Farmingdale’s path to Nassau girls’ track supremacy began, not at the outset of Wednesday night’s Class A championship meet, but two night’s earlier in the weight-throwing competition..
Surrounded by the vast quiet of a vacant track, Alayna Rzempoluch landed a 36 foot, 11-1/2 inch toss to win the opening event. Ten points went to the Dalers, with much more to follow.
“It’s really surreal,” Rzempoluch said of winning. “When they announced my name, it felt like such a proud moment for my team. I finally contributed points to something. That was awesome.”
Though nervous about how she would stack up against the rest of the competition, Rzempoluch said it all clicked once she stepped into the throwing circle.
“I tried to stay humble and think about all the things that I practiced,” Rzempoluch said. “Once we got there, it all kind of came naturally. I felt in my element and really capitalized on that.”
Once she was inside that element, Rzempoluch’s quick feet did most of the work.
“I’ve really been trying to work on the speed of my rotation in my spin,” Rzempoluch said.
Farmingdale’s runners and jumpers did the rest Wednesday night. When it was through, they had amassed 74 points and the county crown. Syosset was second with 72 points.
Njaure Ewa won both the 55 meters (7.33 seconds) and the long jump (18 feet, 6 -1/2 inches). Tara Mandel won the 1,500-meter walk in 7:26.68, outpacing the field by over a minute. It is Mandel’s third consecutive county championship. She has already qualified for New Balance Indoor Nationals in March, she said. Sofia Khalek placed second in 8:30.79.
“I wanted to pace my teammate [Khalek] for the first lap or two and try to get her a nice [personal record],” Mandel said. “I was also trying to build into my race. I have a tendency to go out too fast. I was really happy with the outcome because I felt comfortable. I know I can go much faster when it comes to states and nationals. It was a good step forward.”