Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
For the Oyster Bay Boys’ Varsity Track Team, this season has been inspirational. The team faced setbacks and adversities that would sideline many athletes. The word “quit” was not in their vocabulary as the dedicated and determined runners got knocked down only to pick themselves up and get back in the race.
When senior Pete Tricarico ran competitively on April 11 at the Cold Spring Harbor Invitational, he won a silver medal in the 1,000-meter steeple chase; an impressive performance since it was his first time ever running in the event, placing second only to teammate Teddy Hamlin. Hamlin not only placed first, but established a new meet record with a time of three minutes flat. That was nearly the last race Peter would finish in his high school track career.
In his next event, the mile medley relay, Peter pulled his hamstring on the first turn on the track, hobbling to the end of his relay leg.
“I heard something pop and thought my season was over,” remembers the 400-meter specialist. Peter was forced out of competition in order to allow his hamstring to heal.
“It wasn’t easy keeping him off the track,” according to Coach Kevin Cotter. “He wanted to throw the Shot Put, Discus, or do anything he could to help his team compete.” Ultimately, the time he took to heal paid off.
In his first attempt at the 400-meter race at the Frank Maier Invitational in North Shore on May 8, Tricarico tested not only his hamstring, but his speed, strength and willpower. In what may be remembered as the most inspiring moment of the season, Peter was able to win the gold medal with an impressive time of 52.9 seconds. He also was the anchor leg of the gold winning 4 x 400 relay team, helping Kyle Cartwright, Teddy Hamlin, and Jerry Ochoa record the team’s fastest time of the season (3:40.2). Hamlin, who enjoyed a dominant victory of his own with a 4:36.6 1600m time, marveled at Tricarico’s performance. “He’s back!” exclaimed senior Teddy Hamlin. “I never doubted him but, a hamstring injury is tough to recover from. We are all really happy he’s back.”
Upon his return to the field, Peter expressed his desire to have many more highlights to his final season as an Oyster Bay track star. “I am hoping to make all division in a couple of events, but my ultimate goal is to make it to the state meet in Middletown, New York.”
Peter Tricarico has indeed added more highlights. He made all-county by placing third in the 400-meter race, with a time of 52.72 seconds.
All-county honors for Oyster Bay High School runners did not stop with Tricarico. He was joined by fellow senior Kyle Cartwright who took first place in County Class A with a time of 56.17 seconds in the 400 intermediate hurdles. Cartwright additionally received all-county in the 110 high hurdles by taking third in the event with a time of 15.56 seconds. Both of these times are of such a high caliber that they prequalified him to attend the New York State Championship meet on June 6- 9 in Middletown, New York.
Coach Cotter hopes for Cartwright to finish amongst the top 6 in one of his qualified events to earn an all-state medal following in the footsteps of most recent Oyster Bay High School all state medal recipients 2010 alumni Chris Murdock and Shane Giannetti.
The 4x400 team was running strong at the county finals when a mishap led to disqualification. Senior Teddy Hamlin fractured his wrist when another runner ran into him and knocked him to the ground. Just as Tricarico before him, Hamlin showed remarkable resilience and found a way to compete at the state qualifiers just a few days after his injury. At the state qualifiers, Kyle Cartwright was to leadoff, followed by Adrian Maznio, Hamlin, and anchor Peter Tricarico. The team’s seed time was 3:42. However, Coach Kevin Cotter felt that a time of 3:35 would be needed to win the qualifier and move on to states. Roosevelt High School had another plan. They intended to win the qualifier by putting county champion and standout runner Nahjeem Lowe at the anchor.
Cartwright started with a commanding lead, running his leg in a time of 50.1 seconds. Adrian Maznio and Hamlin had perfect handoffs, and helped maintain the lead going into the 4th and final lap. Peter Tricarico was next to receive the baton. Despite running the first half of his lap at a blistering pace, Lowe was quickly gaining on him. In the final stretch Tricarico was able to hold off the junior standout, and solidify a chance to run at the state meet with a school record-breaking time of 3:31.18.
In an ironic twist of fate, Mr. Tricarico was hit with a virus two days before the trip to Middletown and could not compete with his team in the State’s. The runners who set off for the State championships to compete in the relay will be Kyle Cartwright, Teddy Hamlin, Adrian Maznio, and Jerry Ochoa. Francis Kalombo-Ngoy went along as an alternate.
Kyle Cartwright also qualified in the 400 intermediate hurdles, and the 110 meter high hurdles. The school record holder in both events, he has not been defeated a single time in head to head competition in the 400 intermediate hurdles.
“All together this is one of the best groups of seniors I have ever had,” said Cotter.
Joining the boys on the trip to the State Championships in Middletown, New York is senior Courtney Cartwright, twin sister of Kyle. Courtney is also an Oyster Bay High School record breaker. Earlier this season, Courtney ran the 400 Intermediate Hurdles in a time of 1:08.7. Courtney broke the school record of 1:09.3 set by Sparlha Swaby in 1997. Ms. Cartwright went on and broke her own record with a time of 1:08.6. She broke the record in the 4x100 relay and re-broke it two more times. She broke the record for the 4x400 relay three times and the 4x800 relay one time.
The other members of the record-breaking relay time were Cassie Iacono, Rachel Wesley and Cailin O’Keefe. Courtney was Co-Captain of the team and will be attending Marist College this fall where she plans on majoring in Secondary Math Education and continuing to run on the Marist track and field team.