Girls Track & Field Preview: New Mattituck coach is a sprinting specialist

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03/20/2013 2:00 PM |
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer, a pentathlon veteran, working on her hurdling during Mattituck's practice on Monday.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer, a pentathlon veteran, working on her hurdling during Mattituck’s practice on Monday.

When it comes to track and field, it’s no secret that Mattituck High School isn’t exactly known for being a sprinters’ factory. Chris Robinson would like to change that.

Robinson, the new coach of Mattituck’s girls team, seems like an ideal fit for the Tuckers. Coaching sprinters is his specialty.

“I’m confident that we have some good sprinters here somewhere,” Robinson said while his athletes warmed up for Monday’s practice. “I’m going to dig them out. I’m going to find them.”

Robinson comes from a football background. He played for Patchogue-Medford High School and the University of New Hampshire before spending six years playing arena football. Now, after some shoulder surgeries, he is taking on his first head coaching job.

Sprinters like Desirae Hubbard, Nicole Zurawski, Alya Ayoub and Taylor DiDonna look to benefit from the counsel of Robinson, who also runs a company that helps athletes with their speed and agility.

Speaking generally of the Tuckers, Robinson believes he can find time for them in their starts coming out of the blocks. “I think they lose a lot of time on these sprints by technique alone,” he said.

Mattituck has three senior leaders in Anna Goerler (middle distances), Lauren Guja (throws, long jump, relays) and Zurawski, who can compete in jumping events as well as sprints.

Kaylee Bergen and Melanie Pfennig will both run the 1,500 and 3,200 meters. Shannon Dwyer is a pentathlon veteran and Pam Batist will throw the discus and the shot put.

“The talent we got coming back, I think we’re going to compete and we’re going to do well,” Robinson said. “The leadership is there, and I think the girls want to do well. I think the attitude is not to just come out here and run. I think they want to come out here and compete. If you have that attitude, you can be successful.”

Greenport returns a team for the second straight year. Coach Jack Martilotta has about 16 girls on the team, which isn’t too bad considering the size of their school.

“We’re in the same position; we don’t have the numbers,” Martilotta said. “Greenport’s only got, what, 170 kids in the high school. So, we’re looking to compete in individual events. It’s a small school. The numbers don’t seem like that much, but if you look at how many children you’re actually pulling from” it’s a decent percentage.

Two returning sophomores, Megan Murray and Emma Marshall, are looking to make strides in 2013. Murray will compete in the high jump and the discus while Marshall runs the 100, 200 and 400.

Good things are expected from a freshman, Marina DeLuca, in the high jump and sprints.

“They’re really excited to be out here,” Martilotta said. He added: “We’ll see how it goes. We have some talent. We definitely have some talent.”

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GARRET MEADE PHOTO | From left, Greenport's Megan Murray, Marina DeLuca and Emma Marshall hit the track during practice.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | From left, Greenport’s Megan Murray, Marina DeLuca and Emma Marshall hit the track during practice.

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