DiBenedetto Takes Down Decades-Old Record At Westhampton Beach Invitational


Mission: Accomplished.

Well, at least partially.

Since late in her sophomore season, Lucy DiBenedetto, now a senior, made it her main objective to break nearly a 30-year-old shot put record at Westhampton Beach. On Saturday, at her team’s host invitational, DiBenedetto accomplished the feat, throwing the shot put 35 feet 1½ inches, surpassing Michelle Conway’s previous record of 34 feet 8 inches, set back in 1987.

DiBenedetto won the shot put in the process, besting 14 other throwers from around Suffolk County. Bayport/Blue Point’s Jeami Van Weele’s 34-foot-6-inch throw was second best to DiBenedetto.

“I had 34 feet 8 inches written on Post-It notes on my mirror in my room, in my track bag, in my binder, on my laptop. Everywhere I went, it was staring at me, so I had to get this,” DiBenedetto said of the record.

Before the spring season began, DiBenedetto set out to get the record as early as this weekend’s St. Anthony’s Invitational, or, at the end of May at the Division Championships. Accomplishing the feat earlier was just icing on the cake.

“Doing it this early … it’s pretty insane, it’s pretty cool,” DiBenedettto remarked.

DiBenedetto’s mission was partially accomplished only because she’s set the bar even higher for herself. Her new number is now 42 feet, which would get her not only to states but to nationals in June.

“I don’t think I’m going to get there, I know I’m going to get there,” DiBenedetto said.

DiBenedetto was just one of a number of highlights at her team’s host invitational. Kelsey Jordan set a new meet record and won the 1,500-meter race walk at 7:12.98. The previous record was 7:22. The 4×400-meter relay team of Lauren Lorefice, Nora Murphy, Jenny Jordan and Grace Gilbakian won in 4:05.53, which is also a new meet record. The previous record was 4:07 set by Longwood. Lorefice won the 200-meter dash in 26.5 seconds and Murphy won the 400-meter hurdles in 68.8 seconds. Jillian McManus took first place in the high jump with a 5-foot leap.

Gilbakian finished third in the 400-meter dash in 60.1 seconds. Jordan took third in the 800-meter run in 2:24.8. Emily Wichard, Riley Gwinn, Katie Sheehan and Kaitlyn Brierton placed second in the 4×800-meter relay in 10:48.70.

The Lady Hurricanes defeated Sayville, 90-60, at home on April 21 to improve to 2-1 in League VI dual meets.

The Westhampton Beach boys had a few top 10 finishes on their side of the invitational. Kyle Terry tied with two other competitors in the high jump with a height of 5 feet 8 inches. Sachem East’s Louis Dadabo and Mattituck’s Jack Dufton completed the same height. Terry was also part of the 4×400-meter relay team that placed third in 3:36.19. Dan Qua, Mike Gattuso and Khai Henderson joined him on that team.

Henderson placed fifth in the novice high jump with a 5-foot leap and he also finished seventh in the 400-meter dash in 53.64 seconds. Robert Kelly finished fifth in the novice 400-meter dash in 64.75 seconds. Mynor Martinez placed fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles in 17.62 seconds and he finished 10th in the 400-meter hurdles in 65.46 seconds. Roger Llivasaca placed sixth in the pole vault with a height of 9 feet 6 inches.

Gattuso rounded out the top 10 in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 24.16 seconds. Jack Ryan finished 10th in the 1,600-meter run in 4:43.92.

The Hurricanes (1-1 League VI) lost their first meet of the season, 77-63, at Sayville on April 21. Martinez won the 110-meter hurdles in 17.35 seconds. Ryan won the 1,600-meter race in 4:43 and the 3,200-meter race in 10:32.25. Gattuso won the 100-meter dash in 11.5 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 23.8 seconds. The Canes swept the pole vault with Lliavasaca taking top honors with a height of 9 feet 6 inches. Henderson won the 400-meter dash in 52.5 seconds.

Hampton Bays

The Hampton Bays girls track team competed at the Westhampton Beach Invitational on Saturday. Cameron Heaney placed second in the novice 400-meter hurdles in 75.22 seconds. She also placed sixth in the novice 400-meter dash in 67.42 seconds.

MaryKelly Hilton placed fifth in the novice triple jump with a leap of 27 feet 11 inches. Chloe Haynes ran a personal best 5:54 in the 1,500-meter race, winning her heat and breaking 6:00 minutes for the first time this season. She finished 22nd overall. Paige Courtier crossed the finish line in 5:49 in the freshman 1,500-meter race, placing her 17th overall. Sydney Caldwell placed ninth in the freshman 100-meter hurdles in 21.88 seconds.

The Lady Baymen (0-4 League VII) lost their dual meet last week, 97-51, at home to Center Moriches on April 22. Drew Zaweski scored eight points with a 4-foot-4-inch leap in the high jump and her 17.6-second performance in 100-meter hurdles. She finished second in both events. Heaney scored nine points by tying for first in the pole vault with a height of 6 feet and by winning the 400-meter hurdles in 79 seconds.

Alyssa Ortiz placed sixth in the 200-meter dash in a personal best 33.2 seconds. Hilton placed second in the triple jump with a leap of 28 feet 8 inches and won the long jump with a leap of 13 feet 10 inches.

Isabella Romano placed second in the discus with a throw of 71 feet 3 inches. The 4×100-meter relay team of Zaweski, Heaney, Romano and Hilton placed second in 59.5 seconds.

The Hampton Bays boys track team won, 74-52, at Center Moriches on April 22. It had lost its previous three meets to start the season.

Nick Berglin led the team with 15 points, winning the 1,600-meter race, 3,200-meter race and 800-meter run. Josh Karl won the 100-meter dash in a personal best 11.5 seconds. He also won the 200-meter dash and placed second in the long jump, scoring a total of 13 team points. Alex Papajohn took second in the shot put. River Hand placed second in the discus.

At the Westhampton Beach Invitational on Saturday, Hand reached third place in the open discus with a throw of 126 feet, and he placed fifth in the open shot put with a throw of 41 feet 5 inches. Papajohn had a personal best in the shot put with a throw of 42 feet 11½ inches. Berglin ran season’s best 10:30 in the 3,200-meter race.

Jon Ferguson finished the novice 400-meter intermediate hurdles in a personal best 68.2 seconds and placed second. Chris Downs finished third in the novice 1,600-meter race in 5:21. Andres Saldariagga took third in the novice 100-meter dash in 12.2 seconds. Tom O’Shea placed fourth in the novice 200-meter dash in 26.3 seconds and Collin Smith won the novice shot put with a personal best throw of 33 feet.

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