The Manhasset Track dynasty showed no signs of falling last week during the Nassau County Championships, held at the Mitchel Complex. Beating their closest competitor, Roosevelt, by 26 points and 16 other teams in the process, the 2004 Manhasset Track team truly put on a performance that has earned its place in Manhasset Track history.
Most surprising were the eight athletes who earned spots on Manhasset Outdoor Track's all-time lists. Amongst those who achieved this honor were seniors David Young, Andre Montague, George Ehrhardt, and Pat Hawkins, and juniors Cary Choy and Tom Papain.
The Manhasset's sprinters toughest competition came from the perennial powerhouse, Roosevelt. Senior David Young and junior Cary Choy ran their best times of the season in the 100m semifinals, each running 11.0 seconds and earning spots on Manhasset's all-time list. In the final, Cary Choy placed 3rd and David Young placed a close 5th. In the 200m semifinals, Andre Montague ran an impressive 22.7 seconds, while Cary Choy sprinted to a time of 23.2 seconds, both earning spots on Manhasset's all-time list. In the finals, Andre and Cary placed 2nd and 4th respectively. Senior Will Curry, despite an injured quadricep, placed 4th in the 400 Intermediate Hurdles, running a time of 62 seconds. Rounding out the individual sprinting events that day was the 400m, an event in which Andre Montague, despite a poor start, finished 2nd with a time of 50.3, just .2 seconds away from first place. His time of 50.3 is good for the top 10 in Manhasset school history.
Despite Roosevelt's superior strength in sprint events, the Manhasset sprinters still managed to score a substantial number of points. This helped make the Manhasset distance runners more at ease, although top place finishes would surely help the team's chances of victory.
With a strong training foundation beneath them, the top three Manhasset distance runners - senior George Ehrhardt, junior Tom Papain, and sophomore Erik Lawrence each set personal records in his top events. In the 800m dash, George Ehrhardt placed 3rd with a time of 2:04.1, outdoing his 800m performance at Divisions by three seconds. George then came back to place 3rd in the 3000m Steeplechase, cruising to a time of 10:55 and a place on the Manhasset All-time list. Junior Brendan McDonough placed 6th in the 3000m steeple with a time of 12:05.
In the 3200m, Tom Papain placed 2nd with a time of 10:02, joining the ranks of Manhasset's all-time best 3200m runners. Sophomore Erik Lawrence knocked more than 10 seconds off his prior best time, running 10:10, good for 3rd. In the 1600m, Erik Lawrence place 3rd with a time of 4:44, just edging out his previous best of 4:45, while Tom Papain placed 4th with a time of 4:48.
Throughout the two-day meet, Manhasset competed in the field events, another stronghold of Roosevelt's. In the triple jump, junior Leonard Arrington placed 4th, jumping to a season best of 41 feet 3.25 inches. Freshman Shannon Mason competed in the long jump, jumping 19 feet, 10.25 inches and placing 5th, just .5 inches shy of 4th place. Rounding out Manhasset's field athletes was senior Pat Hawkins in the discus, throwing a season best of 128 feet, which was good for 5th place and a spot on Manhasset's all-time list for the discus.
Despite strong individual performances, it was the performance of the Manhasset relay teams that proved crucial to their County Championship victory. The 4x400m relay, consisting of Will Curry, senior Troy Williams, David Young, and Andre Montague, placed 1st by more than 3 seconds, as they cruised through the line at 3:31.4 (an average of 52.85 seconds per leg). Manhasset's 4x100m relay, with an ailing Will Curry coming off his second event, ran a respectable time of 46.3 seconds, good for 3rd place. Finally, in the 4x800m relay, run by George Ehrhardt, senior Anthony McLean, junior Leonard Arrington, and sophomore Erik Lawrence, Manhasset placed 2nd with a time of 8:43.9. Key to Manhasset's victory was senior Anthony McLean who, despite succumbing to a virus shortly before the County meet, managed to run a 2:05, going from 5th to 2nd in this leg alone.
For many, the Outdoor Track season is not quite over. Many of the runners who joined the ranks of Manhasset's finest athletes will be competing in the State Qualifier, held at Farmingdale High school. However, whether they advance to the State Meet or not, the entire Manhasset Track Team, under the consistent guidance of head coach Don Scott and his assistant Fried, can revel in yet another successful outdoor season.