Somers Quartet Stars at County Championships

Greg Fusco heads down a straightaway in the 3,200 meters. Credits: Paul Andrews

HARRISON, N.Y.— After a slow first day at Harrison High School on May 19 at the Westchester County Championships, Somers’ boys track and field coach Mike Sokolofsky knew the Tuskers needed to turn up the heat on the second day at Byram Hills.

They did just what their coach asked for.

It was the usual suspects leading Somers to a third-place finish with 56 points behind first-place Harrison (70 points) and second-place Iona Prep (62 points).

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“The boys had a great meet,” Sokolofsky said. “We had a bad start on Friday, scoring less points than I had thought we needed to win.  But the team showed a lot of heart coming back on Saturday with three county champions and a second-place finish.”

One of those county champions was Michael Panzarino, who won the pentathlon with a whopping 3,225 points. In the five different events he posted 758 points in the 110-meter hurdles, 644 in the high jump, 533 in the long jump, 479 in the shot put and 811 in the 1,500 meters. He is now ranked first in the state in the pentathlon,

Numan Maloney recorded a 6-5 to win the high jump. It was a huge personal best for Maloney by three-inches.

Greg Fusco shined in the 1,600 meters, becoming a county champion with a clocking of 4:14. He was also second in the 3,200 meters in 9:22.90.

Fusco’s brother Matt took second in the steeplechase in a time of 9:45.38.

The 4x800-meter relay team of Michael Altieri, Matt Fusco, Greg Fusco and Nico Ferro placed third in a clocking of 8:10.91. Greg Fusco had the top split of 1:58.36.

Other notable finishes for the boys were from Vincent Pagliaro (hammer throw, fifth, 130-6), Gregory Siemers (discus, sixth, 117-4) and Thomas Hannon (steeplechase, sixth, 10:28.78).

With the sectional meet on Thursday, May 25, at Clarkstown South High School, the Tuskers are more than prepared.

“It is a tough time of year for the distance runners with counties, sectionals and state qualifiers all so close together,” Sokolofsky said. “The county has a lot of competition and to finish in the top 3 for the second straight year is a great accomplishment. We need to gear up now and get ready for another push at the sectional championship on Thursday.”

The girls team placed 10th at the county meet with more than a few notable finishes.

“I was happy with how the girls performed overall at the meet,” Somers girls coach John Vegliante said. “We have a lot of seniors this year that we count on heavily and they stepped up for us as expected.”

Katie Melly placed third in the pole vault with a 9-0, while Elisabeth Van Tassell was a spot behind her in fourth with an 8-6.

The 4x400-meter relay team was second in a time of 4:13.83 with a foursome of Kellie Kottman, Hannah Norowitz, Danielle Ericson and Melly. Melly capped off her big day with a huge personal best of 5:09.06 to take 12th in the 1,500 meters.

Ericson was also second in the 400-meter hurdles (1:08.04). She also ran a personal best in the 400 meters, clocking a 61.39 to take 15th.

“Danielle had probably her best meet ever,” Vegliante noted.

Norowitz took sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:10.31).

The 4x100-meter relay team placed fifth in 52.14 with a squad of Michelle Rosenblum, Shayla McJunkin, Jane Kaufman and Heather Coy.

“I’m also very proud of some of our younger girls who were able to step up and fill in spots for our relays,” Vegliante said. “The 4x100 and 4x400 both ran well and scored at the meet thanks to their help.”

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