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Spring track has sprung for Shelter Island varsity teams

FRANCESCA FRASCO PHOTO From left, Theo Olinkiewicz, Jason Green and, farther down the line Jack Lang in the Shelter Island colors, at the first race of the varsity spring track season.

FRANCESCA FRASCO PHOTO From left, Theo Olinkiewicz, Jason Green and, farther down the line Jack Lang in the Shelter Island colors, at the first race of the varsit y spring track season.

Varsity spring track for returned to Shelter Island School this year. After nearly 10 years, the school now has a varsity boys team and a varsity girls team.

Spring track is run outdoors on a 400-meter track, as opposed to the 200-meter indoor track during the winter season. Outdoors usually favors the athletes since athletes run slightly faster times outdoors because the outside air is easier to breathe and the turns are not as sharp as the small track.

But there are trade-offs.

When the starting gun goes off with temperatures in the 30s and the wind howling off Long Island Sound, it can make one yearn for the warmer, windless indoor track.

The roster for varsity girls spring track includes seniors Francesca Frasco, Lindsey Gallagher, Justine Karen and Isabella Sherman as well as sophomores Lyng Coyne, a new comer, and Emma Gallagher. The roster for varsity boys includes seniors Joshua Green and Jack Lang, junior Michael Payano, sophomores Jonas Kinsey, Kal Lewis and Alberto Morales and freshmen Jason Green, Tyler Gulluscio, Theo Olinkiewicz and Daniel Schulteis.

The teams are coached by Bryan Gallagher and Toby Green. Call us a team, but in actuality, we are running as a group of independent athletes, much like the Olympic athletes of Russia did during the 2018 Winter Games in North Korea, since that is all the school athletic budget allows. This means neither of our teams will score nor will they be competing for league or division championship team titles this season.

But as individuals we can compete for the individual championship titles aka State Qualifiers if any of our athletes make the top 12 in an event. Nevertheless, the athletes are very grateful and happy, particularly the seniors, who get to run this one season before going off to run in college.

Running as independents, we have been sharing a bus with the Greenport/Southold teams and have followed their league schedule. It’s turned out to be a mutually beneficial relationship with our neighbors to the north.

For some athletes, spring track offers one last season with teammates they’ve formed strong bonds with over the past six years. For some, it’s another opportunity to try to break into the school’s top 10 performers for one or more events. For others, it’s a chance to try new events.

Thus far, we ran against Port Jefferson on March 28, Mattituck on April 10 and Ross on April 14.

The girls team has shown incredible commitment, getting off to a good start, rewriting some of the school’s record books. For most athletes this is their first opportunity to reach for these records, because outdoor records are kept separately from indoor records and it’s our first time running them.

Coyne has moved into the top 10 100 meter performers. Lindsey and Emma Gallagher have moved into the number one and two spots in the 200-meter dash. The Gallagher girls along with Frasco have moved into the top 10 400-meter performers. Lindsey and Emma have also moved into the top 10 800-meter performers.

Finally, the relay team of Sherman, Emma Gallagher, Frasco and Lindsey Gallagher broke the school record established in 1994 in the 4 by 100 meter relay with a time of 58.9 seconds.

The boys team has done equally as well. Morales and Payano have moved into the top 10 Shelter Island 100-meter performers. Joshua Green, Morales and Payano have moved into the top 10 200 meter performers. Joshua Green now holds the number three spot in the 400-meter run and the number four spot in the 800-meter run.

Lewis, Kinsey, Lang, Jason Green and Olinkiewicz hold spots in the top 10 1,600-meter outdoor performances.

On April 21, Lewis broke the school’s mile record running a time of 4:24.60 at the super competitive New York Relays in Manhattan. The relay team of Schulteis, Jason Green, Gulluscio and Morales established the school’s 4 by 100 meter relay record. The relay team of Lang, Payano, Kinsey and Joshua Green earned a number three spot in the 4 by 400 meter relay.

Finally, Jason Green earned a spot in the top 10 for the discus throw.

There’s five more races on the calendar. This week, the girls will run on the road against Mercy on April 26. In addition, both the boys and girls teams will be competing at the Westhampton Beach Invitational on Saturday, April 28.

We hope the competition will bring out the best in all of our athletes.

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