It’s a whole new world for the Huntington High School girls’ winter track and field team. After a sensational multi-year run in the county small schools division, the Blue Devils have moved into the large school category after enrollment changes caused movement between levels.
Coached by Debra Cheskes and Shawn Anderson, Huntington has been practicing since mid-November. The Blue Devils opened the competitive season this past Sunday during a crossover meet between teams from different leagues at Suffolk Community College’s western campus fieldhouse in Brentwood.
The season is in full swing and we have our hands full moving from small schools to large schools due to the increase in school enrollment,” Anderson said. “With that said, we have a lot to work on and we have some athletes who are looking to rise to the challenge.”
Huntington’s top performances this past Sunday included:
55m high hurdles: Ryann Gaffney finished second in a time of 9.62 seconds.
55m dash: Gaffney doubled back to take seventh in a time of 7.96. Mardnie Mentor (8.47) and Liz Berejka (8.48) notched personal bests in the race.
1000m run: Hadley Clayton took fifth place in a personal best time of 3:22.64. Keily Rivas ran a solid race, clocking 3:35.38 in her first non-walking competition.
1500m run: Alexis Pastorelli and Louise Koepele shook off some rust, finishing sixth and seventh in 5:21 and 5:27, respectively. Eighth grader Valerie Rogel sliced about 20 seconds off her previous best time, crossing the finish line in 5:53.04.
Shot put: In her first season with the team, senior Jolena Smith tossed the weight ball 29-02.5 feet. Nephar Durand also enjoyed a set of solid tosses with her best throw being measured at 28-11 feet.
Triple jump: Rebecca Caballero took third with a series of leaps that measured 32-07 feet. Sophie Dellecave placed third with a distance of 30-06.75 feet.
“The first meet is always a tough one, where newcomers are learning race strategies or field techniques and veterans look to hit their strides,” Anderson said. “This was a small step forward in the right direction.”