A preseason three seed for the Calhoun girls track & field team following back-to-back county titles fueled the Colts quest for a three-peat.
Despite graduating key members of last year's county championship squad, the Colts once again finished atop of the scoreboard defeating Valley Stream North by 17 points in the Nassau Class B Championships Feb. 6 at Saint Anthony’s High School.
“In preseason rankings we were third and the girls took that really disrespectfully,” said Calhoun head coach Joe Migliano. “They kept a chip on their shoulder and rolled with that the entire season.”
Calhoun trailed Valley Stream North for much of the meet before taking command when senior Sophia Hines captured first place in the triple jump and long jump. Senior Yolina Bastien also shined in this portion of the championships taking second place in the triple jump and third in the long jump. Danielle Lawrence took third in the triple jump and fourth in the triple jump as part of a 44-point output in the two events that gave the Colts a two-point lead they would never relinquish.
“They are the heart and soul of the team,” Migliano said of Hines, Bastien and Lawrence. “They are the vocal leaders but you would never know it because they are as humble as it comes.”
Freshman Alexa Zohar also played a crucial role in the team title in winning the 1500-meter race walk for 10 points with a personal best time after he was projected to place fourth. Junior Taylor Halvorsen also took third overall in the race walk to gain six points with Calhoun finishing the event with a 14-point swing against Valley Stream North.
Junior Dana Wauchope helped clinch the title in the weight throw with a personal best throw of over seven feet to take second place. Wauchope, who also plays basketball during the winter, finished fourth in the shot put for 12 points in the two events during her first season of indoor track.
Junior Kaitlyn Stibritz also sparked the Calhoun championship with a third place finish in the 1,000 meters. She also was part of the 4x8000 relay team with Annie Fitzpatrick, Brynn Hutchins and Sophia Delcid that earned All-County honors.
The Colts will next compete in the New York State Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 2 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island. Migliano will then bring some of the team’s top performers to compete in Nike Indoor Nationals at the Army in New York City and New Balance Nationals in Boston.
Attention will then turn to the spring outdoor season, where Calhoun has captured seven straight division titles and is approaching 100 conservative meet wins in a streak that stretches back to 2016.
Migliano said the team has developed a close bond in both the winter and spring seasons over the last couple years that has paved the way for championship success becoming the first girls team to win three county titles in more than 30 years.
“The girls demonstrated why track is a team sport and picked each other up the entire night,” he said. “We are one big family.”