While their names aren’t etched in Blue Devil granite just yet, the Huntington High School girls’ indoor track and field team’s 4x200m relay made history last Saturday at Suffolk-West in Brentwood, winning the Section XI indoor championship and setting a new school record.
Junior Alicia Brooks gave Huntington a strong opening leg, and freshman Analisse Batista provided the Blue Devils with a decent sized lead that they never surrendered.
Sophomore Dejanae Linton kept Huntington in front during a tension-packed third leg and freshman anchor Olivia Conte brought the gold medal home to the Blue Devils, holding off hard-charging top ranked William Floyd, which finished less than a second behind.
Huntington’s time of 1:46.04 set a new Blue Devil indoor record in the event. The four spectacular teenagers celebrated their upset victory by eating large chocolate chip cookies.
“I wanted to make sure that I got a good lead for my teammates,” Brooks said. “I was very nervous because we were going against William Floyd, but once the gun went off and I started to pass lane five and six I knew that we had a chance. It felt good to beat them, but I always knew we could beat them if we all ran our fastest. But I know they are going to be coming for us at the state qualifier.”
Batista was also sensational in the 300m dash, finishing second in 41.05 seconds, close behind Walt Whitman’s Gianna Paul, who crossed the line in 40.77 seconds.
Running the 300m and the 4x200m relay was taxing for Batista, but she handled both races superbly. “When I ran the 4x2 I was still a little tired from the 300m, but then I tried my hardest and ran fast,” she said. “It felt good to beat the No. 1 ranked team in the county. We all ran hard today and they waited to run the 4x2 so they were fresh, but we showed them that we were ready to win.”
Brooks placed sixth in the 55m dash in 7.55 seconds. The top six runners were separated by just 32/100ths of a second.
In the 1500m race walk, seniors Keily Rivas (7:32.75) and Erika Varady (7:38.85) placed seventh and ninth, respectively.
Freshman Caroline O’Rourke placed seventh in the 600m run in a time of 1:46.10. Senior Nephar Durand finished seventh in shot put with a toss of 32-04.50 feet.
Huntington head coach Mark Jackson was thrilled to see so many of his talented underclassmen perform so well in the meet. The team is now focused on the state qualifier later this month.
Final team standings: 1. Bay Shore-56 points; 2. Sachem East-50; 3. Ward Melville-48; 4. Longwood-37; 5. Connetquot-30; 6. Brentwood-28; 7. Smithtown East-27; 7. Half Hollow Hills East-27; 9. Commack-24; 10. Sachem North-23; 11. Huntington-19; 12. Middle Country-17; 13. Northport-16; 14. William Floyd-14; 15. Bellport-13; 16. North Babylon-12; 17. Walt Whitman-11; 18. Copiague-6; 19. Riverhead-5; 20. Smithtown West-2