Youthful Freeport on the rise


Freeport’s girls’ track and field team is still young, but it’s relishing the opportunity to grow together with every passing day.

On May 13, the Red Devils hosted the Nassau Division 1A championships where they had several girls showcase their talents and skill sets in front of a packed crowd of onlookers including their friends, family and loved ones.  

“This was the moment we have been preparing for since winter track, we have the talent we just have to showcase it now,” said coach Amira Dubissette, who is in her second year with the program.  

The team competed hard during the regular season, winning two of five meets, and performed well enough at the championship meet to finish fifth place in the event.

“I feel the team did very well in field events,” Dubissette said in regards to the division meet. “We scored points in the shot put, the discus, the long jump and the triple jump. We also have strong mid-distance runners and sprinters.”

Senior O’Reilly Gilles and sophomore Angel Omokeni are Freeport’s most-versatile athletes according to Dubissette. Both are capable of competing in any event. Omokeni came through and really shined when she captured first place in the long jump at the division championships with a mark of 17 feet, 4 ¼ inches. This helped score crucial points for the Red Devils and put them in a position to succeed. 

“What makes Omokeni stand out is her work ethic,” Dubissette said. “She is consistently at practice and wants to always work without a question. She has been doing well all season. 

“Gilles is a key runner with her versatility being able to compete in intermediate and high hurdles as well as sprints and middle distance events,” the coach added.

This was on display at the championships as Gilles competed in the 400 and 100m hurdles as well as running in the 4x800m relay. In the relay event, seniors Crismeldy Torres, Phalanne Laurent, Janiya Clarke joined Gilles and placed third with a time of 11:01.02. 

Sophomore Jada McBride competed in the 200m and finished in fifth place running 27.32 seconds. Freshman Aniyah Savage finished fifth as well in shot put throwing 26.11. 

            Junior Lourdes Saunders-Blake also finished fifth in the discus throw with a mark of better than 82 feet to add another top five finish for the Red Devils. 

Young emerging stars such as sophomore Aaliyah Grant who competes as a hurdler has “great determination and work ethic” according to her coach and is currently only competing in her first track season. 

Junior Sierra Burnett gave a solid performance in the 400m running 1:03.45, which placed her seventh. Senior Janiya Clarke chipped in finishing sixth place in the 800m finals with a time of 2:31.31, which helped her team in the standings accumulate points.

Now the Red Devils are looking forward to competing in the Nassau Class AAA championships this Wednesday at Westbury High School. Freeport will be one of 19 schools vying for the title.