When it comes to track and field supremacy in Nassau Class B, no one beats Valley Stream. Two different schools from the western Nassau village won team championships at the ‘small school’ county championships Tuesday night at St. Anthony’s.
The two schools may be from the same area, but they have vastly different historical profiles in this arena. The Valley Stream North boys won their sixth straight indoor team championship, and the Valley Stream South girls won their first team title in program history.
But it was hardly a surprise that Valley Stream South took the girls championship. The Falcons, who scored 81 points, boast two of the best athletes on Long Island — Chibugo Obichere and DeAnna Martin.
And they both proved it…twice.
Obichere, who is the two-time defending state public school champion in the 55-meter hurdles, won the hurdles in 8.23 seconds and the 55 in 7.32 seconds.
“I’m trying to be an all-around runner, not just a hurdler,” Obichere said.
Obichere said she’s worked this season on being ‘comfortable’ at that starting line — the thinking being that a more relaxed demeanor will lead to more explosiveness.
“You can never be conformable enough,” Obichere said. “…Being more comfortable brings more confidence.”
Martin, a mid-distance standout, won the 1,000 in three minutes, 10.75 seconds and the 600 in 1:40.93. She ran both races within 35 minutes of one another, a tall task in a championship.
“After I ran the 1,000, my legs got a little tight and I started freaking out,” Martin said. “I knew I had a job to do, so I just kept reminding myself to stay calm and finish strong.”
Martin said that as soon as the starting gun fired for the 600, she felt fine.
“I just got in a groove,” she said.
In the field, Lindsey Smith won the triple jump, flying 37 feet, 10 3/4 inches.
The Valley Stream North boys are no stranger to county victory. They’ve lived at the top of the mountain for as long as the current team can remember, and they have no intention of climbing down.
The Spartans won with 91 points, nearly doubling up the field. Just like their dominance, Valley Stream North’s title hopes were never in doubt.
Freshman Ryan John won the triple jump (43-0.5), placed second in the long jump (20-3.5) and fourth in the high jump (5-6).
“[Triple jump] is all about your form and how you apply yourself to the jump,” John said. “…At this point, it’s all automatic to me. Once I get on [the runway], I don’t even think about what I’m doing. I just go through it and do my best.”
Elsewhere in the field, Bernadin Fleurima won the shot put with a 44 foot, 10 1/2 inch throw.
“I was getting beat the entire time,” Fleurima said. “[Island Trees’ Thomas Zamroz] was beating me by three feet and, in the finals, I got him…I was frustrated the entire time. Then, I saw the look in my coach’s eyes and it said ‘turn it up right now.’ ”
Fleurima continued: “In the preliminaries, I was just concentrated on getting my footwork down. I wasn’t really putting strength into my throws, I just wanted to make sure I have a valid throw for the finals…[In the finals], before I turned to start my throw, I flicked my right foot to activate my entire leg. You throw with your legs, not with your arms.”
Christian Cicilia contributed valuable points with a second-place finish in the 1,000 (2:41.49) and a third-place finish in the 1,600 (4:47.35).