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Coach Borbet has Bay Shore on right track

Bay Shore girls track and field head coach

Bay Shore girls track and field head coach Steve Borbet poses for a portrait on the school's track. (Mar. 25, 2010) Photo Credit: James A. Escher

The years pass by and the athletes come and go, but the Bay Shore girls track team's place among Long Island's elite programs stays etched in stone.

The numbers are astounding. Under the guidance of longtime coach Steve Borbet, Bay Shore has amassed 31 county titles in cross country, indoor and outdoor track, including 10 straight indoor county championships.

Borbet, who's celebrating his 37th season of coaching, including 21 years at Bay Shore, plans to be around for a few more years.

"I'm still enjoying it and I'm still having fun," Borbet said. "But my wife will probably help dictate how long I do this. As long as she continues to coach, I'll probably do it, too."

Borbet owes a lot to his wife Kathie, who coaches boys cross country at Smithtown.

"My wife stayed at home until our children were old enough to go to middle school and high school, which gave me the opportunity to coach all these years," he said. "I would never have been this successful if it weren't for my wife. She has been unbelievable."

Building a team into a winner takes a lot of hard work. Keeping that team among the elite year after year is another story. Borbet attributed a lot of the team's success to the support he gets from his staff and the Bay Shore school district.

"We have a really good middle school coach in Melissa Keckler Alex," Borbet said. "We are in constant communication and she does a great job of developing the young athletes and passing on the right information."

Borbet also credited his assistant coaches. "Lori Indemaio and Anthony Forti are both Bay Shore grads," Borbet said. "I have two volunteer assistants, too, Robert Mauro and Jim Johnson."

Then of course there are the athletes.

No one can forget the stellar careers of former Bay Shore stars Mary Liz McCurdy and her younger sister Sarah. Callie Hogan, Laura Cummings and Shayna Staton are other former Marauder runners who helped shape the program.

Mary Liz was a two-time state champion in the 1000-meter run, while Sarah, a national indoor champion in the 800, was a two-time state champ in the 600 and took home an 800 title once.

Cummings was a national indoor 2-mile champion, Hogan was a national indoor mile champion while Staton was a three-time 600 state indoor champion and two-time indoor 800 champ. Most recently, Bay Shore celebrated the success of senior Destiny Lalane, who captured the New York State Federation and national championships in the racewalk.

Having a national champion in the racewalk epitomizes Borbet's philosophy of what it means to be a team.

"We try to cover every event," Borbet said. "But it's not always easy. You have to look out for each athlete as an individual, but at the same time it's a team sport."

Deciding what event an athlete could be successful in takes a lot of analysis, Borbet said. He constantly pours through the numbers. Assessing an athlete's body type and mental toughness are all part of the process.

Borbet, who had stints at Stony Brook University and Half Hollow Hills and also coached the Bay Shore boys team for a while, hasn't made many mistakes developing athletes over the years.

"In the last 10 years I've had maybe two parents question things," said Borbet, 59. "That's one of the good things about being an old coach with some success."

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