Sachem North showed its talent and depth in all track and field events as it scored in sprint, distance, jumping, throws and multi-events competition at Division I Championships over two days of competition at Bellport High School.
Sachem was led by Katie Michta's #1 USA time (6:49.90) in the 1500 meter racewalk. Katie's race plan was simple in her race on Thursday - take the pace out hard to take away the kicks of several of her race rivals including Kelly Maranchuck of Sachem East and Brittany Collins of Connetquot. The race plan worked because Katie was able to maintain a blistering pace for her first three laps that separated her from a strong field. Katie extended her lead in her final lap as she turned in the nation's top time in the 1500 meter race walk.
Distance runners Kelly Lavan (4:46.83 3rd place 1500 m.) and Mackenzie Coleman (7:45.29 6th place 2000 m. steeplechase) had career-best times in their races. Kelly and Mackenzie were joined by teammates Brooke Foltmann and Elise Ramirez (who ran the first sub-5:00 minute 1500 meter run of her young career earlier in the meet) in a 6th place and season-best time in the 4x800 m. relay (10:17.40).
Sprinter Melissa Michels followed her 3rd place finish in the 100 m. dash (12.65) with a 4th place sprint in the 200 m. dash (26.10). Teammate Alyssa Leto placed 5th in the 200 m. dash (26.16) before joining Melissa with teammates Carly Swinford and Sunja Joseph in the finals of the 4x100 m. relay. The relay placed 5th (51.20) and the multiple event days of three of the athletes ended as Carly returned to high jump. Carly placed third in high jump with her 5' 0" clearance on her first attempt before misses at 5' 2" ended her day.
Teammate Kristie Michta was locked in a dual with Bay Shore's Erica Silhan in a jump-off after both missed three attempts each at 5' 4" to determine the winner of high jump. Both jumpers showed poise by matching clearances over several jump-off heights before a slight touch of Kristie's right calf nearly 20 minutes after the tie-breaker began was enough to knock down the cross bar opening the door for Erica's subsequent clearance to give the Bay Shore athlete the event victory.
Kaitlyn Okvist rounded out Sachem's field event scoring in the meet as she matched her season-best 31' 9" to place 5th in shotput. The best measure of the North Arrows track and field prowess may have been seen in the pentathlon at Division Championships. Junior Emily Rathmann (in her first-ever pentathlon) and freshman Nikki Fogarty (coming off of a 2473 point effort at the Bellport Invitational two weeks ago) were competing against a talented pentathlon field. First day (Tuesday) efforts in the 100 m. hurdles, high jump and shotput put Nikki in 3rd place and Emily in 5th place as athletes returned on Thursday for the last two events of the mutli-event competition.
Both girls career-bested in long jump to start the day. Emily's jump move her into fourth place in the event. Emily's career-best 800 m. run moved her into third place. Nikki, slowed down by a foot injury suffered in lap two of the 800, showed heart and guts to finish the race and take 4th place in the event. Nikki set a freshman team record with her 2573 point total. Emily is Sachem's #3 all-time pentathlete behind record-holders and All-State athletes Rosie DeFino and Denise Raab with her 2652 points. Emily career-bested in four of her five pentathlon events. Sachem will compete at Section XI State Qualifiers next weekend.
- Melissa Michels scored in three events at the championship meet. Alyssa Leto, Carly Swinford, Kelly Lavan and Mackenzie Coleman score in two events each.
- All Sachem racewalkers career-bested (Katie, Natalie DeQuarto, Patricia Romano).
- Sachem's 4th place team finish and 59 point total is its strongest team finish since 2009 when the North Arrows placed 4th with the same point total. Seniors Kristie Michta, Andrea Hegarty and Becca Duffy - competitors in this year's meet - were freshmen on the 2009 squad.
Article and photos courtesy of Alex Young, head coach of the Sachem North girls track and field team
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