County champs lead Hewlett track


Able to leverage its lean rosters, the Hewlett track and field indoor program made its mark this winter as two girls and a boy took titles for the Bulldogs at the Nassau Class B Championships Feb. 7 at St. Anthony’s, with each going on to qualifying for the State Championships earlier this month, and some earning entry to this past weekend’s Nike Indoor Nationals at the Armory in Manhattan.

Bulldogs seniors Clariss Duhaney and Charlotte Moscovici won repeat county indoor championships in the girls' high jump and pole vault, respectively, while Hewlett sophomore Matthew DeCicco rose from sixth place at last year’s event to seize his first Nassau title, winning the 55-meter hurdles in 8.01 seconds.

Duhaney – whose best indoor mark is five feet, four inches – cleared 5-0 in the high jump to win a second straight winter at Nassau, and finished 17th at nationals on Saturday with a mark of 5-1, while Moscovici’s 9-foot vault – six inches shy of her indoor best set in December – was tops at county, giving her three straight Nassau titles in the pole vault including last year’s outdoor championships.

“We don’t have a deep team, but it’s a small crew that came to work and stayed focused,” said Hewlett girls’ coach Stephen Honerkamp, whose club finished second overall at Nassau. “Clariss did awesome and even though she’s a senior, she still has room to grow. . . . Charlotte’s a very dedicated athlete. I’m hoping they both have outstanding springs, too, and [the team] can win a county title.”

Underscoring his team’s forced resourcefulness, Honerkamp pointed to recent transfer Aurelie Narcisse, who took up the pole vault as a senior and placed third at county with a personal-best vault of eight feet, while also a member of Hewlett’s 4x400-meter relay, which finished second at the event.

Sophomore Kayleigh Jamieson – who along with freshman Nylah Phillips and junior Tariah Coleman – rounded out Hewlett’s runner-up 4x400 squad – took second in the 600-meter run at county before being shut down due to a stress fracture.

As DeCicco grew in height by over three inches in the year since his sixth-place finish at county, his time in the 55 hurdles shrank – so much so that his personal-best 7.81 (sixth place) at state earned him All-State honors and was two hundredths of a second off Hewlett’s all-time record – 7.79 set by Jayden Francis in 2019.

Apart from a growth spurt and extra time in the weight room, DeCicco’s devotion to breaking down film had a hand in the hurdler’s improvement, Bulldogs boys’ coach Eamon McHugh said. “Matt is a student of the sport,” said McHugh. “His stride length and power increased, of course, but also he studies film more than any athlete I’ve coached. He’ll take his own races, bits and pieces of other guys, and come to me with questions. Very dedicated.”

Added McHugh: “I think very soon he’ll break the school record.”

Along with Duhaney, DeCicco in the 60-meter hurdles, and Phillips in the 60- and 200-meter dashes, Hewlett senior Halimah Lawson qualified for nationals in the triple jump.