SECTION XI CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Section XI Small School Championships are condensed and demanding. Over the span of four hours, some of the best high school girls winter track athletes may compete in as many as three events each.
That is why Shoreham-Wading River coach Roger Sullivan is judicious about what events he enters his athletes in. Sullivan said he confers with his assistant coach, Paul Koretzki, and they strategize, trying to figure out the best approach for the Wildcats.
“It’s a matter of looking at the other teams, and trying to figure out where we can score the most points,” said Sullivan.
It seems that they didn’t do a bad job, either. Shoreham-Wading River finished in the top one-third of the team scoring of the meet on Sunday at Suffolk County Community College West in Brentwood. By the time all 15 events were scored, Shoreham-Wading River was tied with Bellport with 26 points each for seventh place among the 21 teams. Miller Place won the meet with 80 points.
“We did probably a little better than we thought we [would do] in terms of points,” said Sullivan.
Headlining the day for Shoreham-Wading River were third-place finishes by senior Laura Lee in the 600 meters (1 minute 43.23 seconds), freshman Kaitlyn Ohrtman in the 3,000 (10:56.17) and the 4×200-meter relay. The relay team of senior Amanda Welischer, Lee, freshman Megan Kelly and senior Ashlyn Courtney Vicari clocked a time of 1:56.19, which is 2/10ths of a second off its season-best time.
Shoreham-Wading River senior Meghan Serdock turned in a personal-best throw of 30 feet 7 1/4 inches to grab fourth place in the shot put.
“Megan getting fourth in the shot was a big positive for us because we didn’t expect to get any points there,” said Sullivan.
Another fourth-place finisher was Welischer, whose 9.29 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles sliced 2/100ths off her previous season-best time.
Shoreham-Wading River was missing its best sprinter, junior Krista Braaten, who injured her ankle while performing in gymnastics and missed the league and county meets.
“She probably would have scored in the 55 and I’m sure she would scored in the long jump,” said Sullivan, who was uncertain about the extent of Braaten’s injury.
Although the winter track season has ended for most of the athletes, the top ones still have more competition ahead of them, with the Section XI Championships, a state qualifying meet, on Sunday. Sullivan said he expects Shoreham-Wading River to be represented in that meet by Lee in the 600, Ohrtman in the 3,000 or the 1,500, Serdock in the shot put, and Welischer in the 55-meter hurdles.
All in all, Shoreham-Wading River didn’t turn in a bad showing at the small school meet.
“In the events where we really do well, Miller Place was really strong,” said Sullivan, referring to running distances of 600 meters and longer. “The kids competed well. If we didn’t have a few injuries, I think we would have been stronger in some events, but that’s how it goes.”
Bishop McGann-Mercy ranked 20th in the team scoring with 3 points, a point apiece coming from three sixth-place finishers. Danisha Carter, a junior, ran the 300 meters in 47.83 seconds; junior Delina Auciello completed the 600 meters in 1:44.11; and freshman Margaret Tuthill turned in a time of 3:10.12 in the 1,000.
DILLINGHAM FIFTH IN 600 Riverhead sophomore Maria Dillingham finished fifth in the 600-meter final in the Section XI Large School Championships on Friday at Suffolk County Community College West. Dillingham’s performance brought the 21st-place Blue Waves their only 2 points in the meet. Riverhead’s 4×800-meter relay team of freshman Megan Carrick, junior Rachel Conti, Dillingham and freshman Megan Van Bommel finished one place out of the scoring, taking seventh in 10:32.73. Bay Shore won the team title with 101 1/2 points.