The Huntington girls’ indoor track and field team competed in its final contest before next Sunday’s county championships, posting numerous personal bests and even a new school record at last weekend’s Jim Howard Invitational at Suffolk-West in Brentwood.
“Overall, the meet was a really fine tune-up for counties,” said Shawn Anderson, who serves as the assistant coach to Debra Cheskes. “The results speak for themselves.”
Senior Ryann Gaffney finished second in a field of 37 in the 55m high hurdles in a new school record time of 8.75 seconds. The teenager came back to win her 300m heat in 44.50 seconds, which placed her 12th overall among 49 runners. Teammate Marina Ruzic was 15th overall in 44.82 seconds.
Ruzic lowered her personal best time in the 600m run by almost a second, finishing second in a field of 29 in a time of 1:42.64. Sophie Dellecave lowered her best time in the event while winning her heat in 1:48.79 to finish tenth overall. Alexis Pastorelli placed 13th in 1:50.78. Niamh Condon finished 19th with a personal best time of 1:53.46.
In other notable performances for the Blue Devils:
1500m run: Nicole Abbondandelo won her heat in 5:18.20. “As was with League III championships, it was a nice test of fitness to see where she is, as we prepare for the spring season,” Anderson said. Keily Rivas finished in 5:26.27. Known primarily as a race walker, Rivas has blossomed into an all-around runner. Last Sunday’s performance was a significant new personal best for the teenager, who had never turned in a time faster than the 5:40s.
55m dash: Catie Ricciardelli (8.10 seconds) turned in the best time of any Blue Devil. Mackenzie Joseph (8.29 seconds) and Megan Agrillo (8.41 seconds) both posted personal bests.
1500m race-walk: Erika Varady took third in a time of 7:39.23.
Shot put: Jolena Smith finished eighth with a toss of 20-04.25 feet. Nephar Durand was 12th with a throw of 28-10.00 feet.
Triple jump: Bests were seen across the board with Mackenzie Joseph going 32-10.00 for second place and Sophie Dellecave leaping 32-07.50 for third. Liz Berejka jumped 30-11.75, which placed her ninth in the talented field.
1000m run: Alexis Pastorelli was 13th in a time of 3:20.33.
“As the seeds come out this week, we will see what we can do and how we stack up at counties,” Anderson said. “This is our first time in the large school division. All in all, our performance in the Jim Howard Invitational was another step in the right direction with most of the team looking to peak this week.”