NEW YORK, N.Y.— It was a banner day for the Somers track and field team at the Section 1 Class A championships on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the Armory in New York City.
The Tusker boys had two first-place finishes. The 4x800-meter relay placed first and Numan Maloney soared to gold in the high jump. Katie Melly sparked the girls with a second place posting in the pole vault.
The 4x800 wasn’t just a highlight, but one of the day’s most exciting races.
Nico Ferro got the Tuskers off to a strong start with a 2:05.668. He was followed by Mike Panzarino, who had the best split of the relay with a 1:59.66. Panzarino handed off to Matt Fusco, who finished in 2:02.347. Matt handed off to the anchor, his twin brother Greg, who crossed the finish line in 2:00.936.
“We were all fairly confident heading into the relay because it was the first time we were able to run it fresh,” Greg said. “The team ran the fastest they did all season so far and it was great being able to get the baton last knowing how well everyone ran before me. Everyone on the relay stepped up for this race and I think the results really showed it.”
All in all, it led to a clocking of 8:08.61 and a section title for the Tuskers.
“It meant a lot to take first,” Greg said. “We’ve all been really excited whenever we get to run this relay because we know we have a ton of potential and we get to have fun with it. Whenever a section title is involved it’s always special and to win it with guys I’ve been running with so long makes it even more special.”
The team qualified for the Penn Relays, Eastern States and state qualifiers with the standout time.
Maloney closed out the day for the Somers boys with another first-place trophy, leaping to a personal record 6-1 in the high jump.
“It felt great and it was incredibly gratifying to see the results of all the hard work that I’ve been putting into the event,” said Maloney, who will compete at the state qualifiers on Feb. 24 at the Armory. “However, this hopefully just lays the path for bigger things to come.”
Maloney said staying focused on his goals was the key for him.
“But also staying in the moment by taking everything one step at a time,” Maloney said. “You can never make the height you want if you already got out on a lower one.”
Maloney had been stuck at 6-0 the entire season heading into sectionals.
“Finally conquering it made it that much sweeter,” Maloney said.
Michael Altieri placed second in the pole vault with an 11-6.
Joe Luciano broke a school record in the weight throw with a heave of 45-4 3/4 to place eighth and also make the state qualifiers.
Michael Somoza (16th, 55-meter dash, 6.81,) also made the state qualifiers. Michael Gordon (19th, 1,000 meters, 2:49.70), Thomas Hannon (24th 1,600 meters, 4:50.98), Griffin Carpiniello (ninth, pole vault, 9-0) and Ricky Haigh (22nd, long jump, 17-11 3/4) also contributed.
“I think the team did really well,” Greg Fusco said. “Going into the meet we decided to mainly focused on relays and individual events. In these events, everyone did close to or at their best all season. A lot of younger kids really showed that the future of this team is bright and that we can continue doing great things as a team.”
On the girls side, Melly led the way, taking second in the pole vault with a 9-6 to reach the state qualifiers. Melly also ran a personal record 3:13.30 in the 1,000 meters to place 10th.
Teammate Maya Watt was fourth in the pole vault with an 8-6.
The girls 4x400-meter relay placed third with a time of 4:06.80. Emma Kittredge (61.90, personal record), Michelle Rosenblum (63.05), Danielle Ericson (61.91, personal record) and Andrea Polvere (59.95) comprised the team.
Anjali Kapur clocked a personal record 5:13.93 in the 1,500 meters to finish 14th. Katherine Olsen was 10th in the 3,000 meters with a personal record of 11:35.70. Lucy Cliff was behind her in 12th. Emma Kittredge was 14th in the 600 meters (1:43.41).
Keelyn Foley set a personal record of 9:01.57 in the 1,500-meter race walk to take 16th.
The boys placed seventh as a team with 28 points while the girls were 12th with 16.33 points in a tough field with many larger schools.
The Tuskers will send numerous athletes to the state qualifiers on Feb. 24 at the Armory.