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Winter track is off to a flying start — first ever teams set records

CHRISTINE GALLAGHER PHOTO  The Shelter Island School girls winter track team with the baton after establishing the school record in the 4 x 200 meter relay. From left, Hayley Lowell-Liszanckie, Francesca Frasco, Emma Gallagher, Lindsey Gallagher and Lauren Gurney.

CHRISTINE GALLAGHER PHOTO
The Shelter Island School girls winter track team with the baton after establishing the school record in the 4 x 200 meter relay. From left, Hayley Lowell-Liszanckie, Francesca Frasco, Emma Gallagher, Lindsey Gallagher and Lauren Gurney.

Four weeks into the season and so far all the athletes on the Shelter Island varsity winter track boys and girls teams are making good progress at practice while braving the elements outdoors.

The season kicked off with practices starting in mid-November and the first competitions began the first week of December at Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus.

Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk County public high school athletics, has over 3,000 boys and 3,000 girls rostered from approximately 60 schools for winter track this season.

During our cross country season, the boys and girls teams typically practice together with near identical race schedules. But with winter track, except for the season ending State Qualifier Meet, the boys and girls teams have diffferent schedules.

In 2013, the first Hall of Famers were inducted into Shelter Island School’s Athletic Hall of Fame. During the 1990s, Coach Cliff Clark compiled the Shelter Island all-time cross country and track performers list when he coached the Indians to many of the school’s records.

In speaking with Coach Clark, the Island’s de facto running historian, we learned the Island has had many spring track programs, but this is the first winter track program ever. Many of the events are unique to winter track only, namely the 55-meter dash, the 300-meter dash, the 600-meter run and the 1,000-meter run. This year’s boys and girls teams will establish the school records in each of these events.

The season started with the girls traveling to Brentwood on Sunday, December 4 for their first crossover meet. At crossovers, all athletes, except those involved in the relay races, compete as individuals, not teams. It was a new experience for most of the athletes and they were very excited. Competing with 14 other schools, large and small, the Lady Indians posted some impressive performances for the smallest school in the house. In the 300-meter dash, freshman Emma Gallagher ran 47.84 seconds to establish a school record (SR) while freshman Lauren Gurney ran a 54.

In the 600-meter run, Emma Gallagher ran 1:48.54 minutes (SR), junior Francesca Frasco ran a 2:09, a personal record (“PR”), junior Lindsey Gallagher ran 2:09, Gurney ran 2:14 (PR), and junior Hayley Lowell-Liszanckie ran 2:39 (PR). In the 1,500-meter race, Lindsey Gallagher ran 5:09.90 (PR).

On Wednesday, December 7, the boys team traveled to Brentwood for their first crossover meet. Competing with 15 other schools, the boys also did very well. In the 55-meter dash, sophomore Michael Payano ran 7.98 seconds (SR and PR). In the 300-meter dash, 7th grader Pacey Cronin ran 53.5, freshman Jonas Kinsey ran 44.80, freshman Beto Morales ran 46.56 and Payano ran 43.76 (SR). In the 600-meter run, freshman Jonas Kinsey ran 1:35.54 (SR and PR) and freshman Luke Lowell-Liszanckie ran 2:05. In the 1,000 meter run, junior Jack Lang ran 3:19.54 (SR and PR).

On Sunday, December 11, the girls team traveled to Brentwood for their second crossover meet. In the 55 meter dash, Gurney ran 8.69 (SR). In the 300 meter dash, Frasco ran 53.8 (PR), and Hayley Lowell-Liszanckie ran 64.9 (PR). In the 600-meter run, Emma Gallagher ran 1:50.18. In the 1,000-meter run, Lindsey Gallagher ran 3:15.63 (SR and PR). The most exciting part of the day was the 4 x 200 meter relay, a fast moving, all-out sprint with close margins and not a lot of room on the track. The team of Hayley Lowell-Liszanckie, Emma Gallagher, Frasco and Lindsey Gallagher ran 2:13.63 to establish the school record for the girls 4×200 relay.

Since this is the school’s first winter track program, the boys and girls teams did a great job of establishing some school records with solid times. School records, of course, that will challenge themselves and their teammates to break during the remainder of the season.

Next meet for the girls is Saturday, December 17; next meets for the boys are Sunday, December 18 and Tuesday, December 20, all at Brentwood.

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