Eagles Blaze to Hot Night at Sectionals
On one of the most bitterly cold evenings in recent memory, the Dobbs Ferry's indoor track team completed its inaugural season in the Section 1 Class C meet at the Manhattan Armory with some sweet performances that provided great stories for years to come. After a Sunday, February 10th night that was capped with four silver medals and many unexpected places, the Eagles got an extra treat on Monday morning when Pat Wortner got his beaming face on the front of the Journal News Sports section along with 3200 meter race winner Ben Levitz of Bronxville.
Some of the top Class C athletes did not go to the meet, but Bronxville, Pawling, Croton Harmon, Albertus Magnus, Alexander Hamilton, Haldane, and Rye Neck joined Dobbs to put on a great show following the NYC Catholic HS meet that occupied most of Sunday at the Armory. As in the League Meet, the Eagles took 3rd on the boys side and 4th on the girls. The boys (70 points) finished behind top Bronxville (182) and close behind Croton Harmon (81) while edging Pawling (67). The girls (41.5) finished far behind the traditional powerhouse Bronxville (217), Albertus Magnus (86), and Pawling (56), but edged Croton Harmon (38.5). The difference between 2nd and 3rd for the boys was the high jump, where Croton Harmon piled up 20 points on short hops against an Eagle team with no jumpers.
A few star performances on the night bear special note. Topping off the excitement was the anchor leg of the 4x800 relay where Pat Newman pulled off a longer version of last year's Kadeem Scott miracle finish to push the Eagles past Croton Harmon. In the 4x200 relay, the mood went from jubilation to agony (and noogie threats) to joyful relief after an official disqualification over Viktor Mashalov's cone jumping maneuver was reversed. The cone sets the point where runners in zones are allowed to cut in to the inner lane, and presumably Coach Kaminiski pulled out the football end zone marker rule to prove that the Eagles flew fair. Finally, some special performances turned into a family affair as sprinter Jen Sanseverino picked up a shot put and got a place for the Eagles against much bigger opponents while brother Alan blazed to two silver medal personal records in the 55m and 300m sprints and also pulled a mini-Kadeem while anchoring the 4x200 relay team past Hamilton for a bronze medal.
The meet started as always with the 1500 girls racewalk, where Sofia Maluf went up against the Broncos fast-skipping Danielle Jelensperger but also two veterans from Croton Harmon who were not at the League Meet. Sofia upped her PR time by 7 seconds on the way to a 4th place and a 9:45 time.
The long distance runners were up next, with Sarah King and Shanna Yue faced off against a 3000m field that was far stronger than those in the bigger Class A and B races. Running behind a blistering 10:28 performance by the Broncos' Tori Flannery, Sarah ran a smart race to reel in Caitlin Jelinek and stifle the final lap heaves to grab a 5th place with an 11:29 time. Shanna finished up by knocking probably a minute off her best time.
The boys version of the race in the 3200m featured a great duel and another sterling silver performance by Pat Wortner who stayed close to winner Ben Levitz of Bronxville for most of the way before finishing in 2nd with a 10:27 time.
The 1000m race continued to be productive for the Eagles as most teams other than the Broncos treated it as an afterthought. Karen Maehara, Sofia Maluf, and Mary Constant lined up for Dobbs, and Karen brought home a 4th place behind the top Bronco trio with a 3:37.7 time. Sofia followed her race walk place with a 6th in 3:52.8.
The boys also ran strong in the 1000 as Pat Newman took the bronze with a 2:56 time. Brendan Wortner got nipped at the wire but took the 5th with a 3:02.3 time and George Epstein charged in for 6th with a 3:14.4.
While the early races were taking place, the field events were underway in the shot put and jumping pits and the sprints were held in the center straightaway. The Eagles' first big surprise occurred when Jen Sanseverino volunteered to fill the void for the team in the shot put and promptly hurled a 21'01.50 toss that earned her a 6th. On the boys side, League champion Joe Giuliano faced off against Croton Harmon's star TJ Hair whose 41'07 throw won the event. Joe earned a bronze with a 36'00.75 toss that nearly matched his League meet throw.
The Eagles earned more welcome field event points in the long and triple jumps as Andrea Koenigsberg, Isabella Natale, and Ramson Ragin showed their hops. Andrea took 4th in the LJ with a 12'09.50 jumps and Izzy landed a 6th with an 11'04.50 leap. Ramson held up the boys side of the bargain with a 4th place 34'00 TJ and a 14'10 leap that was good for a 6th in the LJ.
The 55m sprint featured another battle between the Eagles' Alan Sanseverino and the Broncos big guy Nat Recine. Both were timed in a really fast 6.6 but Recine got the edge for the gold. Alan shaved another .2 seconds off his personal best while taking his first silver of the night. Matt Presta also sped fast in his heat of the race. On the girls side, Jen Sanseverino dashed over from the shot pit to run a good time in the 55m.
The running action continued with the 600m race, where some jumping schedule issues and attention problems helped lead to an Eagle goose egg in the events. Taka Masuda ran a really strong race but finished a few tenths of a second short of a 6th place. James Constant ran the second heat for the Eagles.
The 1500\1600 races followed with Lauren Hanley, Izzy Natale and Rebecca Wiersma facing a potent field on the girls side as Tori Flannery went for her 2nd gold (along with a 4th in the high jump). The Bronco star won the event in a somewhat subdued 4:52.4 as Lauren finished just out of the picture in 7th and Izzy and Rebecca a few places back.
The boys 1600 saw some more good performances as Viktor Mashalov and George Tzortzidis doggedly pursued the Broncos's Jack Hutton and Dayton Flannery around the 8 laps and wound up 3rd and 4th. Viktor broke the 5 minute applause sound barrier with a 4:59.7 time and George followed him in at 5:03.9.
The 300m was the final individual running event held. With the top runners placed in different heats on the girls side, it was tough knowing who placed where. Phoebe Maddox turned in a strong effort for the full 1 1/2 laps to win her heat and ended up with a bronze behind the Broncos' top runners, Maggie Goff and Vail Horn. Andrea Koenigsberg ran a 46.6 and shared 6th place with a Croton Harmon runner. Rachel Kagen, Joanne Mumbey, Bella Young, and Suzanna Halatyn also joined in the fun for the girls.
The boys 300 featured another duel between the nonlookalike twins Nat Recine and Alan Sanseverino. Alan couldn't quite get around Nat and finished .3 behind the Bronco for his second silver in another PR 37.6. A host of other Eagles got warmed up for the relays by running the 300m including Taka Masuda, Ramson Ragin, Matt Presta, Matt Holt, and James Constant.
The relays ended the night with a spectacular light show for the Eagles, who fielded teams for all 6 races and won 6 places behind the sweep master Broncos. The girls 4x800m team of Izzy Natale, Sofia Maluf, Mary Constant, and Karen Maehara got things rolling with 4 laps a piece for a bronze medal with a time of 12:20.3. The boys team of George Tzortzidis, Patrick Wortner, Viktor Mashalov, and Pat Newman then followed in screamingly good fashion. Taking the anchor handoff about 60 meters behind a Croton Harmon team that the Eagles were desperate to beat for the bronze, Pat Newman steadily closed the distance on his opponent before blasting past him on the final turn to lead the Eagles back for a 3rd place finish in 9:24.
Inspired by Pat's effort, the Eagles went wild and tore the Armory apart ... no, just kidding. The 4x400m race followed putting together a strong team of Lauren Hanley, Sarah King, Andrea Koenigsberg, and Phoebe Maddox that breezed to a silver in 4:50.9. The boys young team of George Epstein, Brendan Wortner, James Constant, and Matt Holt cruised home for 4th place in 4:49.0.
The final races of the night also included some fun and games. The girls team of Rachel Kagen, Bella Young, Suzanna Halatyn, and Jen Sanseverino showed their kicks by holding off a hard charging Croton-Harmon team for 5th in 2:14.4. The boys team of Taka Masuda, Viktor Mashalov, Ramson Ragin, and Alan Sanseverino provided the final touch of whimsy and glory. Following Viktor's cone-dance exhibition, Alan took the anchor leg handoff and roared past an Alexander Hamilton runner to take the bronze with a time of 1:47.2.
A fun and successful first indoor track season winds up for the Eagles on a high note as they get ten seconds off for rest until they start revving up and get recruiting for the bigger outdoor season. Hopefully the Eagles swooping in for the spring will include some hurdlers, high jumpers, more weight throwers, and some of those fast football players Kadeem promised to send over after he graduated last year. In the course of two months of competition though, the fledgling indoor squad set a good foundation for the future and left behind some great stories on the first year's journey.