The numbers don’t lie. Mattituck High School’s girls winter track team is on the upswing.
Last season the Tuckers had 17 athletes on the roster. This season they have 39.
“We have a lot of girls,” coach Chris Robinson said. “It’s a sport that’s continuing to grow … Now it’s our third season in the winter, so we’re no longer kind of rookies in this sport. We have some expectations for ourselves.”
Meg Dinizio has experience running in outdoor state meets. The senior sprinter will compete in the 55- and 300-meter events as well as the 4×200 relay.
Dinizio is one of only six seniors on the team. The others are Ashley Burns (high jump, 600, 55), Rebecca Foster (55, discus, shot put), Brianna Fox (600, long jump), Jaime Gaffga (300, long jump, 55) and Julia Vasile-Cozzo (hurdles, 1,500-meter race walk).
Also expected to make an impact are freshmen Kylie Conroy (1,000 and 1,500), Bella Masotti (55, 300, 4×200 relay) and Nikki Searles (hurdles, relays, long jump), sophomores Claire Gatz (middle distances, triple jump) and Payton Maddaloni (300, 600 and 1,500) and junior Katie Parks (55-meter hurdles).
“We lost a lot of seniors,” Robinson said. “This is a young team that has a lot of growing to do, but I think we have the right pieces to do that … Again, it’s going to come to down to some of these younger girls stepping into some positions and some opportunities that they need to really attack early on.”
There is an “i” in winter track. It’s certainly more of an individual sport than the spring version, which has more team scoring and keeps team win-loss records for dual meets.
“I like the challenge of young girls stepping up and performing at the level that we know we can be,” Robinson said. “Individually, they have to step up and compete against themselves more than anybody and improve each and every week.”
He added, “As a whole, I’d like everybody to continue to improve, improve on their own times, compete against themselves, keep working hard in practice and just keep building, and if they keep getting better every week, that’s really all I can ask.”
Photo caption: Senior sprinter Meg Dinizio will compete in the 55- and 300-meter events as well as the 4×200 relay for Mattituck. (Credit: Bob Liepa)