Four Baldwin High School runners captured New York State Public High School Athletic Association track and field titles on March 4 — including Sariah Doresca, the first Lady Bruin ever to win an individual state championship.
“It was amazing to win states, because it made all the long nights at practice pay off,” said Jahzara Emeli, a member of the winning 4x200-meter relay team at the New York State Indoor Track and Field Championships. “We came out of the meet with a win and a new record.”
After the team got a spirited send-off from dozens of parents and students as it set off for the meet at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Facility on Staten Island, the relay squad, which also included sophomores Doresca and Jillian Rickford and freshman Breanne Barnett, won their event with a time of 1 minute, 41.17 seconds.
“These four girls have shown what it looks like when you run together for years,” Karen Barnes, Baldwin High’s girls’ track and field coach, wrote in an email. “Their relationship on and off the track helps to prove that consistency and hard work are the main ingredients to success. The Baldwin community is so very proud of their accomplishments.”
Rickford, who ran the anchor leg, said that she and the other girls had practiced since last August in anticipation of the indoor season, which began in November. She and the other relay members, Rickford said, worked out five times a week, strategizing, perfecting their baton passes and sharpening their speed.
Doresca, meanwhile, made Baldwin High history by winning the 55-meter dash in a school record time of 7.02 seconds.
Doresca said she planned to continue to improve her running, and to join a track and field team at a Division I university when she graduates in two years. She said she was proud to represent Baldwin on the track, but strived to be as successful academically as she is athletically, since she plans to eventually study medicine.
“It’s always great to see dedicated student athletes reap the benefits of their hard work and effort,” Tyshawn Scarlett, the Baldwin district’s director of health, physical education and athletics, said in an email. “Our girls are the definition of hard work paying off. Witnessing our girls run and make history is a moment I will never forget. I am proud of them for what they have accomplished thus far as students and as athletes.”