Boys and girls track teams kick off New Year in style

This year’s holiday break was the longest in years.

It was a time to visit with family and friends, a time to give and receive. With fairly mild weather for the past two weeks it was also a time to continue our training between the holidays. The race schedule was fairly light with only one race for the boys and one race for the girls in the past two weeks.

On Saturday, Jan. 4, a contingent of the boys team traveled to Manhattan to compete in the U.S. Air Force Hispanic Games at the world-famous 200-meter Armory Track. The Armory has quite a storied past. Each year the legendary venue hosts events for athletes from middle school, high school and college, and attracts international professional athletes and Olympians, as well.

Some of the world’s best athletes have competed here at some point in their track and field careers. The Hispanic Games serve as a qualifier for the select few athletes who do well enough to compete later in the season at the Armory’s banner event, the Milrose Games.

Juniors Jason Green and Theo Olinkiewicz were first up, competing in the Varsity Mile. After getting boxed in at the start, Green was able to break his way through the pack to a first place finish in his heat with a time of 5:22.13 minutes. Olinkiewicz ran well too, posting a time of 6:14.42.

By virtue of past and present performances, senior Kal Lewis was entered into the Invitational Mile, a signature event including 32 of the fastest milers in the Northeast. Lewis led the race for the first two of eight laps. Coach Green said it was a really good race with the position of the top six runners changing leads often before the race was over.

Lewis threw down a very solid performance of 4:22.52 minutes, taking fifth place overall.
Top time for the race was 4:18, so only a 4 second gap separated first place from fifth place.

On Sunday, Jan. 5, the girls team traveled to Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus to compete in Crossover D. Starting the afternoon with the 1,500-meter run, freshman Andrea Napoles ran a commendable first 1,500 meter of the season in 6:54.96 minutes, a personal record (PR). Next up, freshman Myla Dougherty set a new PR by running 51.26 seconds in the 300-meter dash.

In her first time competing in the 1,000 meter run, senior Maria Carbajal ran a personal record of her own in 4:32.06 minutes. Senior Emma Gallagher ran the 600-meter run in 1:59.18 minutes.

The girls finished the individual events with the 55-meter-dash as follows: senior Lauren Gurney 8.43 seconds, Dougherty 8.70 (PR), sophomore Isabella Fonseca 8.76, sophomore Olivia Overstreet 9.07 (PR), sophomore Lily Page 9.43 (PR) and sophomore Daria Kolmogorova 9.77.

Finishing the day with the 4-by-200 meter relay, the lady Indians entered two relay teams. The team of Gurney, Dougherty, Overstreet and Gallagher posted a time of 2:17.10 for a third-place finish, while the team of Napoles, Carbajal, Page and Fonseca posted a time of 2:24.88 for a sixth-place finish.

Coming up on the boys schedule is the freshman/ sophomore championships on Saturday, Jan. 11 at Brentwood. The girls are scheduled to run the Jim Howard Memorial Meet at Brentwood on Sunday, Jan. 12.