The Valley Stream Central boys’ track team, led by a standout core of upperclassmen, made waves in the Long Island high school track world this season by taking home the Division 1B championship.
The senior-laden Eagles made use of talent and experience on their road to the championship. Six of the team’s high finishers were either juniors or seniors and the maturity of the team as a whole was evident in their title run.
The aptly named Chad Blaize headlined the Eagles victory by winning both the 100- and 200-meter dashes en route to the title. Jason Nappy, one of Central’s track coaches, was impressed with Blaize’s performance and said he stepped up when the team needed him most at the end of the year.
Blaize wasn’t the only senior to make a splash in multiple events as Garcelin Elisias took second in the 200 and third in the 400 and the springy Seth Williams took every step on the podium; finishing first in the high jump, second in the long jump and third in the triple jump.
Williams, Nappy said, can do well in any event he participates in and also engages in strategy discussions with the coaching staff heading into meets. “He’s an absolute beast,” Nappy said of Williams.
Nappy added that Elisias is one of the team’s hardest workers in practice. “He’s the most intimidating person to look at,” Nappy said, “but he’s the nicest kid in the world.”
Rounding out the senior class was Cesar Diequez who finished second in the 800-meter dash.
Leading the junior class for Central was Justin Riley, who joined Williams in all three jumping events, finishing second in the triple jump, third in the high jump and fourth in the long jump. Matthew Jones finished second in the 400 and fourth in the 200-meter dashes.
The Eagles also secured second place in the 4x100 meter relay proving that not only were they successful as individuals, but also as a cohesive unit.
As the Eagles season winds down, they will surely miss the seniors that greatly impacted their championship run and Nappy will look to the juniors to step into leadership roles and continue their already significant contributions.
With its most recent division win, the Central boy’s track team adds another piece of hardware to the school’s collection. The team also won the division championship during this year’s winter season.
Nappy said he told his seniors to enjoy their success this season. “The fact that you won two [division championships] during your senior year was something special and something you’ll always remember,” he said.
Those bonds and memories will last a lifetime, Nappy added. “They worked for it,” he said, “and they earned it.”