The Somers girls won their second straight Class A sectional championship in a prime example of how to win as a team.
The Tuskers earned points in all but one event, a fitting tribute to boys coach Roy Arnesen, who is in his final season with the program.
“The kind of team which produced this result is the kind of team which (Arnesen) has always believed in,” girls coach Rosalind Gallino said. “A team that doesn’t have one or two superstars, but is a well-rounded team that works for and with each other.”
Somers’ Emily Polvere took first in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.5.
The Tuskers did particularly well in one event. Somers earned 25 of a potential 31 points in the 1,500-meter race walk thanks to four athletes placing in the top six. Maria Gorecki led the way for the Tuskers, taking first in 7:33.19.
“That’s one of the places where we’ve been able to capitalize on some other coaches not having the time to devote to it or the athletes to devote to it,” Gallino said.
Spring Valley’s boys team beat Tappan Zee, the defending champions, to win the boys’ title thanks to great finishes in the short distance events.
The Tigers placed four runners in the top six of the 55, earning them 22 points.
Spring Valley’s Justin Sapini won the event in 6.71. Sapini also took first in the triple jump (42-7).
Spring Valley’s Richardson Pierre won the 600 in a time 1:26 and already had his mind on the next race.
“I was trying to get done with it so I could get ready for the 300,” said Pierre, who ended up taking second in the 300.
The Tigers most impressive feat might have been finishing second in the 800-meter relay despite dropping the baton and going back to fifth place at one point.
“Most teams would drop the baton and walk off,” Spring Valley boys coach Andrew Delva said.
Winning the team title is great for a school district that was unsure if it would even have sports at one point last season due to budget cuts.
“These kids stayed with it,” Delva said. “I kept on telling them we’re going to have sports no matter what. We’re going to make sure things happen, and now it shows.”
Tappan Zee’s Erin Jaskot ran the girls 1,000 in 2:56.83, the eighth-best time in Rockland County history.
“I didn’t really know what to expect time wise, but I just went for it,” Jaskot said. “I’m excited because I wasn’t even pushed, so I’m excited to see what I can do when I have some competition pushing me to go faster.”
Jaskot got her wish in the 1,500 where Ursuline’s Anna Flynn was on her heels throughout the race. Jaskot edged out the sophomore by less than .2 of a second with a time of 4:45.59. Flynn didn’t go away empty handed, winning the 3,000 (10:47.06).
“I always feel like I don’t want a victory handed to me; I want to work for it,” Jaskot said. “When you go against top-notch competition you feel more rewarded after.”
Jaskot signed her national letter of intent to run at Villanova next fall on Monday.
“I’ve just been looking forward to finally signing it,” Jaskot said. “To make it a definite thing, you always are worrying when it’s not definite yet.”
Tappan Zee’s Luke Gavigan viewed the boys 1,000 he won (2:36.51) as a warm up for the Millrose Games this Saturday at The Armory. Gavigan will run the mile, an event he holds the sixth-fastest time in the nation (4:15.68) this season.
Still, Gavigan appreciated winning the title.
“It’s definitely an honor,” said Gavigan of his second-straight sectional championship in the 1,000.
That was the case for John Jay’s Jordan Johnson, who took first in the girls 600 in 1:39.76, a personal best.
“Especially my senior, I haven’t won a sectional title or anything,” Johnson said. “This was definitely amazing.”
Somers’ Matthew Maliniak won the boys 3,200 in a time of 10:11.01, holding off Brewster’s Kevin Hazelwood on the final lap to secure the win.
“I thought he was right behind me,” Maliniak said. “He put up a good fight.”
Brewster excelled in the field events as Caitlin Lander and Jaynie Criscione won the shot put (35-2.5) and triple jump (33-4.25), respectively.
Yorktown’s Kaila Boyer tripped on the second-to-last hurdle, but managed to steady herself in time to finish first in the girls 55-meter hurdles.
“I felt I could have done better, but this is like a goal of mine since the beginning of the season,” Boyer said. “I just wanted to come out and do well.”