The Huntington girls’ indoor track and field team is off and running, jumping and throwing. The squad has a great cast of athletes who are all training hard and hoping to win gold medals this winter.
The Blue Devils have a very strong returning core, including several athletes who are defending state champions or All-State. Huntington is coached by Mark Jackson and Eddie Santos.
The key returnees include:
Alicia Brooks: A team captain who is the Huntington High School record holder in long jump (18-09.75 feet) and 55m dash (7.44 seconds). She is a returning state champion on the Blue Devils 4x200m relay, running the lead leg.
Analisse Batista: Huntington High School’s 300m dash record holder (39.65 seconds) and indoor 400m run record holder (56.94 seconds). She is a returning state champion in the 4x200m relay, running the second leg.
Valerie Rogel: A team captain, she is the fastest returning 1000m (3:25.34) and 1500m (5:23.27) runner.
Mya Davis: A team captain, she is Huntington’s top returning thrower in shot put (31-07 feet) and weight throw (27-00 feet).
Caroline O’Rourke: Outstanding times in the 400m (59.0 seconds) and 800m (2:25). A two-time national qualifier and member of the All-State and Blue Devil record holding 4x400m relay team.
Brianna Halbeisen: Has run the 400m in 58.0 seconds. A two-time national qualifier and member of the All-State and Blue Devil record-holding 4x400m relay team.
Olivia Conte: Ran on last year’s state champion 4x200m relay team, she is also a top hurdler and has turned in the third fastest 55m dash time in Huntington girls’ track history. An All-American, she is adding high jump to her list of events.
“Olivia’s range of events has grown,” Jackson said. “Not only does she run, she’s also a hurdler and a jumper.”
The teenager is always working hard to accomplish a new set of goals. “I’m coming for the 55m hurdles and high jump records,” Conte said.
The Blue Devils’ core group is outstanding. It is completed by many other athletes who handle sprints, mid and long distances and field events.
“These girls individually are good, but together they are amazing,” Jackson said. “Every coach has commented, saying we are the team to beat. The chemistry between these girls is what will bring us a league and county title.”
The roster also includes seventh grader Elizabeth James, eighth graders Amirah Beverly and Jessica Kuom; freshmen Talia Addeo, Hope Bilkey, Sophie Bradford, Shelsea Castillo Licona, Izabela Cuji, Celia Davis, Briana Florvil, Alexis Joseph, Maryuri Nunez Gomez, Soraya Ortega-Salgado and Neha Rathore; sophomores Imani Archibald, Kiana Nosile, Zariah Smith, Tennia Strickland, April Swanson and Erin Ye; juniors Claire Conner, Giavanna Devoe, Timmeree Koepele and Ella Siepel; seniors Jai-la’ Bush, Mia Felicetta, Vennyse Green, Daniela Ramos Campos, Thanary Sanchez, Marissa Stafford and Lanaya Swazey.
The Blue Devils are in the midst of competing in crossover meets at Suffolk-West in Brentwood as well as metropolitan area and out of state invitational meets.