Kian Martelli sounded like an enthusiastic spectator, not a participant.
The Riverhead High School triple jumper seemed to thoroughly enjoy the competition he was involved in during the Section XI state qualifier Monday night at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.
Martelli, a state qualifier last year, enjoyed it so much that he didn’t seem to mind not qualifying for the state meet that will be held March 2 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island.
“It was so fun,” the senior said after his triple jump of 43 feet, 1 inch garnered him fourth place. “These kids got so good so fast. It’s nice. You see a lot of competition here.”
Bay Shore senior Marcrene Jeannot took first place with a distance of 46-9 1/2. Following him were Mount Sinai senior Kenneth Wei (46-9) and Sayville senior Michael McKilop (45-0).
“Two of the top three pr’d,” said Martelli, who was playing cards with triple jumpers afterwards. “One of them pr’d by over a foot. These kids come out of nowhere.”
Martelli’s personal-best distance is 44-2 1/2, but he has been dealing with pain he feels in his right knee, his takeoff leg, when he jumps.
“It’s OK,” Martelli said. “I’m still happy. I enjoy jumping.”
Martelli qualified for the Long Island Elite Meet later this month at St. Anthony’s High School.
Riverhead’s Ryan Carrick, running in the slower of two sections, was feeling good in his 1,600 race. About halfway through the race, the senior made his move into the lead and kept pushing it. With his long legs eating up track, Carrick was flying and looking fresh.
“I just felt it,” he said. “I started to go because of that.”
Carrick was the first in his section to cross the finish line in a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 34.88 seconds. He not only obliterated his previous best time of 4:42, but his time stood up for fifth place.
Northport senior Sean Ryan won in 4:26.97.
Riverhead’s Ryan Keane, could attest to the level of the competition in the state qualifier. Keane, who was 12th in the 1,000 in 2:46.87, described the meet as “high energy and very intense … You saw people crying.”
“I had plenty of competition,” Keane said. “I feel like I put my all into the race. Now the plan is to go into spring track with more intensity than ever.”
Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Blake Wehr cleared 5-10 to finish in a tie for 10th in the high jump.
Garcia runs PR in 1,000. SWR junior Nicole Garcia had an idea of what it would take to qualify for the state meet. Her coach, Paul Koretzki, gave her an inkling, telling her a personal record would help.
No one ever said qualifying for the state meet was easy.
Well, Garcia did clock a personal record by a half-second, turning in a time of 3:06.05 in the 1,000. That earned her sixth place, but not a place in the state meet.
“That’s what I told her she had to do, but it wasn’t enough,” Koretzki said. “It’s a really tough meet.”
Garcia was happy, nonetheless.
“I thought I’d push harder the last 800 [meters] and give it all I got,” she said. The tough competition, she said, “definitely helped me push a lot harder.”
In other events, Riverhead freshman Ava Sunwalt took sixth in the 600 in 1:42.51. Teammate Kristina Deraveniere was 11th in 1:45.32.
Riverhead junior Christina Yakaboski, coming off a cold, wasn’t feeling her best. “I’m still not at a hundred percent, which is really frustrating,” she said. “I just feel rundown.”
That didn’t prevent her from running two races. Yakaboski finished sixth in the 1,500 in 4:55.55, and that was after she was timed in 3:08.99 for 12th place in the 1,000.
In the 1,500 race walk, SWR sophomore Torre Parrinello was 13th in 8:23.27.