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.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00
The Floral Park Recreation Summer 2014 programs have now reached their half way point. While youngsters still have four more weeks of camps and activities, the night time volleyball and basketball programs are now gearing up for their final push to the playoff and championship rounds. Of the 55 adult teams competing, only Madness and Chaos (B league basketball) and Poppy’s (Women’s competitive volleyball) have managed to move through the season without a blemish on their records. Playoffs for volleyball are on Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, while basketball quarterfinals begin Thursday, July 31. Family, friends and spectators are always welcome. Good luck to all teams and players during their quest to become Floral Park’s Champions of the Summer of 2014.
As in past years, the Floral Park Recreation Department sprinkled in some expert instruction along with the recreational format of the various camps. Many thanks go out to Lisa O’Grady (OLV volleyball coach) for presenting an excellent volleyball clinic for our beginning junior players. Once again, Nassau Community College football Coach Ed Mack and his players have volunteered their time to give a few pointers for all youngsters grades 4 and above on Wednesday, June 30. The junior football clinic kicks off at 8:30 a.m., while senior campers (grades 7 and above) will receive instruction beginning at 10 a.m. Some features will include pass and catch techniques and NFL style agility drills. All Floral Park youth entering grades 4 and above are invited to attend. At that same time, Chris Schneider, outstanding and championship basketball coach at both St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart, will be on hand to present a comprehensive basketball clinic for both our junior and senior future female basketball stars.
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
The 36th annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow will be held at the Queens County Farm Museum from Friday, July 25 through Sunday, July 27. It is the longest-running American Indian Pow-Wow and will feature three days of inter-tribal Native American Dance Competitions.
More than 40 Indian nations will be represented. Chanting, drumming and brilliantly-colored, finely-detailed regalia will provide stimulating entertainment for people of all ages. All dance competitions and performances will be narrated for your appreciation of the rich tradition and culture that is being shared. American Indian art and craft vendors will offer a unique array of times for shoppers.