Boys Track: First Win ‘Felt Great’

A noteworthy victory
Wanya Reid, in the van above, and Hunter Kelsey, at left, have provided a strong one-two punch for East Hampton in the sprints. Jack Graves

   The East Hampton High School boys track team, as its coach had predicted, won its first meet in three years at Elwood-John Glenn on April 30, by a score of 87-54.
    The Bonackers, coached by Chris Reich and Luis Morales, have been putting up points this season, but until the 30th hadn’t managed to win one.
    The noteworthy victory, said Reich, “felt great — it has been a long time coming. It really was a full team effort, and having done so well at the Westhampton invitational [on April 27] we were confident going into the meet at Glenn.”
    “Our distance runners [Adam Cebulski and Erik Engstrom chief among them] raced smart, running fast enough to score points where we needed to. Adam doubled by running the mile and 2-mile and scored 9 points for the team in doing so. Our sprinters scored huge points with Wanya Reid and Hunter Kelsey combining for 21 points in the 100, 200, and 4-by-100 relay. . . . The 400 went our way with Pablo Carreno and T.J. Paradiso finishing first and third with great times, even though their runner was the favorite to win that event. Probably our biggest surprise was Jack Ryan and Liam Kessler’s clearing 10 feet in the pole vault, both personal bests, earning them first and second place. Another huge p.r., good for second place, was Will Ellis’s 17.6-second performance in the 110-meter high hurdles, a personal best by about a second, and a time that should carry him through to the division meet.”
    Reich said the Tiger award “went to Will Ellis and Jack Ryan, who, besides his vaulting, ran in the 4-by-400 relay, recording a great split of 57 seconds, which keyed our win in that event.”
    “Sometimes,” Reich continued, “you have to lie to your team to bring out the best in them, and that’s what I did in the 4-by-4. After the 4-by-8 we knew we had won, but I told the 4-by-4 boys that we needed to win their relay in order to win the meet. It was worth it! Although they were upset with me afterward, they bettered their time by more than two seconds, and all of them — Ryan, T.J., John Grogan, and Evan Larsen — ran phenomenal times. No one was over 60 seconds.”
    “So, it was a great day for us, and we feel confident when it comes to our last home meet, with Westhampton, which Glenn defeated earlier this season.”
    The meet with Westhampton, whose record was 2-3 as of Monday (East Hampton was 1-4), was to have been held here yesterday.
    As for the Westhampton invitational on April 27, Reich said that “I can think of only two people who didn’t turn in personal bests.”
    Among the highlights, he said, were Reid and Kelsey’s one-two finish in the 100 in 11.83 and 11.84; Larsen’s personal-best 54.49 in the 400; Cebulski’s 4:39.67 and Engstrom’s 4:44.57 in the mile; the 4-by-1 relay team’s 46.5, and the 4-by-8 team’s 8:52, “bettering their previous best by almost a minute. It was the first time we’ve had a 4-by-8 team go under nine minutes in over a year.”
    The Tiger award that day was shared by Jackson Rafferty and Paradiso, “a freshman who broke out of his shell at Westhampton, running a 56.5 in the 400, a phenomenal time for any runner, especially for a freshman. . . . I expect him to do great things in the long term, as well as in the short term.”
    Others cited by Reich were Liam McGovern, “a sophomore who drop­ped about five seconds or more in the 400,” Rafferty’s sub-5:00 in the mile, a p.r. for him, and personal-best performances in the mile by Christian Figueroa, “who also medaled in the 400 hurdles,” Erik Perez, James Makrianes, and Cody Hillerud. “The only thrower we brought with us was Josh King, a freshman, who had a p.r. in the discus with a throw of 93-5.”
    The above-mentioned 4-by-100 relay team comprised Kelsey, Kessler, Carreno, and Reid; the 4-by-8 team’s members were Paradiso, Cebulski, Keaton Crozier, and Larsen.
    While East Hampton’s girls team lost to its John Glenn counterparts here on the 30th, there were numerous notable performances, said the girls’ coach, Shani Cuesta. Among them were Dana Cebulski’s school-record 5:00.2 in the 1,500 and her 30-103/4 in the triple jump; Amanda Calabrese’s school-record 17.3 in the 100 high hurdles; Cecilia Blowe’s personal-best 13.4 in the 100 and personal-best 28.2 in the 200; Nina Piacentine’s 8:27.35 in the 1,500 racewalk; Alyssa Bahel’s personal-best 12:00 in the 3,000; Taliya Hayes’s personal-best 78-9 in the discus, and the personal-best 10:44.4 run by the 4-by-800 relay team (Devon Brown, Bahel, Lilah Minetree, and Cebulski).
    As far as placements were concerned, Hayes won the discus and was second in the shot-put; Calabrese was second in the 100 high hurdles, second in the 400 intermediate hurdles, in a personal-best 78.0, and third in the pole vault, at 7-0; Blowe was second in the 100, in the 200, and third in the long jump, at 14-33/4; Cebulski was second in the 1,500, second in the 800, in 2:29.0, and anchored the winning 4-by-8 team, and Bahel’s winning time of 12:00 in the 3,000 was a personal best, as was Piacentine’s 8.27.35 in the walk.
    In addition, Morgan German’s 12:30.3, good for second place in the racewalk, was a personal best. And while they didn’t score, other personal bests were turned in that day included Bahel’s 5:33.44 in the mile, Minetree’s 73.5 in the 400; Gabbie McKay’s 13.8 and Sadie Ward’s 14.4 in the 100; Tyra Stewart’s 29.4 in the 200; Ward’s 79.2 in the 400 hurdles; the 5:08.5 run by the 4-by-400 A team (German, Kathryn Wood, Katie Tikkanen, and Allesia Williams); Merissah Gilbert’s 28-91/2 in the triple jump; Wood’s 14-11/4 in the long jump; Christine Malecki’s 25-2 in the shot-put, and Ashley Lynch’s 4-4 in the high jump.