Eastport South Manor’s Thomas Meehan will be making his first trip to the spring New York State Track and Field Championships after qualifying at the Section XI Individual Championships, otherwise known as the state qualifier, at Port Jefferson High School this past Friday and Saturday. States are this weekend, Friday and Saturday, at Cicero/North Syracuse High School.
Meehan, who reached indoor states this past winter, finished second in the 800-meter run at the state qualifier this past weekend in 1:55.67, which wouldn’t have pushed him through to states, but Northport’s Mike Brannigan, who won both the 800- and 1,600-meter races, opted to go upstate in the 1,600, leaving Meehan as the next runner from Suffolk County to go upstate in the 800. Meehan also ran in the 1,600 and finished third in a season’s best 4:16.6. He earned All-County honors in both races.
“It was kind of a doomed scenario for Tommy since [Brannigan] won both races,” ESM head coach Brian Methven said. “But the Northport coach decided to have [Brannigan] go in the 1,600, so that was nice because it allowed Tommy the chance to go upstate.”
Matt Lafferty reached the finals of the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, which was a bit of a surprise being that he was seeded 10th—only the top six reach the finals. Lafferty wound up finishing sixth overall in 57.05 seconds.
“He was really coming into his own coming into the race,” Methven said, “and he ran better than he had all year when it counted most.”
Luke Lafferty, Matt’s younger brother, finished fifth in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet 10¾ inches. Jacob Black finished 16th out of 23 runners in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:34, a six-second personal best.
“They did great,” Methven said of his athletes. “Everyone ran their best. Luke didn’t jump his best but he’s only a 10th-grader. I was very impressed by the way they represented the school.”
The ESM girls track team had a number of athletes perform at the state qualifier. Taylor McClay took home the highest placement, finishing third in the 1,500-meter race in 4:41. According to head coach James Lever, McClay’s time was the fastest by a freshman on Long Island, second in New York State and fifth in the entire country. McClay will be competing in the freshman mile at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina, June 13 to 15. Keara Brown will also be competing at the same meet in the freshman long jump and freshman triple jump.
Lisa Marone finished 20th overall in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 71.93 seconds. For the first time in program history, ESM had athletes in the high jump at the state qualifier. Rachel Pfeiffer and Michela Brummerloh both competed. Pfeiffer finished 15th with a 4-foot-10-inch jump, while Brummerloh finished 16th after reaching 4 feet 8 inches.
“I think it says a great deal about our jumps program and how we have progressed over the year,” Lever said of Pfeiffer and Brummerloh’s appearance at the state qualifier.
ESM has a handful of girls graduating from the team this month including Marone, Brittney Gross, Sam Jablonski, Betsy Spellman and Gabby Harrigan. “The team truly appreciates all of their hard work and dedication,” Lever said. “The standards set by the seniors will shape the future of the team for years to come.”