East Hampton High’s boys and girls track teams, each about 40 strong, began the season with a scrimmage here Friday with their Southampton peers.
Joe Vas, East Hampton’s athletic director, saw to it, even though it was a scrimmage, that judges were provided.
Ashley West, the girls team’s all-state runner, competed in four events — the 200, which she won, the 400, which she won, and in the 4-by-100 and 4-by-400 relays. East Hampton, with Jennie DiSunno, West, Merissa Gilbert, and Saoirse McKeon, won the 4x1 handily. The 4x4 was disqualified because of a baton pass out of the lane.
Besides the 4x1, Gilbert, a promising freshman, did the long jump, the triple jump, and the 100-meter hurdles. McKeon, besides anchoring the 4x1, won the shot-put, did the long jump, and won the 100. The discus throwers, Hannah Jacobs, Charlotte Wiltshire, and Vicky Nardo, were unopposed, though the girls head coach, Diane O’Donnell, said that Wiltshire’s 70-foot-6-inch throw was a personal best for her.
Lena Vergnes, who is closing in on Kathy Piacentine’s 32-year-old racewalk record, could not compete that day because she hadn’t had enough practices. Piacentine, née Ryan, who was there to watch her niece, Shannon Ryan, debut in the walk, said, when asked, that she had won the county event in 1980, but had, along with two other Downstaters, been d.q.’d at the state meet. “I don’t know,” she said with a smile, “I think it was home cookin’. Three of the top five were d.q.’d. . . . I think if we hadn’t been disqualified, I would have been second.”
Vergnes, whose mother, Sharon McCobb, was the Old Montauk Athletic Club’s 2011 athlete of the year, has done the 1,500 racewalk in 7:45. Piacentine’s mark is 7:34.
As for the boys, Chris Reich, the head coach, said in an e-mail, “The highlights for us were Adam Cebulski’s 5:04 and Mike Hamilton’s 5:14 in the mile, Will Ellis’s performances in the high jump and long jump, Keaton Crozier’s performance in the triple jump, Alex Osborne’s in the 800, and Donte Donegal’s win in the 100.”
“As the season goes on and the athletes really warm up and loosen up, they will only get faster and throw farther. The biggest surprise of the day came from J.C. Barrientos, a soccer player, who won the 400 in 57.7 seconds. He’s never run track before. For someone with such little experience he is a gifted athlete. Nick West, another soccer player, broke 60 seconds in the 400, but he had sore legs.”
“A number of my athletes are soccer players and they play it every chance they can get, but, while I love their spirit and work ethic, they’ve got to rest and recover on the days before meets.”
Reich too rates an athletic mention: He ran in New York City’s half-marathon over the weekend, finishing 671st out of the 15,300 competitors in a time of 1:28.34.