A Successful Run in States

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This past weekend, the Bayport-Blue Point boys and girls Spring track and field teams competed in the New York State Outdoor Track and Field Championship Meet at Cicero-North Syracuse high school.  Over the course of two days, the teams each had eight student-athletes run, jump and/or throw vying for state championships and fast times.  After all was said and done, the teams returned home with three state championship titles and 12 All-State athletes.

On day one of the meet, senior Jordan Collins set the tone by winning the girls shot put with a school record throw of forty two feet even.  This was a big win as Jordan was seeded fourth and had not broken forty feet outdoors ever before setting over a two foot personal record and qualifying for the Federation finals on day two. 

Next up on the hot sunny Friday afternoon, junior Harry Martin stepped up to the line to compete in the highly respected open 800 meter race.  Harry got out to a great starting running his first lap in 55 seconds.  He battled his competitors and a treacherous wind on the final turn and finished 4th in division II New York State public high schools earning him all-state honors.  As soon as he finished, he was off to do a cool down in preparation for his relay later in the evening.

Bailey Walker was up next for the girls and was the number one seed in the four hundred meter quarter hurdles.  She had a great lead going into the last hundred meters but stumbled going over the ninth hurdle.  In remarkable fashion, she got up and raced to the finish, taking second place in the process.  Even more amazing, was that Walker after finishing the race had one hour to recover before anchoring the girls’ 4x400 meter relay team. 

The 4x4 team of Sam Triani, Courtney Dooley, Casey Hasher and Bailey Walker had run a 4:01.44 in the past which was good enough to be the number one seed in the state.  Sam Triani had a great leadoff leg and running the first lap in under a minute to give Courtney Dooley the lead.  Courtney held onto the lead due to her great handoff with Casey Hasher.  The first two hundred meters, Hasher held off all challengers but was passed going around the last turn by two other runners.  Showing remarkable heart, she kept surging the last hundred meters to ensure that she handed off to Walker in first place.  Even with little rest, no one on the track was able to run with Walker as she dominated the field and came across the line first securing the state championship in a school record time of 3:58.52. 

In a fitting close to day one, the boys 4x400 meter relay consisting of Jared Gray, Bailey Imbo, Paul Chiappetta and Harry Martin took the track minutes later.  The wind was fierce on turn two that day.  Junior Jared Gray had an excellent start to the 4x4 splitting 50.3 seconds on his first lap.  Bailey Imbo received the baton and made a tremendous move to hold off a competitor and take the lead in the race.  Senior Paul Chiappetta ran a tough third leg and having a near perfect hand off to anchor leg Harry Martin.  On 90 minutes rest, Harry took the baton in the lead and his 49.7 second split ensured his team of the NYS public high school Division II state championship.

Day two began with a steady rain and much cooler temperatures but junior Katie Saroka was locked in and focused.  She started the day off wonderfully running a three second personal best (7:12.24) and school record in the two thousand meter steeplechase finishing in fourth place.  Jordan Collins threw over forty feet several more times in the Federation final and took 3rd place in the event which included athletes from large schools, small schools, Catholic and independent schools.  This was in improvement for Collins who finished 4th in the Federation during the Winter Track season.

The girls 4x800 meter relay of Bailey Walker, Courtney Dooley, Taylor Darby and Katie Saroka was in the fastest section at the conclusion of the meet.  Due to a great leadoff leg by Bailey Walker and a phenomenal second leg by Courtney Dooley, the phantoms found themselves in 3rd place overall.  Freshman Taylor Darby ran a very gutsy race and kept the girls in a position to make the podium then handed off to Katie Saroka.  Several hours after her great steeplechase performance, Saroka anchored the team to a 9:20.29 finish putting them in 4th place with a new school record time. 

The boys 4x8 team of Bailey Imbo, John Antonnacci,Paul Chiappetta and Harry Martin were next to take the track looking to do something that has never been done before at Bayport-Blue Point high school: capture two relay state championships in one weekend.  Right before the big race the top seeded teams watched the 23rd seed East Aurora run a 14 second season best time of 7:53.37 in heat number 2.  This set the tone for the second heat which had all 16 teams run under 8 minutes.  Last year only 1 team ran under 8 minutes.   The phantoms ran a respectable time of 7:55.24 in a very crowded 4x8.  They managed to beat their rival Port Jefferson but did not have enough today to win.  Their time was a season best and placed them 4th in division II earning all four athlete all-state honors.  In the last three years the boys from Bayport –Blue Point have finished 2nd, 2nd, and 4th in this prestigious race. 

The phantoms also had several runners compete in the state championship meet for the first time that gained valuable experience for future years.  Chris Stelling competed in the five event pentathlon which consists of the 110 meter high hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 1500 m run.  He set personal records in two of the five events and was close to his best marks in two other events.  Freshman Brianna Delzell competed in the three thousand meter run and was taken out in a blistering pace.  Despite the fast early pace, she finished the race close to her best time which she had run two weeks earlier.  Rob Vetri competed for the boys in the three thousand meter steeplechase and will attempt to come back next year looking for a spot on the podium. 

It was both a great effort and performance by both teams over the two day meet.  The All-State honors confirmed include:

Jordan Collins   
All-State and State Champion:  Shot Put

Sam Triani   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay

Casey Hasher   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay    

Courtney Dooley   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay
All-State: 4x800m relay    

Bailey Walker   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay
All-State: 4x800m relay
All-State:  400 meter intermediate hurdles

Harry Martin   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay
All-State: 4x800m relay
All-State:  Open 800 meter race

Bailey Imbo   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay
All-State: 4x800m relay

Paul Chiappetta   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay
All-State: 4x800m relay

Jared Gray   
All-State and State Champion:  4x400 meter relay

John Antonacci   
All-State:  4x800 meter relay

Katie Saroka  
All-State: 4x800m relay
All-State: 2000 meter steeple chase

Taylor Darby   
All-State: 4x800m relay

The girls team set new school records in the Shot Put, 4x400 m and 4x800 m relays.

The 2012 Bayport – Blue Point Spring track and field season will go down in the record books as one of the best joint efforts the school has ever seen.  In addition to the state honors already mentioned, both the boys and girls teams had undefeated seasons capturing the league championship as well as the small school county championship.  “The boys and girls programs did an incredible job of working together and supporting each other this year and that undoubtedly lead to the tremendous seasons that both teams put together.  I am proud and honored to be a part of this.” said Suffolk County coach of the year Mike Zafonte.  Girls coach Vin Ungaro added, “These are two very special teams.  It’s great to see how the boys and girls get along so well and push each other to do their best.   This year, and in particular the spring season, the kids all found a way to work together to perform way above expectations.  They have represented themselves, their coaches and Bayport-Blue Point in an exemplary fashion.”  The boys and girls teams each only graduate one senior from the group that qualified for states and this current group has already raised the level of expectations for next year.