Hewlett girls’ track captured a fourth consecutive Nassau Class AA spring title, racking up 125 points to runner-up Manhasset’s 90 while scoring a county record 98 points in five of six field events.
Although Hewlett’s team this spring represented a changing of the guard, with more than half of the 45-girl squad consisting of rookie freshman, seniors and juniors were the top scorers at the county meet held at Roosevelt High School on May 23.
Senior Anyia Wilson is the county champion in the long jump at 17 feet, 4 ¼ inches, a personal best, and the high jump at 5 feet, 4 inches, and scored 26 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
“Anyia has a great desire to do well,” said Stephen Honerkamp, the program’s coach for the past 21 years.
Junior Emma Blumenstein defended her county titles in the 100 hurdles (15.93 seconds), a personal best and a new school record, and in the pole vault (8 feet, 6 inches.)
“You know you’re getting 100 percent effort from her,” Honerkamp said of Blumenstein, who contributed 20 points.
After placing tenth out of 20 athletes competing in the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia in April, junior Kayley Ragazzini earned the county title in the discus (129 feet, 4 inches) and placed second in the shot put (38 feet, 1 inch) and generated 18 points.
All three Lady Bulldogs have qualified for the state meet at Middletown High School on June 7-8: Wilson will compete in the high jump, Blumenstein in the 100 hurdles, and Ragazzini the discus and shot put. Ragazzini also qualified for the nationals in the discus and hammer throw.
Nursing an early-season knee injury, senior Thalia Reveil notched the county title in the triple jump (35 feet, 11 inches) and took third in the long jump and scored 16 points. Junior Jade Wilkes placed second in the triple jump and took fourth in the long jump behind Reveil.
Despite the substantial contributions from these seniors and juniors, Honerkamp believes the psychological difference in the meet came in the first two events.
Sophomore Ariella Ziarno opened the competition by placing third in the 2000 meter steeplechase, beating Manhasset’s two best athletes in Paige Towers and Chloe Mantis even though the event is not her strength. In the next event, the 1500 meter run, senior Kaylyn Forbes placed third, earning her fourth All-County title in as many years.
“Ariella and Kaylyn really set the tone for our team; instead of getting zero points, we ended up getting 12 points from the two All-Countians,” Honerkamp said.
The 400 hurdles were also inspirational. Freshman Bianca Francis and sophomore Brianna Sannos placed fifth and sixth, respectively, and although they only earned a collective three points, Honerkamp chalked it up as another win.
“My motto to my kids is that everyone matters on the team,” he said. “It’s not just the scorers. The non-scorers will one day learn to become scorers. And the kids who aren’t scoring are cheering, they’re excited and caring, and that’s contagious at a big meet.”