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Oceanside's Mullin a county champ

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Oceanside crowned one county champion and six All-County finishers at the winter track Nassau Class A championships at St. Anthony’s high school earlier this month. The accolades continued last week, when the Sailors qualified two athletes to perform in the state championships next month across three different events.

With a throw surpassing 49 feet, senior Dan Mullin won the county championship in the shot put on Feb. 4, defeating runner-up Evan Rosen of Syosset by one foot. He also earned All-County in the same meet with a third-place finish in the weight throw.

It was an exciting victory for the school, said coach Mike Kelly, considering the competitive nature of the event with many schools developing their shot-put program in recent years. It was also a successful title defense for Mullin, who won the same event last year.

A week later at the state qualifiers on Feb. 11, Mullin succeeded again in both events, earning a trip to the state championships in the shot put and the weight throw.

Senior Daniel Gamarra will join Mullin at the state championships in Staten Island after finishing second in the qualifiers in the 300-meters. Gamarra, who will be running track at Harvard in the fall, finished in third place in at the Feb. 4 county championships to earn All-County, and has also qualified for the New Balance Nationals Indoors on March 14 in Manhattan, at the Armory Track and Field Center, in the 200-meter-dash.

Another strong result for the school at the county championships was the performance of its 4x800 relay, which finished in second place behind Port Washington. That all-underclassmen group included sophomore Jackson Murray, junior Jason Bier, junior Tristan Degen and sophomore Daniel Hoffman.

With a time of 8:27.70, the foursome finished just six tenths of a second behind Port Washington thanks to a strong late push from Degen in the anchor position. The result was a full 13 seconds faster than the relay team had even run before, said Kelly.

“That group of young gentlemen is something we’ve really been working on for the last couple of years,” said Kelly. “It’s been a long-term development and it was really exciting to see them break out and perform at the county meet.”

Kelly said his staff has been working to broaden the program to become more competitive across all events. That effort showed these past several weeks. Junior Andres Duran finished behind Mullin in fourth place in the shot put in the county championships. At the Conference 1 championships on January 30, senior Leonid Yanchilin scored points with a sixth-place finish in the triple jump, completing a personal best jump of 40 feet and seven inches. The school also scored points in both the 1600- and 3200-meter distance races.

“We’re slowly but surely developing a really nice program,” said Kelly. “We’re looking forward to the exciting things that are going to happen in the spring. One more season is really going to make a huge difference for some of these guys.”