The Huntington High School girls’ track and field team is a resilient bunch. After dropping a close meet at West Islip, the Blue Devils quickly rebounded to post an impressive win at home against visiting Deer Park.
The highlight of the meet came in the last event. Deer Park’s Alexandria Maniscalco and Huntington senior Anna Gulizio battled it out. Each of them competed in other events during the meet and both were locked at the same height: 4-06.
“Both teams gathered around to watch the first attempts,” Huntington head coach Shawn Anderson said. “Ally and Anna cleared on their first times at 4-06 feet and the bar went up to 4-08. Both athletes cleared the height and bar was raised again, this time to 4-10. Gulizio had previous cleared 4-10 at West Islip, but Maniscalo had never cleared that height.”
Gulizio cleared 4-10 on her second attempt, but Maniscalo missed on all three of her tries. Deer Park stayed to watch as the bar went up to five feet. “This was a height unknown to Gulizio,” Anderson said. “She missed her first attempt, but as she got height for her second attempt, she just brushed the bar with her leg. It shaked, but it stayed in place. It’s a huge new personal best for Anna. It was an exciting way to end the meet.”
Nicole Abbondandelo won three races, taking the 1500m run in 5:09 and later winning the 800m run (2:30.6) and 3000m run (11:52).
Erika Varady and Keily Rivas finished first and second, respectively in the 1500m race-walk with solid times in the mid-eight minutes. Nicole Arenth withstood a stiff challenge to capture third place in 9:02.
In other action for Huntington:
• Discus: Jolena Smith took first place with a toss of 90-feet while Nephar Durand placed third with a throw of 84-09 feet. Freshman Mya Davis tossed a personal best 66-10 feet.
• Shot put: Smith took third with a personal best effort of 32-08 feet. Durand also turned in a best with a toss of 32-03 feet.
• Triple jump: Gulizio finished second with a jump of 31-10.75 feet.
• Long jump: Marina Ruzic placed first with a leap of 15-05 feet.
• Pole vault: Alexandra McKenzie captured first by clearing 7-06 feet. Bella Thompson placed third with a height of 6-06 feet.
• 100m high hurdles: Mardnie Mentor placed second in 18.7 seconds.
• 1500m: Hadley Clayton (5:16) placed second in a personal best time.
• 400m: Gulizio (63.0 seconds) and Ruzic (65.7) placed 1-2.
• 100- Eve Combs ran a personal best time of 14.3 seconds.
• 800m: Alexis Pastorelli finished third in 2:37.6.
• 200m: Ruzic finished second in a time of 27.8 seconds. Thompson ran a best of 29.9. McKenzie also dipped under 30 seconds, finishing in 29.9.
• 400m hurdles: Clayton finished first in 79.0 seconds. Karley Mathews was third in a personal best time of 85.6 seconds.
• 3000m: Pastorelli placed second in11:56.9.
• 4x400m relay: The team of Gulizio, Abbondandelo, Ruzic and McKenzie ran the race in 4:27 to claim victory.
The two teams had a great time trying to one-up the other and gain an edge in the score. “Even the officials commented on how much fun it was to be a part of the meet,” Anderson said. “They explained it was one of their favorite meets to officiate, because both Deer Park and Huntington showed enthusiasm and excitement on a cold, damp day.”