A winning program since its inception in the 1960s, the East Meadow girls’ track team is rising back to its former glory under coach Michael Ringhauser.
After finishing fourth in the Nassau County Class A Track and Field Championships Feb. 5, the Jets have added another chapter to their storied history.
The Hall sisters, Zaria and Anaya, sit at the forefront of the team, holding the top two spots in the 100-meter dash in the program’s history.
Although she didn’t compete in her signature event, Zaria was still a force wherever the Jets needed her.
“She got a little out of her comfort zone,” Ringhauser said. “Normally, during the season, we focus on the middle-distance events, but she knew, for the good of the team, we As soon as one event was done, she started her recovery process immediately, focusing on the next event and just taking things one at a time. It was a really big help and what turned out to be a close meet for us.”
Zaria won the 1,000-meter race and also took home second place in the 1500-meter and 600-meter races. Meanwhile, Anaya earned third place in the 1000-meter race and sixth in the 600-meter race.
“They've been together training together as partners and pushing each other to some really great times,” Ringhauser said of the sisters.
East Meadow also placed third in the 4x200 relay.
The Jets didn’t just earn recognition on the track but succeeded in field events as well.
In only her second year competing for the team, Katelyn Coffey took second in the weight throw and came in sixth in the shot put.
“Katelyn has been an outstanding thrower for us,” Ringhauser said. “A year ago, she didn't even know what really track and field was. We found her in the hallway, and we started training her in the weight throw. As a freshman, she set the school record in the weight throw last year.”
Coffey didn’t so much find track and field as the sport found her, which is the same case for a lot of Ringhauser’s competitors.
Lina Masaoka Guevara joined the team only after her older brother competed for the boys. She has since become a standout in the long and triple jump, while Leah Schleicher is making waves in the high jump and the 4x200.
“You tailor to what athletes are best at,” Ringhauser said. “It's been a couple of years where we've developed a real all-around program. We were a very distance-heavy team. We scored a lot of our points really in just that event discipline. In the couple of years since, we've really developed a full team, where we have great sprinters and field event athletes and throwers. It's been a long a long-term plan to develop the depths that we have now.”