BOB LIEPA PHOTO
Corey Zlatniski of Mattituck competed in the high jump during Monday’s meet in Hampton Bays.
HAMPTON BAYS — With seven wins from seven Suffolk County League VII dual meets, the Hampton Bays boys track and field team is right where it wants to be. The big question, however, is where will the Baymen wind up?
“I thought we could be 7 and 0 at this point,” Hampton Bays Coach Dan Lennon said. “I definitely had those expectations, but now is when it gets tough.”
Hampton Bays will face what could be the biggest obstacle in its quest to gain its first league championship since 2006 on May 6 when it will go on the road to compete against the Port Jefferson Royals. (Going into yesterday’s meets, Port Jefferson was the only other unbeaten team in the league at 4-0.) Then Hampton Bays will close out its dual-meet season against the Southampton Mariners (3-1, 3-1) on May 12.
To maintain its sparkling record, Hampton Bays took care of business on Monday. Bruno Cavallo won three individual events and also ran on a winning relay team for the Baymen in their 99-42 defeat of the Mattituck Tuckers. Hampton Bays showed why it is in contention for the league title.
“I thought we were going to be good, but not this good,” said Cavallo, a senior who recently set the school’s high jump record at 6-5. “We’re all friends, and we’re all good at what we do.”
Lennon said: “We’ve got some depth, which is nice, a lot of new faces this year that stepped up. We’re spread out to the point where we can score in every event.”
Hampton Bays has outscored its opponents, 716-278. That is what the Tuckers (1-3, 1-3) were up against on Monday.
“They’re much improved and they’re a quality team,” Mattituck Coach Jim Underwood said of the Baymen.
Cavallo finished first in the long jump (18 feet 9 inches), shot put (41-11) and high jump (6-0). He also ran for the victorious 4×100-meter relay team along with Aaron Besch, John Havens and James Pace. They were timed in 46.4 seconds.
Pace, Josiah Hoshyla and James Tran were double winners for Hampton Bays. Pace won the 100 meters in 12.0 and the 200 in 24.1. Hoshyla posted personal-best performances to win both the 800 in 2:17 and the pole vault at 11-0. Tran triumphed in the 110-meter high hurdles in 17.7 and the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1:02.0.
Altogether, Hampton Bays took first place in 14 of the 17 events.
Nick Berglin, a Hampton Bays seventh grader, won the 3,200 in 11:40, finishing 14 seconds ahead of the runner-up, John Hamilton of Mattituck, who posted a personal-best time.
Also turning in winning performances for Hampton Bays were Ryan Walker (35-6 in the triple jump), Chaz Jakabascus (100-7 in the discus) and the 4×400 relay team of Marcus Shams, Cameron Booth, Hoshyla and Tran (4:06.3).
Mattituck received first-place points from Max Padula in the 1,600 (4:56) and Nick Troisi in the 400 (54.4). The Tuckers also won the 4×800 relay, with Troisi, Wilson Quizhpi, Corey Zlatniski and Hamilton clocking a time of 9:57.5.
“I think we learn a lot more from losing than winning,” said Troisi, who is Mattituck’s leading scorer and most likely team most valuable player. “I think we’re doing well. I think everyone’s trying really hard, and that’s what’s important.”
In addition to Hamilton’s showing in the 3,200, Mattituck was able to secure second-place points in the long jump (Tim MacNish at 17-8 1/2), 110-meter high hurdles (Troisi in 19.6), 800 (Hamilton in 2:17.3), 400-meter intermediate hurdles (Troisi in 1:07.9), 200 (MacNish in 24.7), triple jump (Zlatniski at 33-7 1/2) and discus (Bill Goggins at 89-2).
Lennon said that with wins over The Stony Brook School Bears and the Wyandanch Warriors in Hampton Bays’ previous two dual meets — by fairly comfortable margins, too — the Baymen had passed a couple of significant challenges. Those two teams had beaten Hampton Bays last year.
These recent victories give Hampton Bays something to run for as the dual-meet season approaches the final turn.
“It gives you something to look forward to, and it just keeps the momentum going throughout the season,” Lennon said. “They want it. They really do want it. They’re really excited and they’re working hard. They want to win the league championship. It would be great for them.”
It wouldn’t be a bad achievement for a school that is not especially known for track and field.
What about that 7-0 record?
“I love it,” Pace said. “I’m just looking to get another banner on our board, that’s about it.”