02/08/15 4:53pm
02/08/2015 4:53 PM
McGann-Mercy junior Meg Tuthill takes off at the start of the 1,000. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

McGann-Mercy junior Meg Tuthill takes off at the start of the 1,000. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

McGann-Mercy junior Meg Tuthill experienced the thrill of winning a state title at last year’s track and field indoor championship. But the victory came as part of a sectional relay team.

Coming into this season, Tuthill’s goal was to qualify for the states in an individual event. And on Sunday, she did just that, placing third in the 1,000-meter race at the Section XI Championships at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood.  (more…)

06/07/14 5:00pm
06/07/2014 5:00 PM
McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill crosses the finish line after running the 1,500 Saturday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill crosses the finish line after running the 1,500 Saturday. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

NEW YORK STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

When Meg Tuhill arrived in Cicero, N.Y. for the New York State Championships, her focus centered on her first event: the 800-meter run.

Competing in two events at a state meet can be daunting enough for any runner, let alone a sophomore.  (more…)

06/05/14 3:59pm
06/05/2014 3:59 PM
A step-by-step view of how Riverhead senior Charles Villa has mastered the pole vault. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

A step-by-step view of how Riverhead senior Charles Villa has mastered the pole vault. Click on the photo to enlarge. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

When USA Today ran a series in 2005 on the 10 hardest things to do in sports, pole vaulting ranked third. In Riverhead, Charles Villa routinely makes it look easy.

The senior recently set the outdoor school record of 15 feet 1 inch. He finished first at last weekend’s state qualifier by clearing 14-3. On Friday, Villa will compete at the New York State Championships, where he’ll be aiming to set the record even higher. (more…)

05/31/14 9:45am
05/31/2014 9:45 AM
Bishop McGann-Mercy's Meg Tuthill ran to a second-place finish in the 800 meters in . (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Bishop McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill ran to a second-place finish in the 800 meters in 2 minutes 15.71 seconds. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS/STATE QUALIFIER

Bishop McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill took second place in the 800 meters in the Section XI girls track and field individual championships/state qualifier on Friday at Port Jefferson High School. Her time was 2 minutes 15.71 seconds. She finished behind Elwood/John Glenn senior Sarah Hardie, who won in 2:11.21. (more…)

05/29/14 2:23pm
05/29/2014 2:23 PM
Mattituck senior Desirae Hubbard scored in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes at the Division III Championships. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Mattituck senior Desirae Hubbard is seeded 10th in the 200-meter dash for the state qualifier. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

The Section XI track and field state qualifier will be held at Port Jefferson High School Friday and Saturday. The winner of each event earns a spot at the state meet, as well as the second-place finisher who has posted the qualifying standard. One athlete from Division II also qualifies in each event. (more…)

05/22/14 5:00pm
05/22/2014 5:00 PM
McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter, shown here Monday in the preliminaries, ran a personal best time in the 200-dash Wednesday at the Division III Championships. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter, shown here Monday in the preliminaries, ran a personal best time in the 200-dash Wednesday at the Division III Championships. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

In a 4 x 100-meter relay, every handoff is crucial. One small misstep can be all that it takes to squash a top time.

When McGann-Mercy’s relay team ran the preliminaries of the Division III Championships Monday at Connetquot High School, a shaky handoff between the first two legs served as important reminder. Back at practice the next day, the Monarchs spent a good chunk of time rehearsing the critical handoffs.  (more…)

10/29/2013 9:40 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | From left, Mattituck-Cutchogue school board member Jeff Smith, parents Jeanine Warns and Terri Boyle Romanelli the moment the track bond vote results were announced Tuesday night.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | From left, Mattituck-Cutchogue school board member Jeff Smith, parents Jeanine Warns and Terri Boyle Romanelli the moment the track bond vote results were announced Tuesday night.

The Mattituck-Cutchogue School District will get a new running track next year.

District residents voted 777-386 in favor of the $925,000 track bond proposal during a special vote Tuesday night in the high school gym. Of that total, there were 49 absentee ballots cast, with 34 voting yes and 15 voting no.

Superintendent James McKenna said he’s “thrilled” the bond was approved.

“This will be a wonderful asset for the school and community,” he said.

Senior Kyle Freudenberg was also excited about the track bond proposal passing.

Although she won’t get to enjoy it during her final school year at Mattituck High School, she said she’s pleased others will get to enjoy the new facility.

“I’ve been pushing this since eighth grade,” she said. “I’m so glad it passed.”

Officials have said the estimated cost of installing a new all-weather, polyflex track over the existing facility is about $675,000. The remainder of the bond would go toward purchasing portable bleachers and irrigation upgrades ($50,000), perimeter sport netting ($40,000), sidewalks ($15,000) and asbestos remediation work inside the school ($25,000).

The proposal also includes a $120,000 contingency budget. Some fees, such as architecture and legal, are lumped into the contingency budget, district business administrator Michael Engelhardt said.

Mr. McKenna said the asbestos remediation project was added to the bond because the state reimburses 10 percent of the total cost of capital improvement projects, including asbestos remediation work.

Sidewalks are needed in order to make the facility handicapped accessible, he said, and netting is a safety precaution to block lacrosse balls or other equipment from entering the track while it’s in use.

Mr. McKenna said nearly 15 percent of the high school’s 800 students participate in track and field and a new track would allow them to host home meets. The community would also be allowed to use the facility, he said.

As for estimated tax increases, Mr. McKenna said the yearly increase over 15 years would range between $8 and $12 for houses assessed at $400,000 to $650,000.

Construction is expected to start in June. Officials estimate the project will take about three months to complete.

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10/28/2013 7:00 AM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | The existing cinder track at Mattituck High School would be replaced by an all-weather track if voters approve a $925,000 bond proposal Tuesday.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | The existing cinder track at Mattituck High School would be replaced by an all-weather track if voters approve a $925,000 bond proposal Tuesday.

Inside the bondWhile some residents in the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District are hoping voters will approve a bond proposal for a track upgrade, others are expressing concerns about its cost and about a plan for maintaining the track over time.

About a dozen people attended the district’s informational meeting on Oct. 17 to discuss the upcoming track bond proposal vote, which is set for Tuesday between 3 and 9 p.m. in the high school gym.

During the meeting’s public comment portion, Mattituck parent Thomas Hoeg pleaded with audience members to approve the bond proposal.

“We need this track badly,” he said. “I can’t even run on [the existing track.] I run on the grass.

“I’m not even going to call it a track. It’s a joke.”

The community has debated what to do with the cinder track for several years and many school board members have said they believe it’s time to let the public weigh in on the proposal. In August, the school board members voted 5-1 in favor of putting up the $925,000 track bond proposition. Board member Sara Hassildine was absent from that meeting and Doug Cooper voted no.

[Editorial: The Suffolk Times weighs in on Mattituck’s track bond proposal]

Officials have said the estimated cost of installing a new all-weather, polyflex track over the existing facility at about $675,000. The remainder of the bond would go toward purchasing portable bleachers and irrigation upgrades ($50,000), perimeter sport netting ($40,000), sidewalks ($15,000) and asbestos remediation work inside the school ($25,000).

The proposal also includes a $120,000 contingency budget. Some fees, such as architecture and legal, are lumped into the contingency budget, district business administrator Michael Engelhardt said.

Superintendent James McKenna said the asbestos remediation project was added to the bond because the state reimburses 10 percent of the total cost of capital improvement projects that include asbestos remediation work.

Sidewalks are needed in order to make the facility handicapped accessible, he said, and netting is a safety precaution to block lacrosse balls or other equipment from entering the track while it’s in use.

Mr. McKenna said nearly 15 percent of the high school’s 800 students participate in track and field and a new track would allow them to host home meets. The community would also be allowed to use the facility, he said.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO |

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Mattituck athletic director Gregg Wormuth provided information about the track bond proposal during the Oct. 17 school board meeting.

Although the bond proposal doesn’t include a pole vault runway, athletic director Gregg Wormuth said it does include runways for triple jump, long jump and high jump competitions.

Dr. Hoeg suggested that the school board release details about how much the district will save in transportation costs if the new track proposal is approved since all of the team’s meets are currently away meets. He also said a reduction in labor costs would lead to savings because district employees would no longer have to weed the area and paint stripes around the track.

GARRETT MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck senior Desirae Hubbard during an away track meet last season. District officials said the new track would allow the school to host home meets

GARRETT MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck senior Desirae Hubbard during an away track meet last season. District officials said the new track would allow the school to host home meets.

Mr. McKenna said after the meeting that transportation for spring track (both boys and girls, junior high and varsity) cost more than $10,000 last year. He estimated the district could save about $5,000 if meets were split equally between home and away.

As for estimated tax increases if the bond passes, Mr. McKenna said the yearly increase over 15 years would range between $8 and $12 for houses assessed at $400,000 to $650,000.

“If that’s all my tax bill ever went up a year, I wouldn’t have an issue with it,” said Mattituck resident Marie Domenici, who is running for Southold Town assessor this year. “But I’ve said I want to live in my house until I die and the way my taxes are going up, I’ll be dead in three weeks.”

Ms. Domenici has suggested that instead of floating a bond, the district promote fundraisers and secure corporate sponsorships to pay for the project.

Mr. McKenna said a group called Mattitrack was formed several years ago and was only able to generate $15,000 after numerous fundraisers.

“It was used at the time to refurbish the track with a comparable substance that is on the track today,” he said.

Other residents asked why a maintenance plan and costs associated with preserving a new track weren’t included in the district’s mailing about the track bond proposal.

Mr. Wormuth estimated that maintaining the track would require a nearly $15,000 resurfacing project every five years. School board president Jerry Diffley said maintenance costs will be rolled into the district’s annual budget.

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