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Bay Shore should be leader of the pack in track and field

Bay Shore's Anisa Toppin flies through the air

Bay Shore's Anisa Toppin flies through the air during the long jump. (March 2, 2013) Credit: Pat Orr

Names and faces may change, but, once again, Bay Shore boasts some of the best track athletes in Suffolk.

Junior Anisa Toppin is a dual threat. She can score in both sprints and field events. Toppin was a winter season All-American in the triple jump, jumping 39 feet, one quarter inch at the New Balance Nationals on March 10. Toppin leads a strong Bay Shore jumping group. Freshman Aviana Goode won the high jump at the Long Island Elite Track Invitational this winter, flying 5-4. Jacqueline Anderson returns in the 800. She ran a time of two minutes, 19.40 seconds last spring, according to coach Steve Borbet.

With a deep roster that can score all over the track, Bay Shore is poised to defend their 2012 Division I title.

Kings Park is the three-time defending Division II champion. Junior Shannon Ahern won the Division II steeplechase last season and had the sixth fastest time in the state in the intermediate hurdles. Ahern can score in both sprint and distance events. Seniors Kathleen Naeher and Stephanie Saccente will also provide Kings Park with valuable points. Naeher runs the 1,500 and Saccente competes in the 1,500 walk.

Bayport-Blue Point will try to successfully defend its Division III championship. Bailey Walker returns as a top athlete in the 400 Intermediate Hurdles. Walker is also part of a strong 4 x 400 relay team, along with Casey Hasher, Sam Triani, and Courtney Dooley.

Miller Place should never be counted out, either. Juniors Tiana and Talia Guevara each compete in the 3,000 and 1,500. Laura Barreca and Laura Nolan will join the Guevara's on Miller Place's strong 4 x 800 relay team. Throwers Emma Larson and Danielle Fallon will look to score points in the field, rounding out the deep squad.

In Nassau, Class A's North Shore would like to continue its streak of three consecutive county titles. Elizabeth Caldwell and Jessica Donohue return, looking to earn another berth in June's state meet. Donohue runs the 3,000 and Caldwell competes in the 2,000-meter steeplechase.

North Shore's success comes from their balance. Alexandra Osman and Olivia Statile are strong distance runners. Kira Martin can score in the hurdles and pole vault.

Coming off a strong winter season, Garden City will be tough to top in Class AA. In fact, the Trojans have not lost a duel meet in five years, according to coach Charles Cuzzo.

Emma Gallagher anchors a versatile group of runners. Gallagher can compete in anything from the 200 to the 1,500. Laura Jaeger looks to score in the 100, 200, and 400. Emily Cafaro will also run the 200 and 400.

In Class AAA, MacArthur won its first county title in school history last season and, despite some key senior class losses, fields a team with a wide range of strengths.

Nicole Natland set a Nassau pole vault record during the winter season. She'll bring that impressive resume headline into spring competition. Natland will also compete in the 100 hurdles and the long jump. Heather Van Patten will run the 100, 200, and long jump. Kristyn Alonzo will transition from running the 55 in the winter to the 100 hurdles in the spring.

The CHSAA has Kellenberg returning as league champs, just as strong as the Firebirds were last season. Sophomore Jazmine Fray, who raised eyebrows with an impressive winter campaign, will be tough to beat in both the 1,500 and 800.

Sprinter Melissa June and jumper Victoria Pileggi will help St. Anthony's challenge Kellenberg for the top spot in the CHSAA.

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