This has been a good run for the Mattituck High School girls track and field team. Coach Chris Robinson sees no reason for it to end just yet.
Mattituck ran through all six of its Suffolk County League VIII dual meets last year, going a perfect 6-0 for a second straight league championship and seventh overall. “We plan to continue that,” said Robinson.
The Tuckers, who are 15-1-1 over the past three years (their last loss came in 2015), have lost some long-distance strength with the graduation of Melanie Pfennig and others, but hope to make up for it in the sprints, jumps and relays.
Meg Dinizio, a senior sprinter, has reached the state meet the last three years. “She’s probably been the most consistent performer that I’ve had,” said Robinson.
Last year Dinizio finished 19th in the state meet in 13.55 seconds. Her personal record is 13.0.
Dinizio was also a member of the 4 x 100-meter relay team that qualified for the state meet, along with freshman Bella Masotti.
Those two were also members of the 4 x 100 team, along with junior Miranda Annunziata and freshman Nikki Searles, that was a league indoor champion this past winter.
Also helping out in the sprints are senior Elvira Puluc and eighth-graders Aaliyah Shorter and Emily Nicholson.
For jumping events, Mattituck has senior Jordyn Maichin, junior Amber Rochon, junior Gabrielle Dwyer and sophomore Sarah Santacroce. Santacroce finished seventh in the discus at the Section XI Division Championships last year with a personal-best throw of 89 feet, 2 inches.
Mattituck looks in good shape in the 100-meter high hurdles, too, with junior Katie Parks, junior Courtney Trzcinski and Searles, who may also compete in the pentathlon. Senior Julia Vasile-Cozzo is a 1,500-meter race walker and runs the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. Rebecca Foster and Jenny Rutkowski are senior throwers.
“We have a lot of talent returning,” Robinson said. “It’s just a good group of different ability levels kind of merging together.”
The Greenport/Southold team must feel like a kid on Christmas morning, excitedly looking at a wrapped present, yet unable to open it just yet.
That is what it’s like for the Porters (3-4), who are anxiously awaiting the completion of Southold High School’s new six-lane, all-weather track.
“It’s a torture,” acknowledged coach Mike Gunther, who said the base of the track is in place, but the actual running surface needs to be applied. For that, he said, the weather will have to cooperate. He said a straight week with temperatures of 50 degrees and above is required.
The track would be a significant upgrade from the outdated cinder track at Greenport High School, and the school parking lot and driveway the Porters sometimes train on, without lines to mark the handoff zones for relays.
Leading Greenport this year is a corps of athletes who qualified for last year’s division championships: senior Haley Brigham in the 400 IH and 2,000-meter steeplechase, sophomore Kathryn Kilcommons in the 400 IH, senior Blayr Corazzini in the walk, senior Zoe Medina in the high jump and junior Marie Mullen in the 100 high hurdles.
The Porters have other veterans, too, like sophomore Jessica Villareal (400, triple jump, steeplechase, walk), junior Andrea Skrezec (high jump), junior Briann Suskevich (long jump, sprints), senior Cinthia Gonzalez (discus, shot put), sophomore Sophia Watchel (high jump, hurdles) and sophomore Andrea Mena-Ochoa (4 x 400 relay, discus, shot put, long jump, triple jump).
“The story of our team is we’re a very small team — 18 girls — but everybody is prepared to do anything,” said Gunther.
Greenport may have three freshmen on its 4 x 100 relay team: Courtney Cocheo, Marley Medina (Zoe’s sister) and Kelly Torres. Junior Emily Russell and senior Katherine Jarvis are also candidates for that team. All five are new to the squad.
Long-distance runner Nercida Toribio and walker Lena Wolf will also help out.
“It’s really the new people who will make a really nice impact on this team,” Gunther said. “My returners will perform how they should perform. The new people will make us better.”
Of Greenport’s six scheduled dual meets, there is only one “home” meet. That April 14 meet against Ross is to be run at Mattituck High School.
Gunther is hoping his team will have its new track ready before the season ends. He said the target date is April 29.
“We are hoping that we can have a home meet before the end of the season, just so the seniors can have that experience,” he said. “We never have a home meet. My kids have been road warriors from the beginning.”