While gathered in the Brentwood High School bleachers for their post-meet discussion, the young women of Sachem East track and field waited to hear the meet’s final score. They had been prepared for a tough contest; not only did the Brentwood squad pose some difficult match-ups for Sachem in sprints and jumps, but the Arrows were dealing with a group of their own seniors who were sleep-deprived and out of rhythm from their annual senior trip to Washington, D.C. Likewise, the meet interrupted normal training routines as they found themselves hosted at Brentwood a day later than expected thanks to a weather cancellation the previous day.
As the meet developed, and several early events were split between Brentwood and Sachem, it would be difficult for an outsider to recognize the growing lead for Sachem. Brentwood won seven out of the 14 open events. This should have made the meet a virtual toss-up. To help limit the damage done by these seven Brentwood victories, however, several Sachem team members stepped up to secure a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash, the triple jump and the shot put. Sachem was also able to claim key points in the other events won by Brentwood, with a second-place finish in the 100-meter dash, a second- and third-place finish in the 200-meter dash, a second- and third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles, and a second- and third-place finish in the high jump. Without these points secured in events won by Brentwood, it was likely the meet would have come down to the wire or ended with a Brentwood victory.
Sachem was able to flex its own muscle, as well, dominating with a first- and second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, a first- and second-place finish in the 800-meter run, a first- and third-place finish in the discus, a victory in the long jump, and a sweep of first through third in the 1,500-meter run, race walk and 3,000-meter run. Before the 4x100-meter, 4 x 400-meter and 4x800-meter relays started, victory had already been secured. When the dust settled and the team gathered in the bleachers to recap the meet, the final score stood at 91-59, good enough for Sachem East to claim a 2019 league title.
The news of a league title, their fourth in the last five years, came with plenty of smiles and cheers, but the real celebration occurred one week earlier at Sachem when they defeated league rival Longwood 83-67, on April 10, in a head-to-head match-up of the best two teams in the league. The victory over Longwood avenged last year’s loss to the eventual county champions and set up the April 16 showdown with Brentwood to finish the job. That job now complete, Sachem looks ahead to some serious training through spring break, senior day on April 29 and the start of championship season that kicks off at the St. Anthony’s Invitational on May 3 and 4.
There have been many key players on the track thus far in the season: in the sprints and jumps are Jasmine Ahmed, Jeilyn Balbuena, Arya Deshpande, Julianna Grillo, Erica Hecht, Kylie Koerner, Isabelle Makinen, Julianna Mercado, Daniella Meyer, Arianna Moore, Gianna Pepitone, Victoria Scheller and Jaidyn Simmons; in the mid-distance and distance are Lindsey Dodenhoff, Lexi MacAneney, Chiara Marziali, Sabrinna Mena, Anna Murphy, Jessica Schaefer, Sydney Sherbitsky, Lauren Trejo, Emily Venturi and Alexis Violi; in the throws are Ericka Craig, Kaiya Fragala, Farrah Kuchcicki, ToniAnn McNerney, Ashley Nash and Marissa Scimeca; in the race walk are Marcela Araujo, Angelina Colon, Lauren Faust, Amanda Harnos, Kayla Manel and Marissa Sciotto; and finally newcomers to the squad are Gillian and Michaela Barresi, Molly Grow, Jamie Levin, Anna Morrongiello, Erica Urbancik and Jaidyn Wolfe.