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Manhasset Indoor Track & Field Athletes Look To Carry Momentum Into State Championships

On Feb. 7, Tara Belinsky, James Carr, and Stephen Bourguet all left St. Anthony’s High School as County Champions, after guiding their teams to 3rd and 2nd place finishes, respectively. When they returned to the same venue the following week, each looked to improve upon their marks and qualify for the New York State Public High School Indoor Track & Field Championships to be held at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY on March 3.

Belinsky, who is quickly becoming one of the most decorated female athletes in Manhasset’s Track & Field history, claimed the overall individual title, heaving the shot put 38’10.25” to surpass her own personal best and reset the school record books once again. Only a sophomore, Belinsky’s rapid ascent has made her one of the top-ranked shot putters in New York State. Still considered a relative novice in the event, Tara progressed well throughout the season, earning the Friendship Games Most Valuable Field Athlete Award and her first County title. She will look to make further strides when she enters the circle at Cornell’s Barton Hall this weekend.

On the track, senior James Carr continued his late season surge, qualifying for the state meet in both the 55m and 300m, running personal bests in both events. The top-ranked baseball player turned sprinter is no longer a surprise to opposing teams and coaches in Nassau County. Carr, who advanced easily from his 55m trial, was looking for one of the two automatic qualifying spots as he took to the starting line for the final. Coming up just short–he finished .02 behind the 2nd place finisher – James could be seen looking a bit exasperated, only to learn a moment later that he had run the automatic qualifying time standard that would guarantee him a spot on the state team.

Carr would have no time to celebrate this victory, as he returned minutes later to race the 300m trials, missing the state qualifying standard by only .04. In the final, the multitude of races appeared to have finally sapped some of his strength; however, Carr still found enough in the tank to hang on for 4th place to earn a spot on the Section VIII Intersectional Relay squad.

Each section will field a medley relay comprised of a qualifier from the 1600m, 1000m, 600m, and 300m; the relay will give Carr the chance to represent both Manhasset and Section VIII at the State Meet. Senior teammate, Travis Burger (All-County), just missed out on a chance to join James on the relay. Burger, who spent most of this season rehabilitating a significant injury from the fall season, ran an exceptional 600m race, falling only .02 short of the final qualifying spot.

In the 3200m junior Stephen Bourguet took the top spot, running a personal best of 9:38 which lowered his own school record in the event set earlier this season. Bourguet took over the lead about 800m into the race, and although challenged near the very end, never relinquished that position. Bourguet held a strong pace up front while running nearly the entirety of the race on his own, demonstrating his fitness and confidence heading into the post-season. He later returned to lead off the Indians 4x800m relay squad with a personal best split of 2:03. Bourguet will compete in the 1600m at the Eastern State Championships this week as he tunes-up for the State Meet this weekend. The high level of competition he will see in Ithaca should help provide the proper backdrop for a fast, competitive race.

All three athletes will look to close out their successful indoor campaigns with their best performances of the season when they represent Manhasset at Cornell University this weekend.