North Shore dominates for track title


The North Shore girls’ track and field team deserves a parade down Sea Cliff Avenue to honor its starry accomplishments across the years. 

The North Shore girls wrapped themselves in more maroon glory at last Friday's Nassau Class A championships. The Vikings won the title in a landslide as 13 athletes earned All-County honors (a top-3 finish).

It gave legendary coach Neal Levy his 40th combined county championship that includes the winter track and cross-country seasons.

 This one was extra special as North Shore's 126 points was more than the combined scores of the second and third-place schools - Island Trees (60.3) and Valley Stream South (56.3). In addition, the 66-point spread was the largest win in North Shore history. 

Not even Levy dreamed of such dominance. 

"We caught lightning in a bottle,'' Levy said. "Everyone ran to their potential. It was a perfect storm of excellence on all fronts - whether it was sprinting, field, distance or relays.''

The three biggest standouts were sophomores Joanna Kenney and Hannah Sadowski and senior Chloe Connolly. 

Sadowski (400m, 400 hurdles, 4x400 relay) and Kenney (steeplechase, 1500m, 3000m) were All-County in three events. Connolly, in her first year on the squad, was All-County in the 1500 and 3000.

Kenney won the steeplechase and 1,500 while Connolly won the 3000. "Joanna and Connolly are my dynamic duo and Sadowski is the surging sophomore,'' Levy said. 

Other all-county North Shore finishers were aplenty: Danielle Demillio (discus, pole vault), Hannah Checo (4x800 relay), Maya Samuels (800 meters), Samantha Nelson (800 4x400 relay), Sidney Lamond (4x400 relay), Riley Brissenden (4x800 relay), Bella Martocci (4x800 relay), Sophia Marchioli (steeplechase) Kate Salerno (4x800 relay) and Dylan Reisberg (4x400.)

North Shore became greedy hosts. North Shore staged the counties on its Glen Head grounds for the first time. Was being on their home shores of Hempstead Harbor an advantage? 

"It's hard to say,'' Levy said. "It's not like track is a football game with fans cheering. But maybe there was a sense of familiarity.''

The championship meant North shore swept all three seasons, also winning the counties in cross country and winter track. No Long Island school has done that once. North Shore has now done it four times in the last decade. 

"I'm very proud of everyone,'' Kenney said. "We worked really hard. It was nice to see everyone doing what they needed to do and get to the highest of their ability.''

The sophomore Kenney won the steeplechase and the 1500 while placing second to teammate, Connolly, in the 3000. Kenney also is recent to the sport, running for the first time as a freshman. Kenney had tried softball and soccer but didn't take to it.

"It was definitely surprising,'' Kenney said. "Freshman year I went out for the team because I wanted to be athletic and try something new. I really got into it.''

Kenney has become another star among a long list of stars churned out by North Shore track. 

"Everyone is working together and there's a team bond,'' Kenney said. "Mr. Levy tries really hard to get everyone to do what they need to do and maps it out strategically. That helps us with our success.''

Demillio also had a grand day with wins in the discus and pole vault. As Levy says, it is "a unique combination.'' 

And then there was Marchioli, second in steeplechase. North Shore placed 1, 2, and 4 in the steeplechase with Salerno taking fourth.

"Marchioli has been around forever,'' Levy said. "So many different stories of kids doing excellent things in so many different ways. It's a nice accomplishment to maintain that level. It was nearly a perfect meet for us in virtually every athlete had a personal best performance.''