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Floral Park’s Michelle Ashbahian, Valley Stream North’s Chizuruoke Onouha open Nassau postseason with wins

Michelle Ashbahian of Floral Park wins first place

Michelle Ashbahian of Floral Park wins first place in the Girls 3,000 meter run in 11:42.87in the Nassau Conference 5 Track Championship on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The future of Nassau Conference V distance running is a bright one. Look no further than Tuesday night’s girls indoor track conference championships for the blistering evidence. Floral Park’s Michelle Ashbahian, only an eighth grader, opened up the first meet of the Nassau postseason with an 11 minute, 42.87 second victory in the 3,000 meters at St. Anthony’s High School.

Later in the meet, Valley Stream North freshman Chizuruoke Onouha won the 1,500 in 5:28.37.

“It feels great, especially knowing there were so many great girls running this event,” Onouha said. “It wasn’t easy.”

Onouha said she needed to sprint down the final straightaway to top her teammate, Brianna Hackman, who finished second in 5:28.51.

“I just gave it my all,” Onouha said “She wasn’t losing speed at all, so I just knew that I had to go faster.”

Valley Stream North sophomore shot putter Juel Charles won her event with a 38 foot, 6 ¾ inch toss.

“My coach has been teaching me different techniques on how to get across the circle faster to produce more energy and throw the ball further,” Charles said.

Tuesday, Charles used the glide technique — something she is very familiar with.

“I feel like I’ve mastered it,” she said.

But, it was Charles supreme serenity that really carried her to victory in the circle, she said.

“Most of my teammates encourage me to get pumped,” she said. “But, I think that I throw better if I’m more concentrated. If I get myself too hyped and excited, I wouldn’t do what I want to do.”

Valley Stream represented itself quite well. Valley Stream South’s DeAnna Martin, only a sophomore, won the 1,000 in 3:09.97 and the 600 in 1:41.32.

Plainedge’s Lauren Valenti was also a double winner. Valenti won the 300 (42.04) and the 55 (7.52).

On the boys side, North Shore dominated the early distance events. Colin O’Sullivan won the 3,200 in 10:38.51, Dylan Welch won the 1,000 (2:46.53), and Justin Rivera won the 600 (1:26.77). The Vikings also made their way to the podium in the sprints, with Elia Alberts taking the 300 in 37.08 seconds.


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