Sustained success in the East Meadow track and field program doesn’t happen by accident. For the coaching staff, each season has a purpose: let their veteran athletes flourish while simultaneously developing their younger talent.
That formula of balancing youth and experience has led to a roomful of trophies for the boys’ and girls’ programs, and this spring was no different as the boys’ squad added another spring division title to its mantle.
“We had a contingent of young kids that ran well and came together with our senior crew,” Jets head coach Jim McGlynn. “It was a combination.”
Scoring points in every single event at the Division 1B championship last month, East Meadow boy’s track and field cruised, scoring 189 points, well ahead of runner-up Port Washington, who scored 92.
While East Meadow excelled in nearly every event, there was some events where they shined. In the 110-meter hurdles, they secured three of the top four spots, led by senior Anthony Squiciarino – who qualified for All-County – followed by fellow seniors Alperen Demir in second and Axel Torres in third.
In the high jump, seniors Michael Halkitis and Kevin Martin finished first and second in the division meet – they would swap spots in the subsequent county meet – to contribute to the team’s overwhelming victory.
McGlynn raved about the performance of his younger athletes. Sophomore David Romaldo clocked in at 51.37 seconds in the 400-meter dash, good for second place.
Sophomore Brandon Love, meanwhile, earned first place in the pole vault in the division meet, and this season cleared a personal best 13 feet, 6 inches, closing in on the school record.
“Brandon is quite an asset to our program,” McGlynn said. “I can plug him in in the sprints. He long jumps almost 21 feet. He triple jumps 43 feet. He high jumps. There’s not a thing the kid can’t do, literally, on the track. He’s one of our team leaders as a sophomore.”
Junior Bryan Villafuerte won the division title for the 1600- and 3200- meter runs, and the foursome of seniors Jeremy Erman and Keith Hernandez, junior John Meah and sophomore Matthew Owens took first in the 4x800-meter relay.
In the field events, T’Shyne Johnson was a one-man show, earning first place in the discus throw and the shot put. In the states competition last weekend in Syracuse, he finished fourth.
“We had a strong team this year, and we should have another good year next year,” said McGlynn, though he said that his team will seek to aim higher next year. “The county meet is the super bowl. We’ve got to try to get that done.”