Baldwin’s boys’ track and field team put together a solid regular season, winning eight of its 12 meets and finishing sixth in the division meet, then placing third at the Nassau County Class AA Championship meet on May 20-21 at Westbury High School.
The road to the strong finish was paved by several individuals who turned in performances last week at Roosevelt that qualified them for the upcoming New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHAA) Championships this Friday and Saturday in Syracuse.
“We had a good bounce back [at the county’s],” coach Rich Carroll said of his team, which won last season’s championship and followed up by posting a strong showing this May with a number of new faces in the lineup. “We had people in good spots accumulating points on the first day.”
Chief among the point-scorers was senior Pascal Bastien, who totaled 28 of the team’s 57 points on his own. He won individual titles in the long jump — with a leap of 22 feet, 3 inches — and triple jump (45 feet, 5.5 inches) and also took fifth place in the 100m run (11.14 seconds). For Bastien, it was an exclamation point in a season full of them. At the North Shore Invitational on May 10, he broke the meet records and set personal bests in both the long jump (23 feet, 3 inches) and triple jump (45 feet, 11 inches). His long jump also broke Baldwin’s school record in the event. “He was set up really well [for success],” Carroll said, “because he focused more on jumping and only ran the 4x400m relay at two invitationals. That gave other kids an opportunity to be [in the relay].”
The veterans on the 4x400 team included seniors Malik White, Tyshawn Harris and Kevin Atkinson, as well as newcomer Ralph Cordeau, who runs the first leg of the race. The unit, coming off of a successful winter campaign that also included a New York State championship, will now compete for the same spring title this weekend after taking first at the county meet with a time of 3:25.5 that was three seconds faster than second place. “[Ralph] ran the lead leg because he just gets out and goes,” Carroll said of Cordeau, a tireless worker. “He’s a happy kid and has unbridled passion about winning and doing good for everyone. He’ll do a two-mile warmup before we even get started. ”
Junior Mike Webster finished second at the county meet and also hit the state qualifying standard of 22 feet with a leap of 22 feet, 1 inch, earning a slot in the State Meet. “He had an exceptional sophomore year jumping 19 feet, and it was just a matter of time before he broke into the 20s,” Carroll said.
Despite graduating 15 seniors, Baldwin still has a strong number of athletes returning, including the entire 4x100m relay comprised of underclassmen that finished No. 6 at the county meet (45.62 seconds.) Junior Justin Jones is joined on the team by sophomores Dion Spradley and Kenneth Hoursey and freshman John Welsh. The Bruins will even return experience to the 4x800m relay, one of the toughest events to run, despite the graduation of seniors Moses Jackson and Jarin Fairclough. Junior Justin Hamilton and freshmen Will Salmon and Frank Mulvey all contributed this season.