The Southampton girls indoor track team got its season under way with its first crossover meet of the season at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Sunday.
Head coach Eddie Arnold has a young but enthusiastic team, and said he expects his athletes to focus on individual improvement as the season goes on. For many of the team members, the indoor season is a chance to get in shape and get ready for the outdoor track season in the spring.
Three seniors—Kayley Ritz and captains Gabby Gavalas and Annie Connolly-Sporing—will help guide the team this year, which includes seven juniors, six sophomores, nine freshmen and two eighth-graders.
“It’s a great, great group of kids,” Arnold said. “They’re like sponges; they absorb all the info we give them.”
Helping Arnold for the second season in a row is assistant coach Samantha Wellen, a former Southampton track athlete, who will work with the distance runners in particular.
Sunday’s meet serves as a benchmark for the athletes, Arnold said, giving them a baseline time or mark in their respective events which they can then look to improve upon in subsequent meets.
In the 55-meter dash, freshman Isabel Cuffee looked strong, finishing in 8.70 seconds. Marina Cirillo (9.30) and Caitlyn Kirshy (9.50) also performed in that event. Connolly-Sporing finished the 600-meter race in 2:03; in the 1,000-meter race, Riplee Mercer (3:35) and Evie Purcell (3:35.99) finished seventh and eighth overall, respectively, while Keilyn Castillo (4:19) and Margaret Hattrick (4:03) also ran. In the 1,500-meter race, Hadi Ramos finished in 5:44, while teammates Lumei Abantangelo (5:46), Sayre Hildreth (6:58) and Alex Woods (6:09) also competed. In the 55-meter hurdles, Caroline Palumbo (11.06), Stephanie Schiavoni (11.40), and Kayley Ritz (11.29) all did well, while in the 800-meter racewalk, Jolynn Bezubek finished in 5:13. Gavalas had the best finish in the 300-meter race in 46.77, while Palumbo (50.4), Rebecca Moritz (51.4), Julia Dudley (52.1), Ana O’Shaughnessy (54.3), Bridget Grelish (59.8), Carly Cenzeprano (60.5), and Jillian Kolarik (72) all performed well.
The Lady Mariners will be on the track again at Suffolk West on Saturday for another crossover meet. The boys indoor track team was scheduled to start the season with crossover meets on December 9 and 11 and will be on the track again on Sunday for another crossover meet.