VSN sweeps Class AA track titles


The county championships were again twice as nice for the Valley Stream North track and field teams.

The boys’ and girls' teams swept the Nassau AA title for the second straight year at their home track May 23 thanks to a combined five first-place finishes in the field events and six runner-up showings in the running finals. The girls finished with 116 points for their fourth straight county title, 17 better than second-place Calhoun, while the boys’ collected 99 points for their 14th championship in 17 years.

“It’s really like a tradition now,” coach Mike Frazer said. “It sort of becomes an expectation.”

Junior Brooke Fessler cleared 4 feet, 10 inches early in the high jump final to win that event and senior Charis Hackman (4-8) was third. Nattaly Lindo’s first shot put toss of 36-07.75 was just under two feet better than fellow junior and runner-up Moanna Thelusca, who herself won the discus with her 118-foot throw.

Lindo also finished third in the discus and Gabriela Mensah fell just under an inch shy of winning the uber-competitive triple jump, placing second in-between two Calhoun competitors. The 4x100 relay team of Mensah, Lexie Sowerby, Uzoma Nweze and Alissa Azor also finished second.

Senior Melissa Innocent collected 24 of the North’s points thanks to second-place finishes in the 1,500 and 3,000-meter runs and the 2,000-meter steeplechase. Her times in all three of those events were season bests.

“The funny thing about her is she was annoyed that she didn’t win one of them,” Frazer said. “She goes out there, she grinds at practice, she grinds in meets. So obviously, you score 24 points for the team, you’re doing something right.”

On the boys’ side, senior Joshua Lopez won the shot put when his second toss went a distance of 48-08.25. Ethan Smalls, who is also a senior, was third in the shot put, but won the discus by just under three feet.

“I’ve never seen that before,” Frazer said of four different students winning the throw competitions. “I’ve seen it where teams sweep the throws, but usually with the same kids. Never with four different kids winning all four events.”

Junior Sedgeley Duperval was second in the long jump with a leap of 21-4, three inches better than third-place Jaiden Mathieu. Junior Mathew Olivencia was third in the pole vault after clearing 11-6.

Duperval also shined in the running events by placing second in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 49.86 and third in the 200-meter dash. Junior Kevin Beltran had his best times of the season in the 1,600 (4:23.55) and 3,200-meter runs (9:48.38), finishing second in both.

Seniors Adel Waly and Jordan Ponsar finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 110-meter hurdles to earn a combined 10 points for the Spartans.

Both teams again went 14-0 during the regular season under Frazer and Tim Boyens. Since 2005, the boys' team is an astounding 241-1 in spring outdoor meets, while the girls are 238-4.