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Track athletes overcoming odds to compete

Cooperation, teamwork, and grit are cornerstones in any sport. Shelter Island’s Saturday, Feb. 6 winter track meet was a showcase of all three.

Originally the Islanders teams were to face John Glenn and Center Moriches, but both the Island’s home track at Southold and Glenn’s were still covered in snow and ice and had to be postponed for a week. 

Hearing of the situation, Athletic Director Todd Gulluscio called East Hampton Athletic Director Joe Vas.

Because the East Hampton grounds crew had done a fantastic job clearing the track, the Bonackers home meet was still on with Rocky Point. Both coaches welcomed the Shelter Island teams to hop in the meet as a scrimmage and get in some good competition with much larger schools.

The Bonackers are defending Class B county champions in cross country with the entire team returning. Both the boys and girls teams ran hard and turned in some excellent performances.

Terrific teamwork by Madison Springer, Alex Burns, Olivia Overstreet and Ariana Carter in the 4 x 200-meters resulted in a season best time of 2:19.

Sophie Clark threw the shot put 24’2.5” to a new personal record (PR), while Kaitlyn Gulluscio had one of her best throws in a 19’8” effort.

Two PRs were set in the 55-meters: Izzy Foncesa, 9.1 (PR), Burns, 9.2, Overstreet 9.4, Gulluscio, 10.3 (PR) and Lily Page, 10.3 (tied own PR).

Pitted against a deep field of All-County and All-State athletes in the 600 meters the Island athletes represented themselves well: Carter (2:13), Andrea Napoles (2:20) and Springer (2:25). Coach Kevin Barry praised the girls for running so well against the heavy hitters.

Three out of four athletes set PRs in the 300-meters: Burns, 57.1, Overstreet, 59.3 (PR), Foncesa, 59.8 (PR) and Page, 1:03.7 (PR).

Coach Barry singled out Clark as the athlete of the meet. Sophie fell hard after the second hurdle but got up and finished the race in 19.0. “I’m so proud of her no-quit attitude,” the coach said. “Everyone there that witnessed it was so moved and impressed and inspired.”

Results from boys competition

55-meters: Tyler Gulluscio, 8.2 Hayden Rylott, 8.3, Jaxson Rylott, 8.6, James Duran, 9.2, Jalill Carter, 7.4, Theo Olinkiewicz, 8.8.

300-meters: Jason Green, 44.5, Hayden Rylott, 48.3, Jaxson Rylott, 49.8, James Duran, 51.9, Theo Olinkiewicz, 50.4.

600-meters: Tyler Gulluscio, 1:46, Jason Green, 1:40.

1,600 meters: Tyler Gulluscio, 5:22, Jason Green, 4:50, Theo Olinkiewicz 5:51.

Shelter Island’s Jason Green leads in the 1,600-meters against an East Hampton runner. (Credit: Kevin Barry photo)

This meet was another opportunity to see other schools and witness the cooperation of athletic directors working together to give our kids every opportunity to compete in this shortened season.