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Boys Winter Track: Martelli lands league triple jump title

It was a field day for Riverhead — and Kian Martelli.

Martelli was ecstatic. The Riverhead High School junior glowed with excitement Saturday after becoming the Suffolk County League II triple jump champion.

“Honestly, it’s amazing,” he said. “That was exactly what I was going for. I took first and I could not be any more excited.”

Adding to the excitement was Martelli’s best indoor triple jump ever — 44 feet, 2 1/2 inches — good for first place and a smile from ear to ear.

Martelli said once he heard an official read out that distance following his winning jump in the first postseason meet of the year at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, “I could not have been any happier.” It surpassed his previous best indoor distance of 43-2 1/4.

Martelli, who stands just a smidge under 6-3, turned in quality jumps on his two other attempts, reaching 43-0 and 43-7 1/2.

“I was just so hyped to run and jump and it all came together perfectly,” he said. “You can just tell, based on how far you go and how many boards you passed while you were in the air, that you’re going to get a good jump.”

Copiague junior Edgar Tineo was second at 42-10 and Riverhead sophomore Max Solarz finished third at 41-9 1/2.

It was a happier ending for Martelli this year than it was last year when he was edged out for the league title by Connetquot’s Brandon Phan. That feeling stuck with Martelli. He said, “It killed me because I lost by only a couple of inches [last year] and this time I just beat everyone.”

Martelli also medaled in the long jump Saturday with his sixth-place finish at 19-11 1/2.

Riverhead picked up 26 of its 33 points (tying the Blue Waves for fifth in the team scoring with Copiague and Walt Whitman) in field events. (Northport was the team champion with 93 points).

The shot put was good to Riverhead. Eric Behr, a junior, did not go beyond 37 feet on his first two throws of the finals. That pushed him with his back against the wall for his third and final throw.

“It puts a lot more pressure because there’s nothing really to fall back on,” he said.

Behr came through with a throw of 41-6 3/4 to grab third behind Northport senior Matt Tallman (45-3 1/4) and Connetquot senior Jordan Lopienski (44-3 1/2). Another Riverheader, junior Thomas Penna, was fifth at 40-4.

Behr said, “I feel pretty good because, honestly, I didn’t expect that I’d be that high up in the league with what I’m throwing, so I’m definitely proud of it.”

Riverhead sophomore Aaron Walker cleared 5-8 to grab sixth in the high jump.

Solarz had quite an afternoon. In addition to his third-place tally in the triple jump, he was also third in the 55-meter hurdles in 8.59 seconds, giving him personal-bests in both events.

“We have a plethora of personal-bests, which you can never ask for more, especially when you have a young team,” Riverhead coach Sal Loverde said. “Every single kid here — even if they didn’t place or put a medal around their neck — they worked extremely hard and they performed to the best of their ability. You can’t ask for more.”

Razzano races to third in 600. Ryan Razzano has his own way of breaking down the 600 meters. The way the Bishop McGann-Mercy junior handles it is to go out hard for the first 200 meters, then run at about 85-percent speed before finishing up the final 100 meters with an all-out sprint to the finish line. Runners say that final 100 meters are the toughest.

“You hit that wall sometimes,” said Razzano.

Razzano broke through that wall Saturday when he ran the 600 faster than he ever had before. His time of 1:30.38 brought him third place in the League V Championships in Brentwood.

“I did a lot better than I did before because today was about confidence,” he said.

Razzano was immediately followed by a teammate, junior Michael Senica, who turned in a personal-best time himself, 1:30.61, for fourth place.

Shelter Island senior Joshua Green was first in 1:28.05 and Center Moriches junior William Pettit took second in 1:29.67.

Early in the race, Razzano was second before falling to last. It wasn’t time for him to panic, though.

“I usually kick at the end,” he said. “I’m confident in myself that I can catch up to them.”

Mercy coach Les Williams liked what he saw from Razzano and Senica. “I think that was excellent because they were up against good competition,” he said.

Mount Sinai ran away with League V team title, collecting 101 points to 66 for runner-up Bayport. Mercy was 10th with 10.

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Photo caption: Riverhead junior Kian Martelli covered 44 feet, 2 1/2 inches to claim the League II triple jump crown. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)