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Boys winter track preview

Pat Tucker of St. Anthony's finished first with

Pat Tucker of St. Anthony's finished first with a time of 12:24.09 at the CHSAA Intersectionals cross country championship at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. Credit: Errol Anderson

After a cross country season in which they dominated LI, won a New York State Federation Championship, and finished eighth at Nike Cross Nationals, St. Anthony's doesn't plan on slowing down.

Pat Tucker, who led the Friar seven during the fall, returns as the defending CHSAA Intersectional 3,200 meter champion, winning in nine minutes, 14.41 seconds last February. His twin brother, Joe, missed last season with a torn labrum and will be a key addition to the defending CHSAA league champions.

Frederick Buckholtz, Ryan Dearie, Ryan Kutch, Michael O'Leary, and Christopher Langer will all quickly shift gears from the rough fall terrain to the warm, comfortable standards of an indoor track and try to add a winter Intersectional championship to their already-impressive list of 2014-2015 accomplishments

Michael Rodriguez and Edmund Carroll II can score in the field. Both finished in the top three in the high, long, and triple jump at the league championships last year.

Chaminade is the defending CHSAA Intersectional champion and won't hand their crown over to St. Anthony's without a fight. Reggie Verrier anchors the Flyers in the field, posting a 21 foot, 3.5 inch mark to win the Intersectional long jump title last year. He is also the defending long and triple jump league champion.

Gunnar Nolan and Billy Ulrich are the top 'track returners' from last year's squad. Both can score in the 800 and 1,000 meters.

Syosset, who also had an impressive cross country season, is the defending Nassau A Champions. Tyler Italiano leads a strong group of distance runners. Italiano won the 3,200 meters at the county championship meet last season in 9:40.47. Alexander Hoelzli, Billy Anderson, and Evan Gary can also score on the track.

Eric Sheng is the Braves top field athlete. Sheng won the Nassau A shot put championship last year, tossing 50 feet, five inches. Sheng will also score in the weight throw, an event that he ranked among the top ten in the nation last year, coach Chris Meyers said.

Valley Stream North is coming off their third Nassau B title in four years. Peter Wilk is their top distance returner. The senior went to the New York State Championships last season in the 1,600 meters. T.J. Magno and Jake Catalano will also score on the track. Magno, who pitches on the baseball team in the spring, is a middle distance threat, while Catalano will see action in longer race.

Stephan and, Zavier Jean-Charles, and Isaiah Paige will anchor Valley Stream North's field unit. Paige is also a stand-out hurdler, winning the county championship in the 55 meter hurdles last year.

Longwood is the defending Suffolk Large School Champions, but have lost a large portion of their squad to graduation, leaving that section of the county wide open. Spencer Payton, a hurdler, returns. Payton went to the New York State Championships last March in Cornell. Kyle Watkins qualified for the spring New York State Championships in the 400 meters and will help the Lions score middle distance points.

After a strong cross country season, Sachem North will be a large school force. Jonathan Lauer, John Onken, and Dan Block can all score in the 1,000, 1,600, 3,200 and contribute on the 4X800 meter relays.

James Burke will look to lead Port Jefferson to another Suffolk Small School title. Burke is the defending 1,000 and 1,600 county champion. William Witrock and Justin Julich will add to Burke's points on the track. Tom Lennon and Sam Walker are underclassman who could make an impact in the 400 and 1,600 meters, respectively.

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