The Sachem East Girls Indoor Track and Field team brought home the runner-up plaque as they finished second to Bayshore in the Suffolk County Championships on Friday at Suffolk West. Sachem East had finished 3rd in the previous two years, and with a strong push by a committed group of seniors was able to squeeze by strong squads from North Babylon, Northport, Sachem North, and Commack to pull out 2nd. Although the final result ( the second place finish - best ever for the program) was reason to celebrate, the meet was not without controversy and challenges and the placing was definitely hard earned.
Strong efforts from Shannon O'Hehir, Karli Murphy, and Devan Classi in the 3000 brought home no points and East was hoping to get two sprinters into the 55 finals. Despite her great season, a bad start by Ebonie Lewis kept her from the finals, and Sam May was three-tenths of a second out.
But Essence Sterling came through with a season best 7.58 to place 6th and start the Sachem East scoring. Sachem North's Melissa Michels won the event in a Sachem North School Record 7.31. Holly Lindoe then took up the challenge and won the 1500 Meter Racewalk (6:55.07), with Val Auciello grabbing 6th place in 7:39.10. Unfortunately, senior Sarah LaPorta was charged with her first ever DQ for a form violation, and Sachem lost out on 5th place points.
The next event, the 600 Meter Run, almost took away East's team aspirations as senior Laurie Semetsis led from the gun, only to be cut off and bumped off the track on the last turn. As she tried to recover and drive for the finish she was tripped up but still managed to pull out a 6th place finish. Who says Track is not a contact sport?
The next Event, the 55 Meter Hurdles is a strong one for Sachem East with four athletes qualifying for the meet. Dana Tyner, Paige Picascio, and Katie Sullivan all ran season bests, but it was Shannon Haberkorns phenomonal 9.13 that got her into the final where she nabbed 3rd place.
The field events brought mixed results, with a solid 4'8" performance by Maddy Egan not bringing any points, and Essence Sterling tweeaking an ankle in the Long Jump. The Throwers, though, came up big with Brittany Sepe earning County Champion status with a 37'6.25" heave in the Shot Put. Diamond Jackson and Gabby Trejo grabbed 3rd and 4th as the team gained valuable points going into the relays.
The 4 by 800 squad of Jayda Allen, Laurie Semetsis, Casey Gelderman, and Ciara Murphy finished 3rd, but despite excellent legs from Allison Figalora, Shannon O'Hehir, Danielle Curran, and Meaghan Murphy, the 4 by 400 squad placed 8th, less than a second out of 4th place in a blanket finish.
But Ebonie Lewis and Essence Sterling came back from their earlier dissapointments with a vengence as they combined with Ashley Mercado and Shannon Haberkorn to run a season best 1:51.29 and pull out 2nd place in the event to lock up 2nd place in the meet.
"The Girls did an incredible job all season and fought real hard today," said Head Coach Joe Coffey. "The Seniors have been fantasic- they should be so proud of what they accomplished."
Sachem East and Sachem North will continue their seasons this coming Sunday with the State Qualifying meet at Suffolk West from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This article was submitted by Peter McNeil.