The Bayport-Blue Point boys and girls track and field teams are prepping and practicing for state competition now that the two teams have both won a county championship this season.
These two county championships come just two weeks after both teams won the League VII Championships while going undefeated in all dual meets. This marks the first time the boys and girls teams have both won county championships in the same year since 2004.
On day one of competition, the boys’ team got out to a competitive start with the highlight being the dominant performance in the 800 meter race with Harry Martin, Paul Chiappetta and Bailey Imbo taking second, third and fourth place respectively. Rob Vetri and Dylan Adams set the tone for day two placing second and third respectively in the grueling 3000-meter steeple chase. The boys were locked in a very close meet all throughout the second day of competition. Bayport-Blue Point, Amityville and Port Jefferson spent most of the day trading two or three point leads back and forth.
Chris Stelling dominated the field in the pentathlon 1500m and ended up taking third place in the final standings. Senior Chris Cavanaugh also performed his best to secure the team a crucial point in the pentathlon. First-year runner and junior Jared Gray, had a monster day competing in four events with minimal rest in between. Jared placed second in the open 400m, third in the open 200m, and was a key runner on two relays.
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During the relays, which concluded the meet, the outcome was far from certain. In a true testament to the team’s depth, BBP won the 4x800 meter relay, took second in the 4x100 meter relay and third in the 4x400 meter relay. Even after accruing all of those points from the relays, the meet was still tremendously close.
Junior Rob Rodriguez ended up throwing a two and a half foot personal best throw of 45 feet even in shot put that kept BBP close enough to Port Jefferson to ensure the win. Final score was BBP 104, Port Jefferson 101 and Amityville 99.50.
Congratulations also to Harry Martin, John Antonacci, Paul Chiappetta and Bailey Imbo for being individual County Champions as well in the 4 x 800 meter relay.
The girls’ team got off to a great start in day one of competition having Bailey Walker and Casey Hasher make finals in both the 100 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles with Jordan Collins winning the discus.
However, at the end of day one, BBP was only in third place after a dominant performance in the 3000 meters by Miller Place. The girls took advantage of every event they could on day two of the meet ensuring a win before the relays even started.
When the team needed it most, all of the girls stepped up and scored 26 more points than they were seeded to score and put the meet out of reach after a dominant 1,2,5,6 finish in the 2000 meter steeplechase and the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays both scoring well in finals which they were not supposed to make.
The MVP for the girls between both days was junior Casey Hasher who ran in seven events over both days and helped the team make finals in both the 4x1 and 4x4. Sam Triani also had a great leadoff leg both days in the 4x400 running the 400 meters in 60.1 seconds on day one and then running an amazing 59.7 on day two.
Congrats to the individual County Champions: Jordan Collins in Shot Put and Discus, Bailey Walker in the 400 meter hurdles and Long Jump and Katie Saroka in the 2000 meter steeplechase.
Next up both teams will be competing in the Section XI State Qualifier at Port Jefferson High School June 1 and 2 to see who will represent BBP in the New York State Championship Meet the following weekend.
As of right now, Bailey Walker is ranked number one in the state in the 400 hurdles and Jordan Collins is ranked number one in the state in discus and second in shot put. The 4x400 meter relay is currently ranked second and the 4x800 is fourth. For the boys, the 4x400 meter relay is currently ranked number one and the 4x800 is second.
Boys Head Coach Michael Zafonte said the boy's win was one of the best team efforts he has ever been apart of while coaching at Bayport Blue Point.
"The fact that we had no individual event winners really was evidence of the outstanding team effort that the kids put forth. I also would like to say that Coach Vin Ungaro of the girl's track and field team has done an unbelievable job with that program," he said, noting it was a second consecutive league and county title for Ungaro's team.
"There are close to 200 girls involved in the middle school and high school girls track program which is a credit to his success. We work great together and I truly believe that aides in the success of both our teams," said Zafonte.
As one athlete's parent noted after the county meeting, the team effort was "unreal," and that "exciting can not describe how well the team performed.
"Congratulations to the Boys Track team and their coaches. We can't wait to see how the do at the state meet," she said in an email to Patch.