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East End Invitational Drew 296 Tracksters

Thu, 05/18/2023 - 10:28
Meredith Spolarich scored 2,744 points in her first try at the pentathlon (100-meter high hurdles, long jump, shot-put, high jump, and 800) at the East End Classic here Saturday.
Craig Macnaughton

Yani Cuesta, who coaches East Hampton High’s girls track team, won’t know until the seeding meeting this evening how many of her charges will compete in the county meet that’s to begin with pentathlon field events Saturday, but said by phone Sunday that Meredith Spolarich, Leslie Samuel, Ryleigh O’Donnell, and Dylan Cashin, all of whom have multiple wins to their credit this season, would be among them.

The return to East Hampton of Cuesta’s East End Classic invitational meet on Saturday, contested by 10 schools — Brentwood, West Islip, Shoreham-Wading River, Port Jefferson, Southold, Mattituck, Shelter Island, Center Moriches, Hampton Bays, and East Hampton — gave Spolarich, an all-around athlete and Pierson (Sag Harbor) High School senior, a chance to give the pentathlon a try, and she did not disappoint, winning out over her peers from Mattituck and Hampton Bays with 2,744 points amassed in the 100-meter hurdles, long jump, shot-put, high jump, and 800.

It was only the third time Spolarich had hurdled, Cuesta said, and though she finished third — “the other two, Emma Halsey of Hampton Bays and Casey Szczotka of Mattituck, were hurdlers” — her time of 18.23 seconds was a personal record. Spolarich then went on to win the long jump, the shot-put, and the high jump before finishing second in the 800.

Samuel, a Bridgehampton senior who now holds East Hampton records in the indoor and outdoor long jump, pulled a hamstring muscle in East Hampton’s regular-season-ending win at Half Hollow Hills West on May 9 and was, therefore, not at full strength Saturday, though she nevertheless placed second in the 200-meter dash and ran the second-place 4-by-100 relay team’s anchor leg. Because of the injury, Cuesta kept her out of the long jump and the 100-meter dash.

O’Donnell was a two-time winner Saturday, in the 400 intermediate hurdles and in the 800, and, with Samuel, Leah McCarron, and Sam Ruano, was a member of the 4-by-100 relay team. Cashin won the 3,000 in 11 minutes and 33.04 seconds. Sara O’Brien, Cashin’s protégée, a ninth grader from Pierson, won the freshman-sophomore version of the 3,000, in 11:59.25, and won the freshman-sophomore 400 intermediate hurdles as well, in 1:13.19.

The previously mentioned win at Hills West, by a score of 83-62, enabled East Hampton’s girls team to finish the season with a winning record, at 3-2-1, a season that Cuesta said compared favorably with her team of 2016, on which Gabby McKay, Christine Malecki, and Devon Brown competed. And presumably even better things are to come, given the fact that East Hampton’s squad has on it a lot of juniors and freshmen.

O’Donnell, a junior, was a quadruple winner at Hills West, in the 400, the 400 hurdles, the 800, and as a member, along with Alexa Gomez-Tabares, Marley Zino, and O’Brien, of the winning 4-by-400 relay team, which she anchored.

Other place-winners for East Hampton at Hills West were Gabrielle Payne, first in the triple jump; O’Brien, first in the 1,500 and second in the 800 and 400 hurdles; Leah McCarron, first in the 100; Ashley Alarcon, first in the 1,500-meter racewalk; Leah Fromm, first in the 3,000; Kaili Moore, first in the discus and second in the shot-put; Spolarich, second in the long jump, second in the 100 hurdles, and third in the 200; Bennett Greene, second in the 3,000, and Becca Trowbridge, second in the discus.

On May 6 at the St. Anthony’s invitational, Samuel won the long jump before pulling the aforementioned hamstring nearing the 100’s finish line. Spolarich too encountered some bad luck that day, falling during the 100 hurdles. “She fell hard,” Cuesta reported in an email, “and scraped her knee pretty bad, but quickly got up and finished the race. . . . She’s amazing.”

Back to Saturday’s meet, which drew, Cuesta said, 296 athletes who competed over the course of four hours, McCarron won the freshman-sophomore 100, Greene was fourth in the freshman-sophomore 1,500, Sophia Figueroa was fourth in the freshman-sophomore 100 hurdles, and Ruano was fifth in the freshman-sophomore 200.

As for East Hampton’s boys, Cuesta said Brayan Rivera anchored the winning 4-by-400 relay team and was second in the open 800, Matthew Mattina was second in the open 3,200, Charles Stern won the freshman-sophomore 110 hurdles, Edward Calle won the freshman-sophomore 100, Benson Edman was second and Wyatt Smith third in the freshman-sophomore 1,600, Edmar Gonzalez was second and Stern was third in the freshman-sophomore 400, Mason Seyh was second in the freshman-sophomore 800, and Liam Knight was second in the freshman-sophomore 200.

As of Sunday afternoon, the results of the Classic’s field events for boys and girls had not been posted online, said Cuesta, who had her hands full on race day.

The county meet’s running events are to be contested at Kings Park High School next Thursday. The state qualifier meet is to be held at Comsewogue High School on June 1 and 2.

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