Michael Brunoforte set the bar so high, not even he could reach it. Literally.
A week after setting a Long Island record with a pole vault of 16 feet, 1 inch, the St. Anthony's star tried to one-up himself, attempting a 16-2 vault Saturday. He didn't clear it.
But, in Brunoforte's words, it was a "what the heck" try. After all, his 15-0 vault already had earned him first place, and host St. Anthony's was well on its way to a fourth straight CHSAA track and field championship.
The Friars took first with 113.5 points, ahead of Chaminade (79.5) and St. John the Baptist (46). St. Mary's won the small schools title.
"I just wanted to go for it," Brunoforte said of his 16-2 attempt. "I was feeling confident."
That's a far cry from the beginning of the season when he, admittedly, had lost confidence after a slow start to the indoor season. His 13-foot vault in bad weather at an April meet at Cold Spring Harbor is what turned his season around, he said. From there, the Navy-bound senior kept raising the bar gradually, until his record performance last week at the Loucks Games in White Plains.
"It proved to me that I had a lot more in me than I had realized," Brunoforte said.
St. Anthony's teammate Matthew Pluhowski's 13-6 was second in the pole vault.
Chaminade's Cody Israel won the long (20-7) and triple jumps (43-1). St. Mary's Carlton Fielding won the 200 meters (22.63 seconds).
SJB's Kevin Murray won the 3,000 steeplechase (9:52.54), edging St. Anthony's Jake Hensler (9:52.54). Chaminade's Thomas Awad won the 1,600 (4:19.16) and 3,200 (9:43.75). Cameron Black won the 110 hurdles (14.54) and Bryan Rhodes the discus (147-10) for St. Anthony's.
Kellenberg on fire
To say the Kellenberg girls ran away with the competition wouldn't be entirely accurate. Only because the Firebirds did a lot of jumping and throwing, too.
With stellar performances almost across the board, Kellenberg took its first outdoor CHSAA title since 2009. The Firebirds had 110 points, ahead of St. Anthony's (66) and St. John the Baptist (51).
"It's a blessing," said Kellenberg coach Marty Brown, who was extra gleeful after becoming a grandfather on Friday. "With a group like this, you can't help but win."
Freshman Jazmine Fray set the tone early, winning the 800 (2:13.27) and 1,500 (4:39.80). Ashlin Conroy then won the 2,000 steeplechase (7:25.33), the 3,000 (10:45.86) and was part of the winning 4 x 800 relay team.
Natalie Jean dominated the shot put (39-2 ¼) and discus (116-1). Odrine Belot won the triple jump (38-2 ¾) and Brittany LeJouan the high jump (5-1) for Kellenberg.
"We push each other to perform to the best of our abilities," Jean said. Added Conroy: "Everybody did well; this was a complete team win and that was most important."
Bridget Krumholz won the small schools 200 (27.19) and 400 (60.61) for Our Lady of Mercy, which won the small schools title.
St. Anthony's Olicia Williams won the 400 (55.77) and 400 hurdles (65.44), and teammate Chynna-Monica Chung the 100 (12.31) and 200 (25.09). Aliyah Smith won the 100 hurdles (16.28) for SJB.