About 30 runners of varying ages raced around the track at Lynbrook South Middle School on June 9 as part of the district’s inaugural track and field alumni meet. Their efforts were a step toward helping Lynbrook students succeed in the future.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Robert Paskoff, who helped organize the event with his wife, Jayne. “We had some great races, very competitive races.”
The event, hosted by Lynbrook XC and TF Supporters, raised money to go toward scholarships to benefit Lynbrook track and cross country athletes in college. In all, $2,000 was raised.
Paskoff, who serves as a trustee on the Board of Education for the district, ran track for Lynbrook High School from 1974-76. His daughter Rose, 23, served on the track team at Ithaca college and his son, Walter, 18, represented the Owls’ track team this year and will graduate in June.
The event was attended by men and women who graduated Lynbrook in the 1970s, ‘80s and 2000s. The day included many races at varying distances, including 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,600-meter competitions. There were also shot put and long jump events and a dinner was hosted at the high school afterward for some guests.
Paskoff said one highlight of the festivities was a competitive 400-meter race between Luke Germanakos, a returning 2015 state champion, and current senior Justin Harvin. After a neck-and-neck contest, Germanakos sped up and narrowly defeated his opponent. “That was fun to watch,” Paskoff said, adding that pole vault county champion Adora Charles was another distinguished guest.
The event was the culmination of a meeting between Paskoff and a group of people last fall, during which they came up with the idea to hold the alumni meet to benefit students. The group raised funds through sponsorships and runners paid $25 entry fees. Each participant received a T-shirt that said, “Lynbrook Runs Forever.”
The booster club provided 10 students $100 scholarships this year, and will use the $2,000 from June 9 to help more college-ready runners. Paskoff said he hoped the inaugural alumni meet will lead to an annual tradition.
“There was a lot of enthusiasm,” he said. “A lot of people want to come back next year and bring more people. We hope to make it an ongoing event.”