Holland Red Hot on Hot Day for Somers

Jason Holland flies through the air on his way to a new school record and a first place finish in the long jump. Credits: Vic McGee
Mike Panzarino anchors relay race for Somers. Credits: Vic McGee

SUFFERN, N.Y.— Watching Somers senior Jason Holland sail through the air you could sense that it was a big jump. Seeing him celebrate with teammates after the officials read the distance confirmed it.

Holland had just broken his own school record with a leap of 22 feet, 10 inches. That was good enough for first place in the long jump competition at the Section 1 Class AA and A track and field championships Saturday, May 28 at Suffern Middle School.

“My first jump I fouled, the second jump I knew I was right on the board and I just exploded,” Holland said. “When I landed it hit me, I felt like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s a big one.’ I knew it was a good one.”

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Holland wasn’t finished. On a sweltering hot day, no one was hotter than Holland. He went on to set two more personal bests as he placed second in the high jump and broke his other school record to place second in the triple jump.

In the high jump, an event he just started to learn three weeks ago, he cleared the bar at 6 feet, two inches.  In his final event of the day, he shattered his own school record of 44 feet, six inches in the triple jump by almost a foot as he landed in the pit with a jump of 45 feet, four inches.

“Even though it was hot, it was a great day for jumping and I felt good,” Holland said. “After the high jump, in the triple I just had to get another one. To get 45 feet, it was a great day. I’m just trying to progress and spike up at each meet. I’m really excited for the state qualifier meet.”

He wasn’t the only one making a statement for Somers at the meet against all the large schools from Class AA and A in Section 1. Somers was the second smallest school at the meet in terms of enrollment, but the Tusker boys managed to compete with them all and finish in the top five as a team even without one of its top distance runners as Greg Fusco did not compete in the meet due to illness.

In addition to Holland, Mike Panzarino, Matt Fusco, Alex Worsley and Mike Emanuele all earned top 10 place finishes in their respective events to lead the Tuskers.

“Overall, a pretty good day with all the competition from the bigger schools, to be right there in fourth or fifth place against North Rockland and New Rochelle, that’s a really good finish for us,” Somers coach Mike Sokolofsky said. “Obviously, Jason had a huge day, he just keeps getting better, and it was an impressive performance for the team. For the number of kids we have to come together and make a showing like this against these schools is tremendous.”

Panzarino shined in the hurdles for the Tuskers as he was fourth in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 58.10, and he was also sixth in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 16.05. He capped off his day with an impressive anchor leg on the 4x400-meter relay team as he kicked toward the finish line and helped the Tuskers finish second in their heat and seventh overall.

Senior captain Alex Worsley was also part of that 4x400-meter relay team, and he finished seventh in the 400-meter race with a time of 50.73. Teammate Alex Harwood was 15th in the 400-meter race.

Matt Fusco was third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase race with a time of 9:54.01. He led a trio of Tuskers in the race as Thomas Hannon placed ninth and Christopher Hannon was right behind in 10th place.

In the pole vault, Mike Emaneule waited through a long day as the boys’ pole vault was the final event left competing after everyone else was finished. Emanuele made the wait worthwhile as he cleared the bar at 11 feet to finish sixth overall.

The pole vault was also the highlight for the Somers girls at the meet as Katie Melly finished fourth with a vault of nine feet, three inches.

The girls team focused on the relay races as the Tuskers shined with a fifth-place finish in the 4x400 relay with a time of 4:11.40, and a seventh place finish in the 4x800 relay with a time of 10:42.95. The 4x400-meter relay, which clocked in with its fastest time of the season, was comprised of Hannah Norowitz (63.9), Michelle Rosenblum (64.4), Melly (63.4) and Andrea Polvere (59.7), who was just the fifth girl in Somers track history to finish in under 60 seconds in the 400.

In the 100-meter dash, Michelle Rosenblum finished 12th for the Tuskers with a time of 13.18, and teammate Andrea Polvere was right behind in 13th place. Rosenblum also leaped to a personal best of 32 feet in the triple jump.

Other top 15 place finishers for the Somers girls’ team included Hannah Norowitz in 13th place in the 800-meter run, and Jane Kaufman was 14th in the 100-meter hurdles.

Ally Murray, who tore her labrum in her sophomore year, recorded a leap of 31 feet, 5 inches in the triple jump.

Somers will compete this week in the Section 1 state qualifier meet on Thursday, June 2, at Arlington High School and then the second day of the meet will be Friday, June 3 at White Plains High School.

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