Finishing a season with a perfect record is no easy feat to accomplish, regardless of the sport or level of competition. So the J. Taylor Finley Middle School girls’ track and field team’s 6-0 mark is a big deal.
Coached by Phil Lowe and Carrie Postel, the 45 athlete strong squad was captained by eighth graders Alana Wallace, Lanaya Swazey, Isyss Jones and Ella Siepel.
Finley toppled East Northport (56-52), Kings Park (87-21), Northport (86-26), Elwood (49-23), Oldfield (61-45) and Hauppauge (69-46) in dual meet action.
The Falcons were led by seventh graders Caelan Clayton, Olivia Conte and Shaneek Shand and eighth graders Mackenzie Madison, Gracia Renkewitz, Valerie Rogel and Isyss Jones.
Finley girls' track coach
Phil Lowe. (Darin Reed photo.)
Clayton starred in the 1500m run. “She’s very athletic and works hard in practice,” Lowe said. Conte was a top sprinter, excelling in the 200m dash. “Olivia is a hard worker and she’s athletic,” the coach added.
Shand was strong in the 55m and 100m dashes. “Shaneek is very fast and has a great work ethic,” Lowe said. “She improved over the course of the season.”
Madison sparkled in shot put, tossing the weighted ball 25-07 feet. “She really improved, adding eight feet to her throw,” Lowe said. “Mackenzie is determined to improve and do better.”
Rogel was Finley’s top triple jumper and she, too, posted improved distances in the event as the season progressed. Renkewitz shined at long jump and as a sprinter.
Jones was another of the Falcon’s exceptional sprinters, posting sensational times in the 55m and 100m dashes. “She’s a gifted athlete,” Lowe said.
The Finley athletes proved to be rugged competitors. “The team practiced very hard and was extremely focused in meets,” Lowe said. “Team members supported each other during meets and challenged each other at practice. They came to practices and meets with the mentality of wanting to improve individually.”
Joining Clayton, Conte and Shand as the team’s top seventh graders were Adrianna LoScalzo (55m dash) and Kianna Criscuola (high jump).
With 17 seventh graders and 28 eighth graders, the girls’ track and field program on both the middle school and high school levels has the level of interest and talent to thrive for years to come.