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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The Central High School boys’ winter track team won its first conference championship in a decade.
High School Sports
Central boys sprint to conference title

What happens when a group of athletes come together, work hard and compete for a conference championship? For the Valley Steam Central High School boys’ winter track team, the answer is simple: win.

The boys from Central ran, jumped and willed their school to its first Nassau Conference II championship in 10 years, led by nine all-conference athletes.

The boys and girls winter track teams share three coaches, each with their own specialty. Jason Nappy coaches running and hurdles, Brian Fraser works on jumping and Phillip Pepe is the throwing coach. Nappy, who has been a winter and spring track coach for two years, said although he was confident in his team, there was a “moment of disbelief” when the Eagles took home the conference crown in January at St. Anthony’s High School.

“It was surreal,” Nappy said as he watched his team take a victory lap. “We just didn’t want the moment to end because it was that special. Especially with the group of kids that we have.” What made the win even sweeter, Nappy added, was the fact that many coaches regard Nassau Conference II as the toughest conference in the county.

In the event’s early going, Central found itself in third place after three events behind last year’s champion Calhoun High School and East Meadow High School. But it was the fourth event, the 55-meter dash, that turned things around for the Eagles. Three Central runners, Garcelin Elisias, Delencio Blanco-Holstead and Chad Blaize, made it to the event’s finals as Blanco-Holstead then won the first event for Central.

“The kids worked hard and they really created a family atmosphere,” said Fraser. “The seniors really came together and they pushed each other every day at practice and they made it all possible.”

One of the seniors who paced the Eagles during the conference championship was Seth Williams who won the long jump, triple jump and high jump events. This year marked his first season on the winter track team although he has been on the spring track team since seventh grade. In years past, Williams played basketball in the winter, but this year he elected to run track.

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