The St. Anthony’s Invitational is always a special part of Sachem's spring schedule. Held on the first weekend in May, Sachem performances at St. Anthony’s are a harbinger of the fast-approaching post-season. If Sachem efforts are any sort of a bell-weather of things to come, the North Arrows are poised for a very exciting post-season.
Sprinters and high jumpers starred on Day 1 of St. Anthony’s. Melissa Michels ran a career-best 25.98 in the unseeded 200 m. race (the #3 200 m. time of the meet) and led-off the 3rd place 4x100 m. relay. Melissa, Emily Rathmann, Carly Swinford and Sunja Joseph ran the third fastest 4x100 time of the season on a warm and perfect running day.
Carly and Kristie Michta enjoyed the finest day by a pair of high jumpers in Sachem history as both matched career-bests and had outstanding attempts career-best heights. Kristie placed 4th in high jump with her 5’ 4” leap and Carly nailed her third attempt at 5’ 2” before several good attempts at 5’ 4”. Fifteen of Sachem’s large 200 meter race squad season-bested and Andrea Hegarty continued her sensational senior season with a season-best 73.18 in the 400 m. hurdles. Monica Abrams had a career-best 400 meter dash with her 70.87 time.
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Sachem’s morning session athletes starred in relays and throws on Day 2 (Saturday) of Long Island’s biggest track and field invitational. Sachem entered six relays in Frosh and Soph division relays and medaled with top 6 performances by each relay squad. The fabulous-Frosh foursome of Alyssa Leto, Ali Van Sicklin, Nikki Fogarty and Ashley Williams ran away with a win in the Frosh 4x100 with a time of 51.40 – three seconds faster than the second place relay. Kaitlyn Okvist led the frosh-soph throws squad with 1st place performances in both shotput and discus.
The afternoon session at St. Anthony’s second day is a showcase of Long Island and NYC’s top track and field talent. This year’s field of athletes was no exception. The North Arrows were in the middle of much of the action as Katie Michta, Natalie DeQuarto, Kelly Lavan, Becca Duffy, Alyssa Leto and others were part of exciting races.
Katie, Natalie and the rest of the 1500 m. Race Walk field did not disappoint spectators as they opened up the afternoon session with a thrilling race. All-American Katie Michta (6:58.23) placed second in her first sub-7:00 effort of her career. Natalie DeQuarto career-bested as well (7:22.94) and looks ahead to joining Katie at USATF Junior Nationals in the summer. Becca Duffy and Brooke Foltmann ran career-best 800 meter times in the next event.
While cool temperatures slowed down sprinters a bit compared to the blazing fast times in Friday’s warm air, races were exciting. Freshman sensation Alyssa Leto just missed making finals in the 100 meter dash, but returned to the track less than two hours later with a purpose and placed fourth in the 200 m. dash (26.40).
While sprinters starred for Sachem in Friday’s session, distance runners stepped up with career-best efforts throughout Saturday’s morning and afternoon sessions. Dowon Hwang and Amanda Flynn led the morning session distance squad with career-bests in both the unseeded 1500 meter run and in their respective 800 meter legs in the 4x800.
Oriana Howell had a career-best run in the 3000 meter run as she took the pace at the gun and held off charges by North Shore’s Monica Morra to win her heat in 11:07.79. Kelly Lavan was part of one of the deepest 1500 meter fields ever at St. Anthony’s Invitational.
Eventual race winner Sachem East’s Rachel Paul and Miller Place’s Tiana Guevara took out the seeded section of the race in a pedestrian 300 meter 59 seconds. Kelly and most of the field were in tow. The field would have to run a negative split race to keep up with race leaders.
While Rachel and Tiana created a little separation from the field with 800 meters to go, Kelly and a chase pack fought for position as lap times got faster. Kelly’s last 400 meter splits (after the 300 meter mark) were 78.4, 75.1 and 69.6 seconds. Kelly’s time of 4:48.52 was a career-best and good for 7th place in the race. One heat later, Sachem rookies Elise Ramirez and Mackenzie Coleman ran the races of the young careers. Elise (5:06.40) crossed the finish line .4 seconds ahead of Mackenzie (5:06.80) as both ran career-bests and finished in the top-half of a talented field.
Sachem left St. Anthony’s a little tired after a tough but exciting three days of competition. Sachem legs and arms were tested in the team’s 87-63 dual meet win over a Connetquot squad on Thursday, but the North Arrows rose to the occasion of running, jumping and throwing big in a big time meet this weekend. Athletes, coaches and parents look ahead to exciting competition over the next several weeks as Sachem gets ready for Division I Championships and the State Qualifier Meet.
Sachem closes out its dual meet season with its Senior Day home meet versus Lindenhurst on Tuesday before splitting its squad as it travels to the Loucks Games and Bellport Invitational next weekend.
- Thanks to relay alternates for stepping up on both days at St. Anthony’s Invitational. In the cases of Katie Pfeil, Tabytha Cooke and Brigid Rattiger, this meant medal-winning efforts as part of top 6 Frosh and Soph relays.
- Sisters Gabriela (senior) and Karina (freshman) Garcia ran together on a relay (4x400) for the first time on Friday night. Team members cheered loudly as third leg Karina handed off the baton to anchor Gabriela in the relay.
- Senior Danielle White career-bested twice in the sprint races (100 and 200 meter dashes) on Saturday – congratulations!
Article/photos courtesy of Alex Young, head coach Sachem North girls track
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