SOMERS, N.Y. – Dozens of track and field athletes from Somers and Arlington high schools took to their backyards, neighborhood streets, treadmills or wherever they could to compete in the first-ever Tuskers Quarantine Invitational.

The virtual meet, held across three days (April 24-26), saw the Tuskers and Admirals compete in seven events: 200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter and mile runs; a standing broad jump; an overhead two-handed basketball throw; and a multi-event challenge (40 squats, 20 lunges, pushups, 40 punches, 20 sit-ups, 20 leg raises).

Somers coaches, including Jesse Arnett, conceptualized the event and invited Arlington, where Arnett’s father serves as coach. The student-athletes were required to complete the events while following government-mandated social distancing policies.

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“We wanted good results, but the goal of this meet was to be stronger by competing for all of those out there on the front lines pushing themselves every day,” Arnett said.

Despite dreary weather on Friday and Sunday, the virtual meet was a success.

“We had 238 entries in the meet with over 100 different athletes in grades 7-12,” Arnett said. “Athletes want to compete.”

The student-athletes self-recorded their own times/measurements and submitted them to their coaches.

“The results are important, but I think the story here is that athletes are competing and pushing themselves to be at their best despite the uncertainty of our current circumstances,” Arnett said. “The human body needs to stay healthy by social distancing, but the human soul of an athlete needs to stay healthy by competing.”

Arnett said his athletes embody the “Tusker Strong” mentality.

“Right now, our local, state and national health care workers and police and fire departments are all pushing themselves to the limit and we are competing in their honor,” the coach said. “The human body is what we are protecting by doing this virtually, but the human soul is what we are quenching while we compete in honor of everyone on the front lines working for us every day.”

The Somers runners excelled in the distance events, with junior Nicola DeMarinis (4:54.9) and sophomore Colin Brooks (5:04) taking the top two spots in the 1-mile run. Brooks (2:16) also took second place in the 800-meter run.

Somers athletes took four of the Top 5 spots in the broad jump. Juniors Patrick Eames and Connor Fucci tied for second place at 9 feet; eighth grader Chelsea Lewitt finished fourth at 8.8 feet; and seventh grader Joseph Dwyer finished fifth at 8 feet.

Fucci also finished in first place in the multi-event, completing all six exercises in just 2:22.

Sophomore Brian Luciano was Somers’ top finisher in the overhand basketball throw. His toss of 57 feet and 6 inches was good for second place.

Other Top 10 finishes (coaches excluded) include Matthew Tetro (4th, 200-meter), Patrick Eames (6th, 200-meter), Brian Halper (7th, 200-meter; 7th, 400-meter; 6th, basketball throw), Connor Fucci (9th, 200-meter), Nate Rosenzweig (10th, 200-meter), Peter MacNeill (3rd, 400-meter), Nico DeMarinis (4th, 400-meter), Alexa Pederson (8th, 400-meter); Thomas Spencer (4th, 800-meter), Nieve Mahood (6th, 800-meter), Connor Phillips (8th, 800-meter), Ciara Murphy (10th, 800-meter), Sam Rivilis (4th, basketball throw), Tim Fonde (8th, basketball throw), Emily Heese (7th, multi-event).


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