Written by Robert Bonaparte Thursday, 03 July 2014 00:00
As an eighth-grader, Celeste Pipia wasn’t thinking much about shot put.
She was a goalie on the Sewanhaka Indians junior high girls soccer team, when coach Jamie Celona noticed Pipia’s strength. Eventually, Celona suggested to Pipia to take a physical test and try out for shot put for the varsity track and field team.
Almost five years later and Pipia has taken full advantage of that opportunity.
In June, Pipia announced that she has received a partial athletic scholarship to play shot put and discus for the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a NCAA Division I program.
“She has a deep-seated desire to want to get better,” said Sewanhaka varsity track and field coach Michael Nola. “Few high school athletes have that.”
After making the varsity team in 2010, Pipia’s shot put skills soon caught the attention of Nola.
“When she was starting to get at 34 (feet), 35, you can tell something special was happening,” Nola said. “She was always serious about it. Then she turned it up a notch and there was no looking back.”
Pipia concluded her senior season in June by making a fourth appearance in the New York State Track and Field Championships at Syracuse. She finished 13th in Shot Put with a throw of 38 feet and 4 inches.
The spring before, Pipia finished fifth with a throw of 40 feet and 1 inch at the state championships at Middletown.
Pipia says those appearances at the NYS tournaments stand out when looking back at her time at Sewanhaka.
“Being up at states and having the Sewanhaka uniform on; being able to throw with the best throwers in the state; and also being able to put Sewanhaka track back on the map was great,” Pipia stated.
Soon, Pipia will have the UMASS-Lowell uniform on. On her official visit last fall, Pipia said the school’s hospitality caught her attention.
“(Assistant) coach (Barbara Smith) made me feel like I was at home,” Pipia said. “They were all very welcoming, they showed me around, and then at night they had a family dinner with all the throwers.
They really just made me feel like a part of the team before anything was official.”
Pipia plans on studying exercise physiology and has plans to get her doctorate in physical therapy. She was also considering University of New Haven, Adelphi University, Franklin Pierce College and Quinnipiac University.
Friday, 22 August 2014 00:00
At the intersection of Carnation and Tulip avenues, passersby might have noticed the erected scaffolding attached to Centennial Hall. According to village officials the building, because of its age and its need for some repair and maintenance, is being examined and evaluated. The monumental columns, that support the front of the building, are deteriorating.The building was sold by the Freemasons organization to the village more than 10 years ago. It presently serves as the Floral Park Historical Society Museum, a community meeting place, and storage. It has been used as a donation collection site for the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior’s annual event and as the Friends of the Library annual book sale.
The inspection is in progress. The village plans to have more information available as the results are reported.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:42
On Sunday, Aug. 20, Genna Cardalena, 17, of Floral Park, was named Miss Long Island Teen 2015 at the annual pageant held in Patchogue, in conjunction with the Miss Long Island Pageant. Thirty-two women, between the ages of 14 and 26 years old represented towns from across Long Island to compete for the Miss and Teen 2015 titles.
Cardalena told the Floral Park Dispatch, “It’s really surreal; it took me about 24 hours for it to really sink in that I was Miss Long Island Teen 2015.” This is her third competition. Her cousin originally turned her on to pageant competitions. “I entered on a whim and placed in the Top 10 in a 2013 competition in Westchester,” said Cardalena. She then entered the 2014 pageant on Long Island and placed in the top five and also won Miss Congeniality.