It was another busy weekend in the world of Massapequa high school sports.
The boys’ hockey team won the State AAU title, Joe Caraciolo became the state’s long jump champion and the girls’ basketball team fell short in their bid to win the Nassau County Class AA title.
The hockey crown capped another great year for the Chiefs, who had earlier won the Town of Oyster Bay title. This was the third consecutive year that the Chiefs had qualified for the state titles. This year, they were considered underdogs, but through hard work, perseverance, and the dedication to the memory of a former teammate, they came through.
Former Farmingdale varsity black roller hockey player, Nicholas Vitale, was one of two freshmen picked for the University at Albany Great Danes Division II Roller Hockey Team. The Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association chose the defenseman to participate in the 2012 All Star Game played in Feasterville, PA.
A few weeks later, the ECRHA selected Vitale as the second nominee for the 2012 Rookie of the Year.
And indeed that has been case so far as the Lady Chiefs, with wins over Freeport and MacArthur, have advanced to the finals of Conference AA-I play for the first time since 2009.
The Farmingdale State indoor track teams took part in the NYU Division III Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Armory Track & Field Center. Both the men’s and women’s teams finished in 8th place at the meet.
Massapequa resident Melissa Bonilla ran 1:25.93 in the 500 Meters with an 8th place finish. She moves to no. 4 on the Farmingdale State All-Time list. Junior Edward Brown finished in 1st place in the Weight Throw (17.69m - 58’ 0.5”). Sophomore Alix Lamarre took 3rd place in Long Jump (6.67m - 21’ 10.75”), while freshman Leshawn Johnson took 3rd in the Weight Throw (14.85m - 48’ 8.75”) and also took 5th place in the Shot Put (12.79m - 41’ 11.5”).
Up to 400 hardy soles braved the inclement weather on Saturday morning, Feb. 11 at the Old Bethpage Restoration Village, and when the snowflakes had settled, Massapequa runners, as usual, had raced to the finish line well ahead of most of their rivals.
Brian Spillane crossed the finish line in 23:29 to take home the first place award in the 35-39 age group. Other local runners winning awards were Megan Miller (third woman, 25-29 age group), Christine Stankard (second woman, 55-59 age group), Sherry Bellovin (second woman, 65-69 age group).
One of the third grade basketball teams from St. Rose of Lima CYO League finished off a great season on Saturday, Feb. 11. What an improvement in skills these kids showed off since the beginning of the season. Practicing once a week and games weekly kept them quite busy during the season. The children are looking forward to the upcoming trophy ceremony.
Twelve more Massapequa High School senior athletes have signed Letters of Intent to play college sports, bumping the number up to 24 to date. On Feb. 1, National Signing Day, seniors from the boys and girls’ soccer teams, football, boys and girls track and field, and field hockey inked letters to participate next year at various colleges along the east coast, with intentions of studying majors such as early childhood education to premedicine.
“We are proud that these highly talented students will be lending their skills to some of the best universities in the country,” said John Piropato, director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. “Each one of them will be a great asset to their teams and their schools next year.”
After a home game loss to Freeport in late January, the Lady Chiefs reeled off three straight wins, starting with a lopsided 48-18 away win at Farmingdale and continuing with big wins over Hempstead and Syosset.
Massapequa’s victories all follow a familiar pattern: Big first quarter leads, combined with stingy defense and balanced scoring. The loss to Freeport was the exception as Danielle Doherty scored 27 points, while no other player made it to double digits.
Massapequa is the Village of Champions. This includes stellar performances by its local high school squads on a yearly basis.
But there are individual champions, too. And none stand out more than Ruth Maller, the 84 year-old long distance runner who continues to dominate the Long Island running scene.
Ruth’s next two big races include the Aspire Invitational to be held April 1 in the Hicksville area. There, Ruth will compete – and most certainly win in her age division – in a 10K, 6.2 mile run. A month later, on May 6, comes the big race of the year. Ruth will compete in the annual Long Island Marathon, which will begin at Eisenhower Park. At that race, Ruth will be running a half marathon, “only” 13 miles in length, but race fans can count on another champion performance.
Pack 776 hosted their annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby on Friday, Jan. 20. The Scouts are given a block of wood and have to design, paint and name their car.
Congratulations to Liam Lepre, Pack 776’s Pinewood Derby Champion. Liam, a Tiger Cub took first place with his Super Blooper car. Liam will represent Pack 776 at the District Pinewood Derby on March 31.
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