The East Meadow boys’ track and field team wrapped up another successful season under coach Jim McGlynn, finishing with an 8-4 conference record, and boasting two county champions in Kyle Bettex and Bradley Kaufmann.
Both athletes represented the school during the state qualifying meet at Freeport High School on May 29-30, finishing in first place in their respective races.
Bettex earned top honors in the pentathlon, a grueling five-event race that is a true testament of “track and field.” The senior captain completed the 110-meter hurdles in 15.7 seconds, jumped 5 feet, 10 inches in the high jump, 20 feet in the long jump, shot put 38 feet and 4 inches, and completed the mile in 5 minutes, 12 seconds.
Bettex was neck-and-neck throughout the event with Ben Kapuscinski of North Shore High School. In total, he accumulated 3,055 points, besting Kapuscinski by 58 points. According to McGlynn, Bettex held a sizable lead heading into the final event — the mile — and needed to meet a certain time qualification to win. He accomplished it by about three seconds. “It’s one of the toughest performances I have seen in a long time,” McGlynn said. “He dug down and got it.”
By winning the event, he earned the Nassau County Track and Field Athlete of the Year award.
Kaufmann, another senior captain, completed the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9 minutes, 44 seconds, setting a school record.
Both Kaufmann and Bettex will compete in Kingston, N.Y., June 6-8 in the state championships. Kaufmann will also be competing nationally in North Carolina in the second week of June. “We’re looking forward to having him run another record,” McGlynn said.
Michael Grady, a sophomore, also ran in the state qualifiers, completing the one-mile run in 4 minutes and 24 seconds, good for second place. Grady’s brother, Sean, is a state champion runner for East Meadow who is now on the track team at the University of Connecticut.
Though the team had four losses on the year, McGlynn said they lost the four meets by a combined total of 11 points. “We were close to being undefeated, but couldn’t get it done,” he said.