ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle.
It’s been a record-setting year for Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle in the pole vault. From the winter track season straight through the spring season, Normoyle and his Blue Wave teammates continued to impress with their ability to clear higher and higher heights.
Normoyle was one of several local athletes who wrapped up the spring season by competing this weekend at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina.
Normoyle, a senior, competed in the emerging elite division for the pole vault and finished in 11th place. He cleared 14 feet 8 1/4 inches. Eleven vaulters finished at the same height, including third-place finisher Josh Hopkins from Massachusetts.
Two vaulters topped that mark. Dylan Altland of New Jersey and Ian West of North Carolina both cleared 15-02 1/4. Altland took first based on fewer jumps.
More than 40 vaulters competed in the competition.
Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia ran the two-mile championship race and finished 18th in 9 minutes 21.43 seconds.
Two runners cracked 9 minutes, including Sean McGorty of Virginia who ran 8:45.61 to take first place.
Shoreham also had a girls 4 x 800 relay team run at nationals. The quartet of Laura Lee, Makayla Meeker, Rose Andrews and Kaitlyn Ohrtmann ran 9:43.71 to finish ninth in the emerging elite division.
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.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle had little trouble on his entry height, easily clearing 13 feet 6 inches in the pole vault Thursday night at Connetquot High School.
At 7:13 p.m. Thursday night — the majority of events at the track and field division championships already completed — Riverhead senior Dan Normoyle sprinted down the pole vault runway for his first run-through.
For more than three hours, Normoyle, wearing sweats over his uniform, watched pole vaulter after pole vaulter compete in the division championships at Connetquot High School.
Finally, it was his time.
Electing to enter the competition at 13 feet 6 inches, Normoyle began at a time when 32 pole vaulters had already bowed out of the competition, leaving just four athletes still standing.
He had reason to be confident.
He easily soared over the bar at 13-6. And about 45 minutes later, in an intense competition featuring four outstanding pole vaulters, Normoyle set an outdoor school record by clearing 14-9.
What made the competition so great for Normoyle was the fact he was competing against two of his teammates. Sophomore Charles Villa set a personal best by clearing 14-6. He came awfully close on his second attempt at 14-9, just nicking the bar with his chest as he glided over.
Smithtown West senior Karl Nilsen matched Villa by clearing 14-6, but couldn’t equal Normoyle.
Riverhead senior Jonah Spaeth was fourth in the competition by clearing 13-6.
Normoyle attempted 15 feet three times just before the lights shut off at Connetquot.
Nilsen, who was persevered through a leg injury, was the first to clear 14-6 on his second attempt. Normoyle matched him on his next attempt, leaving it up to Villa to join them at the next height. On Villa’s third attempt he topped 14-6 for his personal best.
The four pole vaulters from Division II cleared higher heights than any pole vaulter from Division I or III.
JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Riverhead sophomore Rachel Clement finished fourth in the pentathlon on the second day of the Division II Championship Wednesday at Connetquot High School.
After winning the triple jump on the first day of the Division II Championship Monday, Riverhead junior Kyra Braunskill picked up two more medals Wednesday on the final day of competition at Connetquot High School.
Braunskill ran 12.71 seconds in the 100-meter dash to finish third. She followed that with a second-place finish in the long jump. On her first attempt, she cleared 17 feet 2 1/4 inches, her best mark of the year. She couldn’t top that on her next five attempts and settled for second behind North Babylon’s Nailah Jones (17-08).
A second-place finish would have been great for most jumpers. Not for Braunskill, who was visibly frustrated after the long jump ended.
“She wants to be No. 1,” said Riverhead coach Maria Dounelis. “If she’s not No. 1, she’s not satisfied. She’s pretty hard on herself.”
The Blue Waves finished fifth as a team in Division II with 41 points. Braunskill accounted for 24 of those.
Sophomore Rachel Clement competed in her first-ever pentathlon and tallied 2,226 points to finish fourth. She long jumped 14-08 1/2 Wednesday before running the 800. She finished fourth in that race in 2:38.18. On Monday she ran 20.02 in the 100-hurdles, high jumped 4-07 3/4 and threw 24-11 3/4 in the shot put.
Junior Destiny McElroy came into the meet with high hopes in the 400-hurdles. But she caught an unfortunate break.
She ran in the 400-dash Monday and surprisingly qualified for the finals Wednesday. That meant she had to run the 400 finals before her main event, the 400-hurdles. There was supposed to be one event in between the two, which would have given her about 35 minutes between events, still a quick turnaround.
But as she prepared to run the 400, an official announced that the 400-hurdles were being switched with the 800 of the pentathlon, pinning McElroy’s two events back-to-back.
“They’re trying to kill me,” McElroy said, smiling, on the track before starting the 400.
McElroy ran a slow pace in the 400 to try to conserve energy and finished a distant sixth in 1:05.4. Still, she didn’t have enough left in the tank for the hurdles and settled for fifth in 1:08.52.
She had about 10 minutes between races.
“She’s a victim of her own success,” Riverhead coach Justin Cobis said.
Junior Danielle Thomas cleared a personal best 9 feet in the pole vault and finished fourth. Teammate Christy Brewer was fifth after clearing 8-6.
Thomas was a surprise in the long jump as well. She qualified for the finals and took seventh with a top mark of 15-11 1/4. Thomas had little left in the tank on her final three jumps after already pole vaulting earlier in the meet.
Riverhead’s 4 x 800 relay team shaved 16 seconds off its best time. The quartet of Rachel Conti, Maria Dillingham, Megan Carrick and Meghan Van Bommel ran 10:17.08 for ninth.
In Division III Shoreham-Wading River finished sixth with 40 1/2 points. Senior Meghan Serdock had a huge performance in the throwing events. She won the discus Monday with a top mark of 100-11. She followed that with a second-place finish in the shot put Wednesday by throwing 31-07 1/2.
McGann-Mercy was 11th in D-III with 18 points. Junior Danisha Carter was third in the 100 in 13.02 and fourth in the 200 in 26.55. Junior Delina Auciello ran the 2,000 steeplechase and finished third in 7:38.19.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | McGann-Mercy junior Danisha Carter won two individual events Thursday after breaking a school record in the 200 last Saturday.
When Danisha Carter joined the track & field team at McGann-Mercy last year for the first time, she found the perfect mentor in Sasa Vann.
As an all-state sprinter, Vann finished her career last spring with multiple school records, including in the 100, 200 and 400 for the outdoor season.
“She was always the one to go to for anything,” Carter said. “I’ve always looked up to her and wanted to be, if not as good as her, just match up to her time wise.”
Now a junior, Carter has become the go-to runner for the Monarchs in sprinting events. And it didn’t take her long to match her former teammate in one event.
At the Suffolk Coaches’ Meet Saturday in Bay Shore, Carter ran 26.4 seconds in the 200-meter dash to break the school record previously held by Vann.
“It was a big thing for me,” Carter said.
It’s not often records fall so early in the season. Carter’s ability to run a personal best time at this point in the season speaks volumes on her potential.
Mercy coach Ben Turnbull said Carter has a good chance of making it to states later this spring. Babylon junior Ashley Lucas would be the toughest challenger to Carter in Division II, Turnbull said.
“Next year she could probably be top-three [overall] in the county,” Turnbull said.
There were no record runs for Carter Thursday, but she still did her part in helping the Monarchs roll past Ross School in a dual meet at Mercy. Carter won the 100 and 200 and ran the anchor leg on the winning 4 x 100 relay team.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior Matt Abazis races ahead of teammate Patrick Derenze Thursday.
The Monarchs cruised to a 105-27 victory against the short-handed Cosmos, who had only seven girls at the meet.
In a meet that didn’t feature much drama — several races had runners competing unopposed or only against a teammate — Carter and three teammates delivered the highlight.
In the 4 x 100 relay, Ross raced out to about a seven-meter lead after the first two legs. But Lindsey Woodhull quickly closed that gap after grabbing the baton on the third leg. By the time Carter received the baton, she had only a few strides to make up.
Carter surged into first and cruised down the final straightaway for the victory in :57.3.
“When we started I was like, ‘Oh God, we’re so far behind,’ ” Carter said. “But [Lindsey] picked it up.”
It was a mishmash group running the relay. For Carter it was her first time running the 4 x 1 after running the 4 x 4 in previous meets. Carter and Woodhull had never exchanged the baton before in the event.
“It was pretty good,” Carter said. “I’m glad [Lindsey] picked it up. We switched up positions in the beginning a couple times and then we got it down.”
In the 100 Carter ran 13.2 and in the 200 she ran 27.8.
Junior Delina Auciello won a pair of events Thursday for Mercy. She ran the 400-hurdles in 1:14.4 and the 1,500 in 5:36.8. Freshman Meg Tuthill won the 3,000 in 11:56 and was second in the 400-hurdles in 1:18.3.
Auciello finished third in the 3,000 at the Suffolk Coaches Meet in 11:22.1. Tuthill ran a 5:03.7 in the 1,500 at the same meet.
Against Ross, Adafih Blackburn won the 100-hurdles in :20.7 and Dayna Young won the 800 in 2:52.4. Maddie Joinnides won the 400 in 1:03.3.
The Mercy boys competed against Ross at the same meet Thursday and won in similarly dominant fashion. Ross had only seven boys competing and the Monarchs won 101-19.
Junior Matt Abazis won the 1,600 (5:10) and the 800 (2:11.7).
Junior Luis Cintron ran uncontested in the 110-hurdles and posted a time of 18.4. He also won the 400-hurdles in 1:03.2.
Riley Joinnides won the 400 in :57.1 and the 3,200 in a race all by himself in 11:41.9. Alex Fabrizio won the 100 in 12.3.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Isreal Squires jumped 21 feet in the long jump Thursday in a dual meet against Mount Sinai.
WILDCATS 87, MUSTANGS 56
Isreal Squires is no fan of the cold. Especially when it comes to jumping.
When the Shoreham-Wading River boys track team competed in its first dual meet of the season in late March, snowfall forced the final few events to be cancelled.
“It was really cold,” the Shoreham-Wading River sophomore said.
Under more ideal conditions Thursday against Mount Sinai, Squires showed off his versatility and potential by winning three individual events plus running in a victorious relay as the Wildcats won 86-57 in League VII.
The highlight for Squires came in the high jump, where he cleared a personal best 6 feet.
“When the weather gets warmer, he’ll perform better,” said Shoreham coach Bob Szymanski. “He doesn’t like the cold. I tried to get him out for winter track, but he injured his ankle in football.”
Back to full strength, Squires came close to clearing 6-2 in the high jump. He could have taken another attempt, but with the meet winding down, his legs were needed to anchor the 4 x 100 relay team.
Squires darted from the high jump area to the track where he lined up to take the baton for the final 100 meters. By the time the baton arrived in his hand, the victory was well in hand and Squires cruised in for the victory as the Wildcats finished in 46 seconds.
Squires was a part of a three-headed monster for the Wildcats. Junior Ryan Udvadia took care of the distance events by winning the 3,200, 1,600 and 800. Junior Jordan Wright dominated in the sprints by winning the 100 dash and 200. Wright ran the opening leg of the 4 x 100 relay and Udvadia closed out the 4 x 800 relay for the Wildcats.
As Udvadia cruised around the bend for the final 200 meters of the relay, a teammate yelled out to him that someone was right behind him. Udvadia didn’t flinch, knowing he was all by himself.
“It’s awesome,” Squires said of watching Wright and Udvadia. “Because you know you’re going to win, especially with Ryan. He runs like a 4:17 mile. That’s crazy.”
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Ryan Udvadia leads the pack in the 800.
Udvadia ran the 1,600 in 4:47 against the Mustangs to conserve some energy with no real threat to him on the track. With a competitive fight for second place unfolding, Udvadia slowed down at times to try to rally in teammate Keith Steinbrecher. It wasn’t enough, however, as Steinbrecher settled for third.
In the 3,200 Udvadia won in 10:10.1 Steinbrecher took third in 10:14.4.
“Udvadia stepped up for me,” Syzmanski said. “I usually will not put him in more than three races in a meet, particularly how hard that is.”
In the 800 Udvadia won in 2:01.
“It just shows how gutty a kid he is that he ran all four races,” Szymanski said.
Udvadia had about 10 minutes to recover between his first two races, the 1,600 and 800. Then he had about 30 minutes before running the 3,200.
Squires began the meet by jumping 21 feet in the long jump. He followed that with a victory in the 400 dash in 52.7.
The 400 will ultimately be his top event when the season heats up in May.
“The 400 is my favorite,” Squires said.
Szymanski said Squires has the potential to be top-three in the division in the long jump and high jump.
“If he’s fresh he’ll do 6-2, 6-3 this year,” Szymanski said. “And he’s only a sophomore.”
Wright, a state qualifier during the winter season, ran the 100 in 11.0 and the 200 in 22.9. The Wildcats also got a big day from junior Matt Leunig, who won the 400-hurdles in 1:01.7 and was second in the 110-hurdles in 18.0.
Senior Kyle Fleming won the shot put with a top mark of 43-6 1/2 and was second in the discus (123).
In the pole vault senior Tom Sager cleared 12-0 for second place. Junior Max Maritato was second in the high jump at 5-8 and also ran on the 4 x 100 relay team.
Shoreham improved to 3-0 in dual meets, setting the stage for what will likely be a fight to the finish with Bayport-Blue Point. The Wildcats and Phantoms will meet in the final meet of the season.
JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Riverhead junior Rachel Conti (left) crossed a step ahead of sophomore Maria Dillingham in the 3,000 Monday against Hills West.
BLUE WAVES 77, COLTS 73
There were no happier girls on the Riverhead track team Monday afternoon than Rachel Conti and Maria Dillingham.
Before the start of the relays against Half Hollow Hills West — the final three events of the League IV dual meet — the coaches for both teams conferred to determine the score. When the points were tallied, the Blue Waves realized they had enough points to clinch the victory without needing to win any relays.
That meant a chance for Conti, a junior, and Dillingham, a sophomore, to catch their breath.
The duo had already combined to a run a total of 10,600 meters in the two-hour meet. They went first and second in the 1,500, 800 and 3,000 — the three longest individual events of a dual meet not including the race walk.
“I was honestly ecstatic,” Dillingham said of learning she didn’t have to run a relay. “This is the only time we haven’t had to run a relay. After running the longest events, it was so tiring.”
“I don’t think we’ve ever been so relieved,” Conti added. “Today was a hard day for sure.”
JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Kyra Braunskill won three events, including the long jump, Monday to help the Blue Waves to a critical dual meet victory over Hills West.
If the meet hadn’t been locked up, Riverhead coach Maria Dounelis would have needed Conti and Dillingham in the 4 x 800 relay. But a first-place victory in the long jump by Kyra Braunskill gave the Blue Waves (2-0) enough points to hang on for a 77-73 victory in a huge early season dual meet.
Hills West (1-1) was expected to be the Riverhead’s toughest competition in league. The Blue Waves’ victory at Riverhead High School on the first warm day of spring put them in the driver’s seat for the dual meet title.
“We all came out hungry for it,” said Braunskill, who had a big day with three individual victories.
While Conti and Dillingham took care of the distance events, Braunskill dominated in the jumping events plus sprints. She won the triple jump (37 feet 1/2 inch), the long jump (16-9 1/4) and the 100 dash (12.4 seconds). In the 200 she finished second by the slimmest of margins. She crossed in 26.4, a tenth of a second behind Hills West.
An all-state triple jumper last year, Braunskill has expanded her game this year by starting to do the long jump and 200. It’s been a learning process early on in the season.
“I’m not so sure as to how to run the 200 as I’m sure of how to run the 100,” she said. “So I wing it. But I was satisfied with my time in the 200 as far as someone who doesn’t do it.”
The jumping events are her speciality and Braunskill said she hopes to develop into a state qualifier in the long jump.
“I’m hungry for it and I’m going to do it,” she said.
The Blue Waves needed a big jump for Braunskill in the long to lock up the meet and she delivered the 16-9 1/4 on her second attempt. Hills West took second and third in the event.
Conti and Dillingham began their afternoon by running stride for stride in the 1,500 to cross in 5:25 for first place. They followed that with a victory in the 800. Conti was first in 2:33.5 and Dillingham was second in 2:33.7.
There wasn’t much of a break before they stepped back on the track for the 3,000. The good news was they didn’t have to run at a high pace. The race more resembled a casual jog than competition. Conti and Dillingham hung with the pack before making their move on the final lap to surge into first.
“It was like a cool down except for in the end,” Dillingham said. “We all had to sprint it out.”
Hills West did most of its damage in the field events. The Colts swept the shot put, went first/third in the discus and first/third in the high jump.
The Blue Waves got a first-place finish in the 400 hurdles from Destiny McElroy, who ran 1:08.6. Also taking first for Riverhead was Nina Schlosberg in the 1,500 race walk. The Blue Waves swept the event with Denise Brunskill second and Isabella Marcucci third. Brunskill was also second in the 100 hurdles in 18.0. McElroy was third in 18.5. She was also third in the 400 in 1:01.3.
In the pole vault the Blue Waves grabbed first and second with Danielle Thomas and Christy Brewer both clearing 8-6.
The Blue Waves got a surprise second-place finish in the discus from Rashae Smith, who threw 91-2 1/2 in her first competition. Rachel Clement cleared 4-10 in the high jump for second.
BILL LANDON FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Courtney Clasen won three events against Hampton Bays Tuesday.
Courtney Clasen did her best to convince Shoreham-Wading River coach Paul Koretzki last spring of her jumping ability. But with Clasen coming off a hip injury, Koretzki was reluctant to push her too hard.
“She said I can really jump,” Koretzki recalled.
The first time Clasen got a chance to long jump at a meet, Koretzki was convinced.
When the Wildcats opened the dual meet season Tuesday against Hampton Bays, Clasen got her first opportunity to triple jump. She didn’t disappoint, taking first place with a top mark of 33 feet 4 1/2 inches.
“That’s what we’re looking for,” Koretzki said. “We didn’t have a triple jumper in the winter.”
Clasen, along with Cari Gostic, has provided a big boost to the Wildcats’ depth coming off the winter season, where both girls played basketball. The duo helped lead the Wildcats (1-0) to a 114-35 victory over the Baymen (0-2) Tuesday in a League VI dual meet at Shoreham-Wading River High School.
It was a superb start to the season, not just because of the win, but by the individual performances from many of the girls, Koretzki said.
“I was very pleased with the team,” he said. “There were great numbers in the cold.”
It may not have been ideal conditions on a chilly afternoon, but the Wildcats already looked to be in midseason form.
Clasen was a big part of it, winning the long jump (14-07) and 100-meter dash (13.2 seconds). Gostic was third in the long jump at 13-03 and second in the high jump at 4-07.
The Wildcats swept the 400 and 200 behind the trio of Laura Lee, Emily Blunnie and Makayla Meeker.
The Wildcats were also strong in the distance events, sweeping the 3,000 and taking second and third in the 1,500.
Kaitlyn Ohrtman won the 3,000 in 11:26 and was second in the 1,500 in 5:14.
Maddy Kelly (12:48) and Laura Shanklin (13.31) finished second and third in the 3,000.
Amanda Welischar had a big day with a second-place finish in the 100 (13.8). She also cleared 8-0 in the pole vault along with Megan Safranek as they took first and second. Welischar also ran 17.0 in the 100 hurdles.
In the discus Megan Serdock had the top distance (82). A newcomer to the team making her first varsity appearance, Katie Dunn threw 63-02 for second.
“She had never thrown before except practice,” Koretzki said.
Kylie Trettner won the race walk in 8:37.5. Rose Andrews was second in the 800 in 2:40.3.
In the 400 hurdles Ashlyn Vicari took first place in 1:18.6.
The Wildcats capped the meet off by sweeping all three relays.
On Saturday a handful of Wildcats competed at the Lindenhurst Relays. Shanklin cleared a personal best 8-06 in the pole vault and Gabriella Massa cleared 6-06, her personal best. Their combined height of 15-0 was third in the two-person relay.