SOMERS, N.Y.— When asked what the feeling is heading into their final state meet, Matt Fusco, Greg Fusco and Numan Maloney all had the same response: “It’s bittersweet.”
The senior trio qualified to compete at states, which take place June 8-9 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
“This might be my last time wearing Somers colors and representing this great town,” Maloney said. “There will be plenty of emotions when I put on my jersey on Saturday.”
Matt Fusco won the Division 1 3,000-meter steeplechase with a clocking of 9:45.23 at the state qualifiers, which took place on May 31 and June 1 at Arlington and White Plains High Schools. He had previously met the qualifying standard.
“The key to success for me at state quals was focusing on hurdling and trying to lose less time than usual over each of the barriers,” Matt said.
The first-place finisher at the state qualifying meet automatically makes states along with anyone who reaches or previously reached the state standard.
Twin brother Greg had also already achieved the state standard of 4:17.8 in the 1,600 meters, so he graciously let North Rockland’s Patrick Tuohy (4:19.44) finish ahead of him so he could also qualify. Greg was right behind him in second in 4:19.67.
“I was the only person in the race with the state standard,” Greg explained. “I went into the race hoping to let someone else make the state meet by coming in second because in 10th grade I was helped in the same way by another person.”
Including the winter season, this will be the ninth consecutive state meet for Greg. “I really hope that I can go out with a bang,” he said.
Maloney had previously earned the state standard of 6-2 in the high jump and reached that mark again at the qualifying meet, placing second. He said he has made a few crucial fixes to his approach which helped him reach the standard.
“For most of the season since my injury I had a more tentative, awkward approach that hurt me at the higher heights,” Maloney said. “After focusing on a smoother run-in without hitches, I was able to make the most out of my speed and get a lot of my pop back.”
Michael Altieri was second in the pole vault (13-0). Mike Somoza was eighth in the 100-meter dash finals (11.61) and 14th in the long jump.
For the girls team, the pole vaulters led the way again with Elisabeth Van Tassell taking third (10-0). Emily Heese, Clare Keane and Alexa Burns tied for fourth with a 9-0. Keane was also 10th in the high jump (4-9).
Ashley Moon placed sixth in the 200-meter dash finals in 26.82.
Somers 4x400-meter relay team was seventh (4:11.73). Kellie Kottman, Nieve Mahood, Maggie Keane and Van Tassell comprised the team. Caitlyn Van Tassell took eighth in the pentathlon. Kottmann took 15th in the triple jump (33-3 3/4).