Eleven LI Athletes came home winners at the New York State Track and Field Championships, held June 12-13 at SUNY-Albany:
PENTATHLON: DREW ALFANO, Sachem East
In terms of overall athletic prowess, Alfano was tops in Division I this spring, scoring 3,506 points to win the boys pentathlon. The five-event competition was held on both days of the New York State Track and Field Championships.
On Friday, Alfano placed fourth in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.18 seconds, tied for fifth in the high jump, clearing 6 feet, 3/4-inch, and took 14th in the shot put, tossing 37-1feet-/2. On Saturday, the senior won the long jump, flying 22-21/2, and placed eighth in the 1,500 in 4:39.32.
110-METER HURDLES: AARON MCFADDEN, Copiague
After playing football during his first three years of high school, McFadden decided to spend his senior year concentrating entirely on track. The decision finally paid off earlier this month when McFadden won the Division I 110-meter hurdles in 14.24 seconds, barely outpacing Monsignor McClancy's Sidney Gibbons.
"I got a slow start out of the blocks,'' McFadden said. "But, speed doesn't win the race. Technique does. I just focused on my form and getting my legs down fast. That won me the race.''
McFadden ran the top overall time in the Division I trials on the opening day of the championships, winning his heat in 14.30 seconds.
100 METERS: JOSH LINSTER, Long Beach
When Linster heard that the New York State Track and Field Championships would be held at SUNY-Albany he knew exactly who to call -- his cousin, Jaymen Teemer. Teemer, a sprinter on the SUNY-Albany track team, helped Linster with his starts before the championships and boy, did it help.
Linster, after running the second-fastest trial time Friday, won both the Division I and Federation 100-meter championship Saturday. The senior won the Division I crown in 10.68 seconds and the Federation race in 10.85 seconds.
Following the Federation win, Linster was euphoric.
"There are no words that can describe this moment for me right now,'' he said.
400-METER HURDLES: INFINITE TUCKER, Huntington
Athletes who want the top in-state competition around don't have to look any further than the New York State Championships. And that, according to Tucker, is what guided him to a the Federation 400-meter hurdles title in a time of 52.29.
"I went out a little bit faster on the back stretch,'' Tucker said. "The competition here was really good. I had to stay with them until the last 10 or 20 meters.''
Tucker won the Division I title in 53.15 seconds. The level of competition during that race prepared Tucker for the Federation run the next day.
"I felt a little rushed (in the Division I race),'' Tucker said. "But, I got used to it.''
HIGH JUMP: HASANI RATHAN, Floyd
Make it back-to-back titles for Rathan. The senior, after winning the New York State Indoor High Jump Championship, took the gold outdoor as well, clearing 6 feet, 10 inches.
It was the first time a Floyd athlete had won an indoor and outdoor state championship in the event, coach Ed Noll said.
"Everyone was encouraging me to do it again because no one in our school had ever done it,'' Rathan said. "It was pretty important.''
Rathan's jump was four inches better than second-place finisher, Jack Fitzgerald of Ballston Spa.
PENTATHLON: KATHLEEN CIBULS, Bayport-Blue Point
Cibuls saved the best for last during her 3,425-point pentathlon triumph, winning the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 17 seconds to clinch the crown.
The 800 victory lifted Cibuls from third to first in the crowded standings. She won the state title by a mere 24 points over Sweet Home's Tiana Luton.
Cibuls was fourth in the 100- meter hurdles in 15.52 seconds. third in the high jump, clearing 5 feet, 31/4 inches, and tossed the shot put 28-61/4, good for fourth. She was also second in the long jump, going 16-10.
100 METERS: KENNEDY KERR, Long Island Lutheran
Kerr left the rest of Division II in her dust, winning the 100- meter championship in 12.12 seconds. The second-place finisher, Newark Valley's Courtney McNeil finished in 12.37 seconds.
Kerr was even more dominant during the Division II trials on the first day of the championships, running a 12.22. The next-highest finisher, Avon's Lauren Wiard, ran a 12.52.
Kerr barely missed a Federation championship. She ran 11.89, two-tenths of a second behind champion Brenessa Thompson of Medgar Evers.
Kerr won the AAIS 100- meter Championship in 12.57 seconds at Icahn Stadium in May.
LONG JUMP: AVIANA GOODE, Bay Shore
The pressure was on Goode as she lined up for her last jump of the Division I championship. She knew she needed to pop a good one. She ended up popping the best one.
On her final jump, Goode land- ed 18 feet, 21/4 inches from the starting line, giving her the title.
"I knew my last two feet on the board had to be a good pop off, just so I could get into that pit far and reach,'' Goode said. " . . . It was a lot of fun. Last year, I won the Division I 100- meter hurdle, and this year I was able to do it in the long jump.''
SHOT PUT: KRISTINA INSINGO, Holy Trinity
Insingo said goodbye to New York State competition in style, winning the Division I shot put in 45 feet, 111/4 inches. That wrapped up a season that saw her set meet records in both the shot and discus at the 88th annual CHSAA Intersectional Championships in May.
"I'm amazed at how far I've come in three short years,'' said Insingo, who will attend Nebraska in the fall. "I've met amazing people. I'm so grateful for the experience. I can't even compare it to anything else. It's changed my life.''
TRIPLE JUMP: LEAH BLACKALL, Sachem North
After winning the Division I triple jump on Day One of the state championships, Blackall thought she might have to hit 40 feet to win a Federation title. But it only took a leap of 38-113/4 to establish that she was the state's best -- regardless of size or classification. Simply put - she is the best. No ifs, ands, or buts.
"I wanted the Federation championship a lot more than the Division I. This is the official state championship and it feels great,'' Blackall said. "I hit the board well and had a lot of speed. I was really focused.''
HIGH JUMP: FAITH PENNY, East Islip
When it comes to high jump, no one is more dominant than Penny. After winning the state indoor championship in March, she won the Division I championship in the spring, clearing 5 feet, 8 inches.
After knee surgery sidelined her for the first part of the indoor season, Penny was healthy in the spring. The West Virginia-bound jumper won the Suffolk Division II championship, clearing 5-4, and placed first at the state qualifier, clearing 5-6.
She was named Newsday's Athlete of the Year for the indoor/outdoor track season.