In the Section XI large school team championships last year, Riverhead came within a second of breaking a school record in the 4×800 relay. All four of those runners had run individual events that day as well. So, this time around, the Blue Waves tried a different tactic. With the exception of Christina Yakaboski, who was fifth in the 1,500, the three other relay team members sacrificed individual events in order to have fresh legs for the 4×800. It was a wise maneuver.
Yakaboski anchored an all-sophomore team of Kristina Deraveniere (running the 4×800 for the first time this season), Emma Conroy and Megan Kielbasa. Yakaboski’s long-legged stride provided a strong finish in 10:07.63, good for third place. It was also good for blasting 12 seconds off the previous Riverhead record. That time of 10:20.03 was set by Deirdre Apicello, Catherine Dillingham, Laura Asendio and Ellen Dougherty in 2005.
“The girls each did their part and then some to shatter the record in a great way,” Riverhead coach Justin Cobis said. “To see them work so hard, it’s great for them to be rewarded like this.”
Yakaboski ran 4:57.31 in the 1,500. Riverhead sophomore Miasha Pittman competed in two events: the 55-meter dash and the 300. She missed qualifying for the finals in both events. In the high jump, junior Julia Divan cleared 4 feet 10 inches for ninth place.
Sachem East, with 83 points, won the team championship ahead of Longwood (48) and William Floyd (46).
Photo caption: Riverhead’s relay team of (from left) Christina Yakaboski, Kristina Deraveniere, Megan Kielbasa and Emma Conroy pose after the relay event. (Courtesy photo)