former McGann-Mercy standout sprinter Sasa Vann began her collegiate career Saturday racing for Buffalo State at the Golden Flash Gala.

Vann raced in the 300-meter dash and placed 15th in 42.19 seconds. The race featured 40 runners. Vann’s teammate, Jazmin Dunham, finished seventh in a school-record time of 40.95.

The meet was held at Kent State University.

Vann was an all-state runner for Mercy last year in her senior season. She finished her track career at Mercy with two individual school records for the indoor season (300, long jump) and four during the outdoor season (100, 200, 400, long jump).