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Thursday May 19, 2016 at 8:33am Age: 3 yrs
Category: District, High School


Minisink Valley’s boys and girls’ track and field teams have had a strong season, marked by new school records, and are confident of continued progress as championships begin.


The girls’ freshman 4 x 800-meter relay team broke the MV high school record by over 20 seconds at Kingston Tiger Relays. Team members were Julia Wallace, Claire Brenner, Leila Khoufaify, and Giuliana Sadler. Giuliana also set a new freshman school record of 10:52 in the 3000 meters at the Brian Ahearn Invitational in Warwick.


At the Kingston Tiger Relays, Jamie Granata, a sophomore, and Behailu Bekele-Arcuri, an 8th grader, both finished among the top-10 in the highly competitive varsity boys 1600 meters. In the 3200 meters at the Brian Ahearn Invitational in Warwick, Jamie finished second, and Behailu finished third. Both athletes finished the almost-two-mile race in less than 10 minutes.


“It’s been a successful season for me, and I’m pretty happy, but I want to keep getting faster,” said Jamie Granata who began running 800, 1600 and 3200-meter races in his freshman year. Jamie favors the 1600-meters and is working to improve his current indoor record of 4:27 to 4:23. He has his eye on the state championship where he hopes to place first in the section 9 state qualifier, or hit the state meet qualifying time. Jamie believes in putting his full confidence into every race and feeling that he’s going to run as fast as he possibly can. “The only thing to regret is when you know you could have worked harder.”

The boys’ freshman 4 x 800-meters relay team – Nate Mason, Will Goldsmith, Nick Albornoz, and Caelen Munsch – also broke the school record at the Middletown Invitational.


Senior Laina Michel finished third in the girls’ 400-meter hurdles at the Kingston Tiger Relays, and has won the 400 hurdles in the last three dual meets of the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA).


A senior, Laina has been running since 7th grade and progressed to hurdles in her junior year. For Laina, the sport is more mental than physical. She took a couple of falls earlier in the season, and fought hard to empty her mind of those missteps to focus only on each new race before her. “I realized that falling doesn’t make me less capable. You can’t let that hold you back. Pain is temporary. Regret stays with you,” Laina said.  Laina will be studying International Relations at New York University where she plans to continue running.

Sprinter Michael Traina, a senior with a successful record in the 400, 200 and 100-meter races, was affected by two impairing injuries and has worked hard and sensibly to make his way back. He began with an 800-meter race a few weeks ago to improve his endurance and hopes to join the 4 x 400 relay team in the championship meets.

Michael, who is also a football player, is headed to SUNY Cortland in the fall. “Perseverance is key. You can’t take yourself for granted. You rest, take it slower, and remember that it’s just a bump in the road.” 


In hammer throwing, juniors Tom Reiser (155 feet) and Jacob Banse (144 feet) finished as the top Section 9 performers in the Crusader Relays at Monroe Woodbury High School. Sophomore Ashleigh Convery finished fourth at the Crusader Relays with a throw of over 100 feet.


“Most of our team’s point scorers in meets will be returning next year making the future very bright for the entire track and field program,” said Joseph D’Antono, track and field coach.


The championship portion of the season begins with the OCIAA Championships, May 20-21 in Warwick, followed by Section 9 Class A championships, May 26 in Middletown, and the Section 9 State Qualifying Meet, June 2-3.


Congratulations to Minisink’s track and field athletes, and best of luck in the challenges ahead. GO WARRIORS!