This year’s sports seasons were anything but normal, and spring track and field for the girls team at Calhoun High School in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District was no exception. Shortened season, less meets, less time to train and lots of protocols, however, these players had a goal to win their fourth straight conference championship and nothing was going to stand in their way.
The girls extended their current streak to 64 consecutive wins and captured another Conference Championship for their fourth in a row. The team will compete in the Division Championships at Calhoun on June 1 looking for their fifth straight division title.
The girls headed into this spring season holding the longest winning streak on Long Island for girls track and field.
The girls started their season like they have in the past — cruising through their first three meets and racking up a 7-0 record on the season, then they really hit their stride and went on to win the next six to finish another season with a perfect 13-0 record.
Track is broken up into a few different components: sprints, mid-distance, long distance and field events.
Captains Faith Dwyer, a senior, and Julianna Razza, a junior, would continue to lead the team in all distance events and sometimes even a sprint or two. Each week they ran two or three events usually the 800m, 1500m, 3000m and even the occasionally 400m hurdles.
“It really speaks to their character and commitment,” said coach Joseph Migliano. “They train hard all week then have to come run all these meters in a meet and win; then when the team needs, drop out of their comfort zone and run a sprint or two for us. Not many girls would do that for the team, but Julianna and Faith are true leaders and role models.”
Freshman Yolina Bastien dominated the 100/200m the entire regular season for Calhoun earning some major points at each meet; along with her new found talent of triple jumping which allowed her to score second or better in each meet. Sophomore Captain Julia Baguiao ran the 200m, 400m, long jump and hop in on all and any relay she was needed.
“These two were huge assets for us during the season,” Migliano said. “Reliable, driven and hardworking is the best way to describe them both. There’s no event they wouldn’t try or distance they wouldn’t run if it meant helping the team win.”
Erika Klein, Skylar Bruno, Julia Cicero and Taryn Hilke earned major throwing event points at every meet that helps the girls dominate their league season.
“Our throwers are some of the hardest workers around, not having a weight room really hurt them this season, but they didn’t let that bother them,” Migliano said. “They threw, trained and worked every day on their technique, to not only better themselves but help the team.”
Led by Senior Captain Nicole Devlin and Sophomore Captain Sara Manson, the girls piled up the points in high jump, long/triple jump and the 100m/400m hurdles. Devlin along with senior Ava Bayat didn’t lose a high jump or long jump event all season, earning major points along the way.
Newcomer Maddy Ryan tried her hands at the 100m/400m hurdles this year. Migliano explained that it normally takes a hurdler a solid year to understand the technique and how to run them, but Ryan knew she didn’t have that type of time this year and worked tirelessly to get better each day, and that’s what she did. Each meet Ryan ran faster and faster and now she is one of the top girls in all of conference 2.
“Sara Manson is irreplaceable,” Migliano said. “There’s no better way to put it. Since she stepped onto the team as an eighth grader her impact was felt immediately. She can run, jump, sprint, hurdle and even pole vault. There’s no event I can’t put her in to help the team. She works hard day in and out and is a true role model for everyone on the team. She exemplifies what it means to be a multi-event athlete.”
Manson led Calhoun in the 100m/400m hurdles, triple jump and pole vault; along with being ranked in the top five for each in all of Nassau County as well. As an eighth grader, Manson was the number one pentathlete for her age in the state and number three in the entire country.