Featured Story

Winter track is off and running for Island girls and boys

DARIA KOLOMOGOROVA PHOTO Andrea Napoles takes off on the third leg of the 4 x 200 meter relay.

We hadn’t quite finished our cross country season in mid-November, when the Shelter Island Winter Track season arrived with only a week’s overlap between our buildup to the state cross country championships and the first week of winter track practice. Once the cross country season was complete, it was time to change gears.

Coach Toby Green is coaching the boys team numbering 11 athletes. Ten of them rolled over from the cross country program to winter track: sophomore Pacey Cronin, junior Jason Green, junior Tyler Gulluscio, sophomore Michael Hand, senior Jonas Kinsey, senior Kal Lewis, senior Alberto Morales, junior Theo Olinkiewicz, 7th grader Jaxson Rylott and junior Daniel Schulteis. The boys team added one new athlete, 8th grader Hayden Rylott.

I’m coaching the girls team numbering 15 athletes. Five athletes rolled over from cross country: sophomore Ariana Carter, senior Emma Gallagher, sophomore Daria Kolmogorova, sophomore Olivia Overstreet and freshman Madison Springer. Four athletes, senior Lyng Coyne, senior Lauren Gurney, freshman Andrea Napoles and sophomore Lily Page, returned to the sport after running either winter or spring track last year. New to track are senior Maria Carbajal, freshman Myla Dougherty, sophomore Isabella Fonseca, senior Jennifer Lupo, sophomore Emma Martinez-Majdisova and sophomore Francis Regan. It’s exciting to be adding so many new athletes to the team for two reasons — they already have a strong bond as volleyball teammates and they infuse new energy to the program.

Track includes a variety of running events, from the 55-meter dash to the 2-mile run, and many distances in between. Track covers the spectrum from the short sprinter to the distance runner, and it gives athletes many opportunities to find the events they’re strong in as well as some events just for fun. One of the most competitive and team-oriented events are the four-person relay events, which most athletes look forward to.

In winter, the field events are limited to the high jump, long jump, triple jump and shot put because the competitions take place indoors. At the venues we compete in, there just isn’t enough room indoors to pole vault or safely let a discus or javelin fly.

Winter track is different from spring track in that all schools, from the biggest to the smallest (Shelter Island is the smallest by far) compete for a very few select spots at the end of the season to qualify for the state championships.

Running a track program without a real track takes creativity on the part of coaches and flexibility for athletes to make it all work and get in the quality work we need, especially on those days when we have to train indoors.

On Saturday, Dec. 7, the boys team traveled to Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus to compete in “Crossover A.” First up, Green ran a big time personal record (“PR”) in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 11:38.50, taking two minutes off his previous best. In the 55-meter dash, Morales broke the school record with a time of 7.60 seconds while Hand and Hayden Rylott ran PR’s of 7.76 and 8.67, respectively. In the 1,000-meter run, Gulluscio, who is doubling up as a dual athlete with basketball, ran a very respectable 3:06.83 minutes while Cronin posted a time of 3:23.32 (PR).

In the 600-meter run, Lewis and Kinsey posted strong starts to the season with performances of 1:25.58 and 1:32.06. In the 300-meter dash, Morales ran 43.06 seconds, Hand 47.46 (PR) and Hayden Rylott 53.92 (PR). The boys finished their day with the 4 x 400 relay team of Cronin, Gulluscio, Kinsey and Lewis in 4:06.71.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, the girls team traveled to Brentwood to compete in Crossover A. The girls day started with the 55-meter dash, a popular event with six Indians running it. Every girl set a new personal record in the 55 meter dash as follows: Gurney 8.43 seconds, Regan 8.95, Fonseca 8.95, Overstreet 9.20, Page 9.46 and Kolmogorova 9.72. Next up was the 1,000 meter run where Carter posted a time of 4:08.68 minutes (PR). First timers to the 600-meter run, Dougherty and Carbajal did very well running 2:07.30 (PR) and 2:24.24 minutes (PR), respectively.

The 300-meter dash soon followed and it was apparent that all the girls gave their best. They posted solid season opening times as follows: Gurney 51.78 seconds, Overstreet 55.28, Dougherty 56.51, Page 59.70, Napoles 61.77 and Regan 61.95, all PR’s.

A fast moving and exciting relay, the 4 x 200 meter relay closed out the day for the Indians.

Because we have the numbers, for the first time the girls were able to put up two relay teams. The relay team of Fonseca, Regan, Overstreet and Carter posted a time of 2:15.79 minutes and the relay team of Gurney, Dougherty, Napoles and Page posted a time of 2:22.90.

All in all, the coaches are happy with the start of the season. With continued commitment and hard work, we look forward to another rewarding season.

Coming up, the girls will run Crossover B at Brentwood this Saturday, Dec. 14 starting at 11:45 a.m.

The boys will run Crossover B at Brentwood this Sunday, December 15 at 11:30 a.m.