The last time the East Hampton girls track team had a winning season, many of the girls on this year’s team were either just born or had just learned to walk.
The Lady Bonackers defeated Westhampton Beach, 79-71, at home on May 6 to finish the regular season 3-2-1 in League VI. It was the third consecutive win for the girls and it marks their first winning season since 1999.
East Hampton head coach Yani Cuesta said she and her team were surprised to find out that it’s been 15 years since the team finished with a record above .500.
“The win against Westhampton was incredible,” she said. “All the girls worked really hard to keep improving and winning as many meets as possible. This couldn’t have been done without their hard work, and the work of our coaching staff.
“I am elated for the girls,” Cuesta added.
East Hampton won nine events and set two school records last week. The 4×100-meter relay team of Gabbie McKay, Amanda Calabrese, Cecilia Blowe and Allura Leggard won in 51.67 seconds, surpassing the previous school record of 51.8 set by Maria Dayton, Stephanie Talmage, Danielle DeMarne and Taneesha Harris in 1998. Liana Paradiso, Alyssa Bahel, Hannah Jungck and Dana Cebulski reset their own school record in the 4×800-meter relay. They won in 10:28.5, besting their previous record, set earlier this season, by 7.3 seconds.
Calabrese won the 100-meter high hurdles in 17 seconds, and Sadie Ward place second in 18.1 seconds. Cebulski won the 1,500-meter race in 5:14.2 and won the 800-meter in a personal best 2:25.8. Bahel finished second in the 1,500 in 5:21.5 and Paradiso placed second in the 800 in 2:31, a personal best.
The Lady Bonackers swept the discus. Christine Malecki won with a throw of 76 feet 11 inches, Taliya Hayes came in second with a throw of 75 feet 11 inches and Veronica Whitney placed third with a personal best throw of 72 feet 11 inches.
McKay won the 200-meter dash in 27.1 seconds, a personal best, Bahel won the 3,000-meter race in a personal best 11:21.9 and Cecilia Blowe won the long jump with a leap of 14 feet 11 inches.
The Division Championships are scheduled for Monday, May 19, and Tuesday, May 21, at Connetquot High School at 3 p.m.
Facing an early 18-point deficit, the East Hampton boys track team fought its way back to pull within striking distance with all three relays remaining at Westhampton Beach on May 6. The Bonackers, who needed to sweep all three relays to win the meet, won two of the three and lost a close 76-67 meet to the Hurricanes.
The loss dropped East Hampton to 0-6 to finish the season in last place in League VI.
“Our guys put on a great fight and they went down swinging,” East Hampton head coach Luis Morales said. “As a coach, I could not had asked for more from my athletes, and I couldn’t be any more proud of the effort and fighting spirit our athletes displayed.
“Even though our overall record does not show an accurate representation of our guys’ hard work and strong work ethic, our boys did amazing this season, getting faster and showing improvement in each and every meet, which is what we addressed at the start of the season,” he continued. “We have a relatively young but strong team made up mainly by tenth-graders, therefore, I truly believe that our time is coming and having one of our best winning seasons is only a reach away.”
Because East Hampton didn’t have any pole vaulters, and got swept in the discus, it was climbing an uphill battle right away at 18-0. But the Bonackers came back with a number of first-place finishes and found themselves within striking distance once the relays started. East Hampton won the 4×100-meter in a personal best 46.5 seconds. Daniel Soto, Addison Cook, Chjuvaughn Cameron and Wayna Reid won that race. Then the 4×800-meter relay team of Erik Engstrom, Jackson Rafferty, Emilio Espinoza and Adam Cebulski won in 9:15, but the 4×200-meter relay team of Thomas Paradiso, George Contreras, Paul King and Josh Dempsey finished in second, falling just short of the sweep the team desperately needed.
Will Ellis won the 110-meter high hurdles in 17.3 seconds, a personal best. Adam Cebulski took first in the 1,600-meter race in 4:53. Reid and Cameron took first and second, respectively, in the 100-meter dash in 11.7 seconds and 11.8 seconds. Paradiso won the 400-meter dash in a personal best 52.5 seconds. The Bonackers swept the 200-meter dash, with Reid taking first in 23.9 seconds, Cameron taking second in a personal best 24.4 seconds, and Cook and Soto tied for third place in 24.5 seconds, both personal bests. Engstrom won the 3,200-meter race in 10:46. Cook took first place in the triple jump with a leap of 35 feet 10 inches.
The boys have their Division Championships Tuesday, May 20, and Thursday, May 22, at Longwood High School at 3 p.m.