South Side will be well represented at the New York State Outdoor Track and Field Championships this weekend.
Senior Olivia Rodriguez punched her ticket to a third straight state meet after placing second in the qualifier in the high jump with a score of 1.62 meters at North Shore High School, just five-hundreths behind champion Dieusi Armand of Westbury. She finished eighth in last year’s event in North Syracuse with a height of 1.57 meters and was 17th in 2017 at 1.52 meters.
“She went into it with the mindset of just getting some good jumps in and perfecting her form,” said coach Keith Bosch.
Joining her at Middletown High School will be junior Carly Woelfel, who dominated the 2,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 7 minutes, 8.12 seconds. That mark was 12 seconds better than Oceanside’s Nicola Scaglione, who defeated Woelfel earlier this season.
“Carly had her best race this year,” said Bosch. “She took the lead right away and set the tone from the beginning. I’m super excited to have our first athlete compete at states for the steeplechase.”
Woelfel is the first Lady Cyclone to qualify for states in the steeplechase. Both girls will also be competing at nationals on June 17 in North Carolina.
“Both athletes worked extremely hard this year and I’m happy to see them competing at the highest level and loving every minute of it,” said Bosch.
Sophomore Avery Brull ran a personal best 4:58.35 in the 1,500-meter final in the qualifier, good for seventh place, and junior Izzy Tomkiel also had her best pole vault performance of 8 feet, 6 inches, to finish fifth.
South Side was the runner-up finisher at the Division 3A championships in Hewlett on May 15. In addition to Woelfel’s win in the 3,000-meter final and Rodriguez’s triumph in the high jump, junior Annaliese Zola was fourth in the 400 hurdles, sophomore Ava Morris was fourth in the 100 meter dash, sophomore Olivia Duca was third in the 1,500 and the 3,000-meter runs, junior Kaitlyn Moore was fourth in the 1,500.
The boys’ team greatly improved as the spring season progressed and finished a strong third at the Division 3A. The Cyclones’ 97.5 points was 39 points greater than fourth-place Bethpage.
“We knew going into division that third place is what we were shooting for,” said coach Keith Lessuk. “We did really well. I ended up with seven All-Division athletes after that division meet, which was really cool.”
The 4X100 relay team of seniors Matthew Seplowe, Horace Lane, Ryan Thomas and junior Daniel Brown were the only competitors to win their event that day, but South Side boasted its overall score with four runner-up finishes and three third-place showings.
Thomas was the team’s most decorated athlete by placing second in 100-meter dash and third in the long jump to go along with his victory in the relay race. He battled injury early in his first and only season on the track team, but impressed in his return and picked up a win by one-hundreth of a second at the Bulldog Invitational on May 18.
“Every race he improved, a little bit each time,” Lessuk said. “He was a good overall athlete.”
The other second-place finishers were Lane in the 200, Daniel Finning in the 3,200 and pole vaulter Brandon McCarthy.