Each year at the annual Paul Limmer Invitational, Wellington C. Mepham High School track team officials announce the winners of the Coach Hughes Memorial Award. Senior Josh Spiegel received the honor this year, embracing Gerry Hughes’s wife, Trish, after his name was called. But before the announcement, he leaned over to his coach, Dave Frazer, to let him know that his race was next and he had to get ready.
Frazer explained that displays of Pirate pride, like the award announcement, were just as important to the invitational as the races that Spiegel and his teammates were running.
“Generally, we tell the kids what they are going to run. At this meet, we tell them what their job is for the day and ask them what they want to run,” he said. “The Mepham athletes did a great job of helping a lot more with this running of the meet.”
About 2,500 athletes, many of whom were from the Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, participated in the seventh annual Paul Limmer Invitational on April 6.
The track and field event was named for Paul Limmer, who coached the Mepham track and field team from 1969 to 1999. The seventh annual invitational drew 40 teams from 45 schools across Long Island, stretching from Sayville to Elmont. The Mepham boys’ and girls’ teams participated in the races, as well as the Sanford H. Calhoun High School and John F. Kennedy High School teams.
Frazer explained that his team took on more responsibility at this year’s event by getting more involved with important administrative tasks. Whether they were typing race results, handing out awards or cleaning up the field, Frazer said the athletes did a great job by showing their visitors a good time.
“The whole purpose of the meet was to really showcase our community and to get people to really come in and see what a great presence Mepham is as a whole,” he said. “Everyone can come together and put on a fantastic day for athletes that are working really hard.”