Track Athletes Prepare for Long Run

Haldane and Beacon fine-tune for spring

By Leigh Alan Klein

The indoor track season is often used by high school athletes to fine-tune for the outdoor season in the spring, and the Haldane and Beacon programs have raced out of the gates.

Haldane Blue Devils

The Haldane team includes 19 athletes from Haldane and 11 from Putnam Valley High School. Coach AJ McConville says he is optimistic about the group and expects to be competitive at the league, Northern County and Class C state championships.

Olivia McDermott, Ashley Haines, Heather Winne and Alii Sharpley (Photo provided)

“We will have a couple individual and relay champions at these meets,” McConville predicted. “Both the boys’ and girls’ teams could finish in the top three in the league and the top three or four at the Class C championships.”

Specifically, he said:

  • Kiki Cruz could be a top indoor hurdlers in Section 1.
  • Nick Farrell could be a top 1600- and 3200-meter runner in Section 1.
  • Heather Winne looks to build on a breakout 2016 outdoor track season.
  • The boys’ and girls’ 4 x 800-meter relays could be strong in Section 1.
  • The girls’ 4 x 200-meter and 4 x 400-meter relays could also be strong.

Among the key meets coming up before the state championships begin on Feb. 4 with the Section 1 tournament are the Hispanic Games on Jan. 7, the league championship on Jan. 15, the New Balance Games on Jan. 21 and the Northern County championship on Jan. 28.

Top Haldane boys
With events and personal records

Nick Farrell (junior), Haldane
800m (1:59.7), 1000m (2:42.15), mile (4:31.77), 1600m, 3200m, 4 x 400m, 4 x 800m

Adam Silhavy (sophomore), Haldane
800m (2:02.51), 1000m (2:47.10), 1600m (4:42.47), 3200m, 4 x 400, 4 x 800

Jonas Petkus (junior), Haldane
Captain (injured): 600m, 800m (2:01.16), 1000m, 4 x 400, 4 x 800

Conor Van Riper (junior), Putnam Valley
1000m, 1600m (4:37.40), 3200m, 4 x 800.
Finished 19th in Class C cross country championship

Joe Abate (junior), Putnam Valley
Long distance

Michael Tompkins (freshman), Putnam Valley
Middle distance

Jose Mendoza (senior), Putnam Valley
Long jump, triple jump.

Top Haldane girls

Ruby McEwen (senior), Haldane
Captain (injured): 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 4 x 400, 4 x 800. Holds school record in 1500m (5:04.27) and as member of relay teams.

Heather Winne (junior), Haldane
55m hurdle, 600m, 800m, 1000m, 1500m, 4 x 400, 4 x 800. Holds school record in 55 Hurdle (10.80) and 800m (2:25.10) as well as member of relay teams.

Ashley Haines (sophomore), Haldane
55m hurdle, 300m (45.34), 600m, 800m (2:29.17), 4 x 400, 4 x 800. PRs 300m 45.34, and member of 4 x 800 school-record relay.

Catherine Parr (senior), Haldane
Captain: Shot put (27-7.5)

Teresa Figueiras (senior), Haldane
Captain: Shot put, short sprints

Bridget Goldberg (freshman), Haldane
55m hurdles, 300m, sprint relays

Angel Zhang (senior), Putnam Valley
600m, 1000m, 4 x 400, 4 x 800

Claire Cassidy (senior), Putnam Valley
1500m, 3000m, 4 x 800

Kiki Cruz (senior), Putnam Valley
55m hurdle, sprint relays

Brittany Gona (junior), Putnam Valley
Long jump, 300m, sprint relays

Beacon Bulldogs

The Beacon track program has 55 athletes, with both the boys’ and girls’ teams poised for league titles, which would be five in a row for the boys. The girls have not won the league since 2012, but an influx of soccer talent has strengthened the team in the mid-distance and distance events.

“Our strongest competition appears to be Hendrick Hudson,” said coach Jim Henry. “Our boys team graduated a good deal of talent last year but maintain a  competitive core.”

Beacon has been fueled by standout performances that included senior Alex Laird finishing second in one meet in the 55-meter sprint at 6.99 seconds, the sixth- fastest time in school history and junior Xavier Collins posting 7.30, the 10th- fastest mark.

The team captain, senior Richard Kish, is one of the best competitors in Class C in the triple and long jumps and his versatility in other events makes him invaluable. “I would not hesitate to use him at anything from a 4 x 400 meter relay to a two-mile run,” Henry said.

Ethan Burgos, a junior, has been strong on the 55-meter hurdles, as well, finishing fourth in a recent meet at 8.67 seconds, second-best in school history.  Burgos is also a part of the 4 x 200 relay that has posted a time of 1:39:31.

That relay team includes Laird, junior Vincent Compagnone and a promising freshman, Kaleb Istvan, who finished second in the 600-meter finals at the Section 1 freshman/sophomore meet with a time of 1:35. Sophomore Jayen Lare’s 4:47.87 in the mile was second-best in school history.

The Beacon girls’ track team is also loaded with talent. Sophomore Anna Manente has pole vaulted seven feet, second- best in school history. Sophomore Eliza Erickson set a school record in the mile. Victoria Banks, also a sophomore, has had strong showings in the 1000 and 600 meters with the third-best school times in both events. Jummie Akinwunmi, a junior, won the high jump at the Section 1 Kickoff meet with a 5’0” leap. She and her sister, Ennie Akinwunmi, a sophomore, are poised to rewrite the Beacon books.

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