Riverhead senior Charles Villa clears 14 feet 6 inches in the pole vault Friday at the state championships in Syracuse. (Credit: Hal Henty)
NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Charles Villa first began pole vaulting in the spring three years ago as a freshman for Riverhead. Even in a sport that, by its nature, is difficult to begin as a youth, it was still a later start than for many of the top pole vaulters.
“Ever since then I loved it,” Villa said of his introduction to the sport. “I had so much fun.”
On Friday, Villa pole vaulted for the final time representing the Blue Waves. And with it, for now, came the end of an era. For the past several years, the Blue Waves have been flush with talented pole vaulters, from last year’s graduates Jonah Spaeth and Dan Normoyle, to Villa this year. (more…)
A step-by-step view of how Riverhead senior Charles Villa has mastered the pole vault. Click on the photo to enlarge. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
When USA Today ran a series in 2005 on the 10 hardest things to do in sports, pole vaulting ranked third. In Riverhead, Charles Villa routinely makes it look easy.
The senior recently set the outdoor school record of 15 feet 1 inch. He finished first at last weekend’s state qualifier by clearing 14-3. On Friday, Villa will compete at the New York State Championships, where he’ll be aiming to set the record even higher. (more…)
Competing at states this weekend are Ryan Udvadia (left), Madison Blom and Julianna Cintron. (Credit: Daniel De Mato & Robert O’Rourk)
The New York State Track and Field Championships kick off Friday morning at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Athletes from Riverhead, Shoreham-Wading River and McGann-Mercy all qualified based on their performance last weekend. (more…)
Shoreham-Wading River’s Jordan Wright races in the 200-meter dash. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
Athletes from Riverhead, Shoreham-Wading River and McGann-Mercy all qualified for next weekend’s track and field state championship.
To qualify, athletes competed Friday and Saturday at Port Jefferson High School in the Section XI Championships. (more…)
Shoreham-Wading River senior Keith Steinbrecher is seeded second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the state qualifier. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
The Section XI track and field state qualifier will be held at Port Jefferson High School Friday and Saturday. The winner of each event earns a spot at the state meet, as well as the second-place finisher who has posted the qualifying standard. One athlete from Division II also qualifies in each event. (more…)
Shoreham-Wading River’s Matt Gladysz hands off the baton to Connor McAlary in the 4 x 800 relay Friday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
Reflecting back on his running career, Shoreham-Wading River coach Bob Syzmanski described the steeplechase as the “toughest event I’ve ever done.”
Considering the length of the race (3,000 meters), and obstacles (a water pit included!), it’s no surprise Shoreham senior Keith Steinbrecher agrees with his coach on that assessment. (more…)
Riverhead sophomore Zikel Riddick jumped 20-11 1/4 in the long jump Friday at the Division II Championship. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
SECTION XI DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS
Charles Villa doesn’t measure his success by the heights he clears in the pole vault. Rather, the Riverhead senior judges himself by the pole he uses to vault.
“I set goals in poles,” he said. “Because I know the height will come. It’s there. I just got to get on the right pole with the right steps.” (more…)
McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter, shown here Monday in the preliminaries, ran a personal best time in the 200-dash Wednesday at the Division III Championships. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)
In a 4 x 100-meter relay, every handoff is crucial. One small misstep can be all that it takes to squash a top time.
When McGann-Mercy’s relay team ran the preliminaries of the Division III Championships Monday at Connetquot High School, a shaky handoff between the first two legs served as important reminder. Back at practice the next day, the Monarchs spent a good chunk of time rehearsing the critical handoffs. (more…)