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A three-peat for Syosset's winter track dynasty

Syosset's Dale Mittleman leads Garden City's Tim Josephs

Syosset's Dale Mittleman leads Garden City's Tim Josephs and Port Washington's Leo Potters in the turn of the boys 3200-meter run Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

There's something about those black and red jerseys, the ones with Syosset plastered in red across the front, that signifies dominance. The Braves are the class of Nassau County, and nothing seems to slow them down.

A 111-72 victory over second-place Farmingdale on Feb. 8 at St. Anthony's gave Syosset the Class A boys track championship for the third consecutive winter season. It was the Braves' seventh consecutive county title and 20th overall since 1996, encompassing cross country, winter and spring track, coach Bart Sessa said.

With success like that, it's less about the individual talents and more about the churn-it-out nature of the program.

"I think a lot of the dynasty happens when you have the Syosset jersey on," Dale Mittleman said. "People will get afraid when they're racing you. They will be like, 'Syosset is coming up behind me.' ''

Mittleman was part of the Syosset trio who took the top three spots in the 3,200 meters. Tyler Italiano won in 9 minutes, 40.47 seconds. Mittleman was second in 9:45.38, and Ryan DePinto third in 9:45.90.

"The strategy was to stay conservative early on," Italiano said. "We wanted to try to get one-two-three and try to get as many points as we could in that event."

After a strategic first mile, he waited until just the right moment to break away.

"With 800 to go, I was in the lead and decided to string the race out a little more," Italiano said. "I was feeling really good, probably the best I've ever felt in an indoor race."

Once the 3,200 went final, the Braves had a feeling that the night would belong to them. But, never a team to take anything for granted, they made sure they finished the job with a few more wins.

Simon Nwana took the 1,600 in 4:30.88 and was second in the 600 in 1:24.53. The 4 x 800 relay team, composed of Mittleman, Billy Anderson, Alex Hoelzli and Tommy Vitucci, won in 8:26.73. Nwana, Evan Garry, Nick Ouassil and Grigory Vartanov won the 4 x 400 relay in 3:33.07. Eric Sheng won the shot put, throwing 50 feet, 5 inches.

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