As winter track winds down, each consecutive race becomes more and more important for those with eyes on the end of season championship races. For most of the Indians and lady Indians, the season came to a close at the League Championships in the third week of January. But for two of Shelter Island’s top performers, the season continued.
On Jan. 25, the boys traveled to Suffolk County Community College’s Brentwood campus to compete in the Last Chance Meet, appropriately named because it’s the last opportunity to run a fast qualifying time to gain entrance into the Small Schools Championship, as well as State Qualifiers.
Senior Jonas Kinsey, in his last 600-meter run as a high school athlete, threw down a new personal record with a time of 1:28.83 minutes, placing fourth in the small schools division. (Note: the 600-meter run is not an event during outdoor or spring track). Senior Kal Lewis ran the 1,600-meter run in 4:29.33 minutes, taking first place in the small schools division. His time was faster than any large school athlete as well.
In order to qualify for Small Schools Championship, an athlete needs to have run a top 24 performance. Kinsey and Lewis were the only Indians, male or female, to qualify to run in the Small Schools Championship this season.
On Feb. 1, at the Small Schools Championship in Brentwood, Lewis ran the 1,600-meter run and once again gained a first place finish and Small Schools Champion. His time of 4:28.25 was the fastest time of the day county-wide and qualified him to run in the State Qualifiers. Kinsey ran the 600-meter run in 1:33.67, but missed qualifying.
On Feb. 10, Lewis traveled to Brentwood for the State Qualifiers at Brentwood. State Qualifiers brings the top athletes county-wide in each event to an “all the marbles” competition. Lewis’ race, the 1,600-meter run, brought the top 16 athletes from small schools and large schools alike. But only the top two athletes in each event advance to the State Championships.
Lewis had a very strong performance running 4:24.87, taking first place by a healthy 3-second margin over the second place Northport finisher. This qualifies Lewis to represent Shelter Island as well as Section XI (Suffolk County) at the Indoor Track State Championships for the second year in a row.
The State Championships will be held at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex in Staten Island on Saturday, March 7.