The outdoor track and field postseason is known to many as ‘racing season.’ But for Port Washington’s Ava Gellis, it might soon be better known as ‘winning season.’ Gellis won three individual events at the Nassau B-I championships Wednesday afternoon at Westbury. The junior battled pounding rain to win the 400 meter hurdles in 67.94 seconds, the 100 in 13 seconds flat, and the 200 in 26.91 seconds.
Gellis’ first event of the afternoon, the 400 hurdles, is the one she’s least familiar with — having only run it once before this season.
“I’m happy that I finished it strong,” she said.
Gellis expects to run the hurdle event at the Nassau Class AAA championships, scheduled for Tuesday at Long Beach. She has run the event in past years at the Divisional championships, using it as a way to get points for her team, but after realizing she can garner a high seed in the county race, she figured she’s give it a go.
“I hope I can get All-County,” she said.
Gellis’ teammates had successful days as well, guiding Port Washington to a team title. Megan Bazzini won the 400 in 61.60, Saige Gitlin won the 100 hurdles in 17.27, and Madison Prince won the discus, tossing 91 feet, nine inches.
East Meadow’s Katherine Marsh won the 1,500 in 4:52.25, the 800 in 2:25.0 and, along with Amanda Sohl, Alexia Moustakas, and Rachel Rose, won the 4 x 400-meter relay in 4:18.46.
On the boys side, East Meadow’s Bryan Villafuerte won the 3,200 in 10:15.29 and a thrilling 1,600 in 4:41.64. Villafuerte, who fought a knee injury this spring, outdueled Baldwin’s Liam Graff on the final two laps of the 1,600. Graff was second in 4:42.63.
“On the third lap, I was making my move and he came off the turn and got in front of me,” Villafuerte said. “I let him go in front of me until about 150 in [on the lap] and then I took back the lead and pushed it the rest.”
On the final lap, Villafuerte used all he had to get across the line first.
“I kept pushing it and then I would look back to see if he was close by,” Villafuerte said. “I saw him and just told myself that I just had to keep moving . . . I’ve been working on my kick in practice the last couple of weeks, so that way I can do the same thing I did in the winter. I just want to chill for a couple of laps and then sprint the last lap.”
Villafuerte’s teammate, T’Shyne Johnson won the discus (116-9) and the shot put (41-10). East Meadow won the team championship.