Fantastic Four: Somers Track Quartet Headed to States

Michael Panzarino won the pentathlon at the state qualifying meet. Credits: Vic McGee

LAGRANGEVILLE, N.Y. — The Fusco brothers—Matt and Greg—along with Michael Panzarino and Numan Maloney, have been leaders of Somers' track and field team all season.

That continued last week as the Tusker foursome all qualified for states at the state qualifier meet, which took place on June 1 at Arlington High School and June 2 at White Plains High School.

"I'm very proud of the four guys going to the state championships," Somers boys coach Mike Sokolofsky said. "They have all been training for this the entire year and now to see it pay off is a great feeling for them. It has been a very long time since Somers had four boys in the state meet—if ever.   Even though they knew they had a great chance to go to states they still had to perform at this qualifier meet to get there so it's a great accomplishment."

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Maloney leaped to first in the high jump with a 6-4 and came through in the clutch when he was on his final attempt at one point in the meet.

"The key for me in the high jump at state qualifiers was sticking to the script as the bar went up," Maloney said. "At one point I was down to my third attempt at I height that I needed to clear, and my practice and muscle memory kicked in and I was able to put it together on my last chance over the bar."

Maloney said that since the competition is tougher in the spring than during the winter season, it makes the accomplishment more meaningful.

"To know that I was able to get better and rise up against very good jumpers at heights that I never thought I could clear means a whole lot," Maloney said. "This is the first time that I feel like I can actually try and place at such a high-level meet rather than just attend and I can't wait for my shot."

Panzarino continued his dominance of the pentathlon by placing first with 2,932 points. In the five events he participated in for the pentathlon, he was first in the 110-meter hurdles (16.07), first in the high jump (5-9 1/4), third in the 1,500 meters (4:46.72), third in the shot put (32.5 1/4) and third in the long jump (18-3 1/4).

Greg Fusco was first in the 3,200 meters to qualify for states while his brother Matt was right behind him in second with a 9:27.51 to also qualify.

Michael Altieri took eighth in the pole vault with an 11-0. Michael Somoza competed in the 100-meter dash and scored an 11.66.

The girls sent four pole vaulters to the state qualifiers with Katie Melly leading the way with a 9-6, which was good for third. Alix Goldman and Elisabeth Van Tassell each took sixth with an 8-0.

The Fusco brothers, Maloney and Panzarino will compete at states on June 9-10 at Union Endicott High School, which is near Binghamton.

"Now our eyes are set on medaling at the state meet," Sokolofsky said. "If you think about the amount of miles and time the Fuscos have put in, and the time of Numan and Michael, it is a great culmination to a tremendous year for these athletes. Also, they spend a lot of the year doing stuff for our team meets and now they get to focus on themselves and their individual goals."

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