The East Hampton boys track program got a little shaken up this past fall when now former head coach Christopher Reich decided to take a job in New Hampshire. Reich had taken over for Bill Herzog back in 2010, and the Bonackers had seen great improvement during his tenure.
With the departure of Reich, though, East Hampton needed to fill its head coach vacancy and did so with Luis Morales, who was Reich’s assistant. Herzog has come out of retirement to help Morales as an assistant. Morales and Reich were teammates on the East Hampton track teams from 2001 to 2003, when Herzog was the head coach.
Morales said it was sad to see Reich leave.
“Chris will be really missed this year and I wish him all the best in his bright future,” he said through an email. “He was as good of a coach as he was a competitor and teammate. We got along great, had strong chemistry and I truly believe that we were and continue to be in the beginning stages of developing a winning program for the East Hampton School District.”
Morales added that he’s excited to lead the Bonackers going forward and is thankful that his former coach, Herzog, is helping him. “I have always respected him and gone to him for advice, both on and off the track, and to now have the opportunity to work with and learn from him really takes this team to the next level,” he said. “Both myself and our athletes are lucky to have him on our team.”
East Hampton’s first meet of the winter was December 12 at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. A number of athletes had strong performances.
Adam Cebulski finished the 3,200-meter race in 10:34 while Jack Link crossed the finish line in the 1,000-meter race in 2:56. Daniel Soto finished the 300-meter dash in 41.68 seconds and Will Ellis reached the finals in the 110-meter high hurdles and finished in 8.99 seconds. Erik Engstrom ran to a 4:50 finish in the 1,600-meter race, while teammate Emilio Espinoza finished in 5:11.
A few days later, on Sunday, East Hampton went back to Brentwood and showed improvement. Engstrom placed second in the 3,200-meter race in 10:26, and Ellis placed fourth in the high jump after reaching 5 feet 3 inches. Cebulski finished fifth in the 1,600-meter race in a season’s best 4:52, and Soto had a season’s best in the 300-meter dash in 41.37 seconds. Maykell Guzman finished the 600-meter run in 1:37 and the 4×200-meter relay team of Guzman, Ellis, Soto and Addison Cook, a Pierson athlete, finished in a season’s best 1:46.
“While it is early in the season, and there is always much room for improvement, both Coach Herzog and I are extremely proud of the group of athletes we have on the team this year,” Morales said. “We look forward to watching them succeed, not only on the track, but as individuals as well.”
The East Hampton girls winter track team has 20 athletes on their roster this season, four of them hailing from Pierson. The Lady Bonackers have had two crossover meets thus far, both at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.
Back on December 8, junior Dana Cebulski won the 1,000-meter race in 3:08.58. She was also a part of the 4×800-meter relay team that won in 10:57.27. Alyssa Bahel, a junior, and sophomores Devon Brown and Hannah Jungck made up the rest of the relay squad. Bahel and Brown finished fifth and eighth, respectively, in the 1,500-meter race in 5:29.23 and 5:39.11. Freshman Allura Leggard placed fifth in the 55-meter dash in 7.98 seconds while sophomore Gabbie McKay finished 14th in 8.30 seconds.
At the team’s second crossover on Saturday, also in Brentwood, Cebulski placed second in the 600-meter run in 1:44.85. The 4×400-meter relay team of Cebulski, Brown, Jungck and senior Elena Skerys placed second in 4:43.48. Senior Annie Schuppe finished sixth in the shot put with a throw of 26 feet ½ inch and Leggard finished sixth in the 300-meter dash in 47.26 seconds. She also finished eighth in the 55-meter dash in 8.04 seconds.