Karley Matthews

Blue Devil Girls’ Track Wins on Senior Day

Karley Matthews ran a pesonal best time in the 400m hurdles. (Darin Reed photo.)

May 10, 2017

The Huntington girls’ track and field team gave its six seniors a day to remember when the Blue Devils closed out their home schedule with an exciting 81-59 victory over visiting Kings Park.

It was Senior Day at Blue Devil Stadium and there were some tears shed by Anna Gulizio, Jolena Smith, Rebecca Caballero, Marina Ruzic, Alexis Pastorelli and Louise Koepele, who have all meant so much to the Huntington program.

Teammates hung posters commemorating the careers of the seniors on the façade of the bleachers and head coach Shawn Anderson spoke about each one of the special teenagers.

Jolena Smith
Jolena Smith was among those honored on Senior Day. (Darin Reed photo.)

“Monday’s do not always turn out to be great days for us in terms of competition, however on this Senior Day the girls rose to the challenge,” Anderson said. The Blue Devils have won four of five league dual meets with the final contest set for Thursday at West Babylon.

While injuries have curtailed the season for both Pastorelli and Koepele, Gulizio, Smith, Caballero and Ruzic all had “quality days” against Kings Park, Anderson said.

The Blue Devils flew to victory on the wings of some very impressive performances, including several by Gulizio, who finished first in high jump by clearing 4-10 feet and who won the 400m dash by sprinting around the track in 60.6 seconds.

“Everyone performed really well, but besides that, the younger girls really tried to make it special for us seniors,” said Gulizio about the afternoon. “Overall, it was a really good day.

Alexandra McKenzie, Mackenzie Joseph and Bella Thompson swept the top three places in pole vault. Smith (32-08 feet) and Nephar Durand (30-04 feet) finished 1-2 in shot put. The pair reversed the results in discus with Durand throwing a personal best 102-04 feet to claim first and Smith tossing 88-06 feet for second place. Mya Davis surprised the field by grabbing third place with a throw of 78-10 feet, more than 10 feet further than her previous best in the event.

Caballero notched a personal best in triple jump, taking first with a leap of 34-06 feet. Joseph placed second with a best ever jump of 33-11.50 feet.

Highlights in the meet for the Blue Devils included:

High jump: Colette Barron leaped a season best 4-04 feet.
Long jump: Caballero finished third with a jump that was measured at 16-07.75 feet.
1500m: Nicole Abbondandelo (5:21.8) and Clayton (5:28.8) finished 1-2.
100m: Ruzic finished second in a season best time of 13.2 seconds.
1500m race-walk: Erika Varady (8:02) and Keily Rivas (8:05) placed 1-2.
800m: Abbondandelo (2:27), Hadley Clayton (2:36.2) and Sophie Dellacave (237.5) swept the top three spots.
400m hurdles: Sophie Dellecave finished third by clocking 82.7 seconds. Karley Mathews ran a personal best time of 84.1 seconds.
3000m: Abbondandelo hit the trifecta by winning in a time of 11:58 points. Clayton finished third in 12:02.
4x100m relay: Joseph, Ruzic, Gulizio and Caballero ran a season best time of 52.9 seconds.

Mardnie Mentor
Mardnie Mentor flies over a hurdle for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)
Vennyse Green
Huntington freshman Vennyse Green in action. (Darin Reed photo.)
Mackenzie Joseph
Mackenzie Joseph leaps for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)
Rebecca Caballero
Senior Rebecca Caballero is one of Huntington's top jumpers. (Darin Reed photo.)