Somers Relay Wins County Championship

Katie Melly clears the pole vault bar on her way to second place finish. Credits: Vic McGee

NEW YORK, N.Y.— When Somers distance runner Greg Fusco was handed the baton for the anchor leg of the boys’ 4x800-meter relay at the Westchester County Championship meet Jan. 27 at the Armory, he knew it was just him against the clock.

His three relay teammates had given him the lead and he was all alone in front. Fusco did his job, maintaining the lead and when he crossed the finish line in first place. He was amazed at the time as it read 8:16.56.

That time was good enough for first place as they were crowned Westchester County Champions.

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“Oh, man, that was great. I was so happy with the time,” Fusco said. “They gave me the lead and I was running all alone, but knowing how well the three guys did before me really fired me up. Then when I crossed the line I was like, ‘Wow!’”

His twin brother Matt Fusco started off the relay with a split of 2:04.48. Nico Ferro followed with a split of 2:06.07, and then Michael Panzarino really got the Tuskers rolling as he raced around the track with the fastest split time at 2:02.29. Greg Fusco closed it out in 2:03.7.

The relay was the highlight of an impressive night for Somers. The Tusker boys team finished third, while the girls were fifth.

“We had a number of highlights. It was a good overall team meet, everyone had a good day,” Somers boys coach Jesse Arnett said. “Overall, very proud of how they’ve done this season.”

Panzarino also had an impressive performance in the 55-meter high hurdles as he turned in a personal best time of 8.14 and finished third overall.

The Fusco brothers also took part in an intense 3,200-meter run featuring many of the top distance runners from the county. Both Fusco brothers broke the indoor school record for the 3,200 as Matt finished third with a time of 9:24.34 and Greg was right behind in fourth with a time of 9:25.19.

In the pole vault, Michael Altieri had a personal best as he cleared the bar at 11-6 to finish in third place.

The Tuskers had a pair of personal bests in the weight throw as Vincent Pagliaro was fourth with a toss of 42-9 and Joe Luciano had a [personal record] to finish sixth with a throw of 40-7. Luciano also had a personal best in the shot put with a heave of 37-9 3/4 as he finished sixth in that event.

Michael Somoza advanced to the finals in the 55-meter dash. After three false starts they had the finalists take a break and return to the track later to run the race, and Somoza finished eighth with a time of 6.79.

In the long jump, Numan Maloney led a trio of Tuskers in the top 20 as he finished 11th with a jump of 19-2 while Ricky Haigh was 14th and Gregory Siemers was 16th. Haigh had a busy day as he was also 13th in the high jump and 23rd in the triple jump.

Other top 25 finishers for the Somers boys included Mike Matute in 16th in the 55-meter hurdles, and Mark Worsley in the 600-meter race in 21st place. In the 1,000-meter run, Mike Gordon was 18th and Christopher Hannon was in 23rd place.

Not to be outdone, the Somers girls had a big day all over the track as they finished fifth.

“We had a good meet. A lot of big performances, a lot of [personal records],” Somers coach Evan Delfs said. “Our distance runners stepped up.  Anjali Kapur scored in the 3,200, our weight thrower had a good [personal record] with a school record, and our 4x200 relay set a school record. Everybody did well. It wasn’t really one performer, it was everybody just kept chipping in points.”

Just like the boys, the highlight for the girls was a relay team as the 4x200 team turned in a school record. Michelle Rosenblum, Emma Kittredge, Jane Kaufman and Andrea Polvere raced around the track for a time of 1:48.53 as they finished in third place.

As usual, the pole vault was a big point winner for the Somers girls as Katie Melly finished in second place and Maya Watt was in third as they both cleared the bar at 9-6, and teammate Elisabeth Van Tassell finished in seventh place.

Kapur was fifth in the 3,200-meter run as she set a junior school record with a time of 10:53.81, and Lucy Cliff was 14th for the Tuskers.

Polvere had a big day anchoring the relay to third, and she also was sixth in the 300-meter race with a time of 43.08.

Kayla Natalo broke the school record as she finished fourth overall in the weight throw with a toss of 34-4 1/4 with teammate Victoria Pagliaro in 11th place.

Katherine Olsen was 10th in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:16.66. Other top 25 finishes included Keelyn Foley in 15th place in the 1,500-meter racewalk, Michelle Rosenblum in 12th and teammate Danielle Ericson in 21st in the 55-meter dash. Jane Kaufman was 13th and Christina Abrenica 15th in the 55-meter hurdles. Rosenblum was also 14th in the triple jump, while Hannah Norowitz was 18th in the long jump.

In addition to taking third in the 4x200 relay, the Tuskers were also fourth in the 4x800 relay and 12th in the 4x400 relay events. The 4x800 was comprised of Kittredge, Melly, Danielle Ericson and Van Tassell. Sabrina Somoza, Emily Heese, Olsen and Watt made up the 4x400.

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