Girls track team takes division for the second straight year

Matt Kramer, Staff Writer

The girls varsity track team has added another accolade to its record, winning the division for the second straight year.
After losing in the conference cham- pionship in the winter 2013 season, the girls rebounded by winning the divi- sion last spring, the conference title in the winter, and this spring division once again, all by significant margins.
The squad has athletes that compete at a high level in each event, making it one of the more well-rounded teams in Nassau County.
The team has some of the most ac- complished athletes in the county with seniors Jenny Aguiar, Neve Devine, and Laura Russo, who each earned all-coun- ty titles and will be running collegiate track next year at Wesleyan University, Fordham University, and SUNY Gen- eseo, respectively.
However, after star runner Joelle Feinberg graduated following last sea- son, team members were unsure of how performance would measure.
Many girls, however, stepped up to
fill the void, including junior Catalina Salvatierra, sophomore Maria Kogan, and freshman Lucy Hurt, a county champion in two events this season.
Junior Christina Marinelli has been a breakout performer this season and has helped the 4×400 meter relay stand out as one of the best in the county. The 4×400 has become a contender to run in the state meet at the University of Al- bany in June.
Sophomore Beatriz Chavarria has also been an important part of the team, running on the 4×100 meter and 4×400 meter relays. She also competed at the Penn Relays for her second season in a row, contributing a 58 second leg in the 4×400.
“This is the beginning of something very special and they keep that in mind at all times. When the workouts are hard, hours get long and frustration builds, they remember what they have and what they’re striving towards,” said coach Mr. Joe Migliano.
The girls 4×400, which consists of Aguiar, Russo, Marinelli, and Chavarria, ran a 4:03 at Penn Relays earlier in the season and hoped to hit the Nationals- qualifying standard of 3:58 at States on
June 5 to run at the New Balance Nation- als in Greensboro, North Carolina later in the month. The girls qualified for nationals, and set a school record in the process.
“By the hard work on the track and in the weight room, and by the proper prep- aration from my coaching staff, the girls are definitely ready,” said Head Coach Mr. Jeremiah Pope, who is currently in his fifth year of coaching the girls team.
Track runners have made extremely close bonds with their teammates this year.
“Though track appears to be an indi- vidual sport, it proves to be almost the opposite. Before races, including indi- vidual events and relays especially, we always remind each other that racing is a group effort, and we will perform well if we encourage and keep each other mo- tivated. All of the girls have a really nice friendship and bond with each other and can really trust each other. We all en- courage each other, push each other to be the best that we can become, and stay by each other’s side at all times,” said Salvati- erra.
Although the team will lose key run- ners after this season, it still believes there
is a bright future ahead.
“This team has a lot of potential
to do great things in years to come. Although we are losing Jenny, Neve, and Laura who are important mem- bers of our team and our success, we need girls to step up and fill the gap, and I know there will be someone and we’re excited to see who it’s going to be. Many underclassmen, including Beat- riz Chavarria, Lucy Hurt, and Melissa Hernandez are some athletes that need to step up even more next season,” said Marinelli.
With a conference championship this winter, division championships in back to back springs, and a county run- ner up this season, the girls track team is primed for success for years to come with its young talent.
“The girls worked really hard this year. They should be extremely proud of their accomplishments at the Penn Relays and for winning the division,” said junior Peter Kirgis. “The team has a lot of talent, and I look forward to hearing about their triumphs next year.”