Friday, 28 May 2010 08:15
The Penn Relays are the biggest relay carnival in the world. Over 10,000 athletes and 50,000 spectators converge in Philadelphia each year over the last weekend in April for what can be considered track and field’s “Super Bowl.” Each year hundreds of 4 x 400 meter relays teams plan all season with the goal of earning a medal and or a championship plaque during their trip to Philadelphia.
Massapequa High School has had a long history of success there with legendary Chief Miler Brian McElroy winning the Championship of America Mile in 1968 and 1969. His 4:12.6 time in the 1969 race is still a school record. He went on to fame racing for Villanova and the United States.
Kathy Franey won the Championship of America High School girls 1500-meter run in 1985. Last year, the Massapequa boys 4 x 400 relay team of Joe Caraciolo, Eric Wong, Rob Brower and Nick Deluna came home with gold medals after winning their feat in 3:27.68. Both Eric (Molloy College) and Rob (SUNY Cortland) are competing this year on the college level.
This year, the team of Joe Caraciolo, Dan Varon, Brian Poole, and Nick Deluna repeated the same feat. Anchorman Nick Deluna came charging off the turn to pass three runners and cross the finish line first to win the 4 x 400 for the second year in a row. Nick’s 400 split time of 49.4 is one of the fastest ever by a Massapequa runner. The team’s total time was 3:27.26, one that ranks them in the top 10 in New York State. The relay splits of the other runners were Caraciolo 50.7, Varon 51.7 and Poole 54.0. Each of these boys is underclassmen, and hopefully will return to Philadelphia and find gold once again next year.
On Friday, May 7, Massapequa hosted the second annual “Under the Lights” Track and Field Competition. More than 1,000 athletes representing 36 high schools in Nassau and Suffolk competed. The weather was perfect and the athletes set 25 meet records, four New York State best times this year and three National best times this year.
Outstanding performances by Massapequa athletes included first place finishes by:
Nick Deluna – 800 meters
Andrew Valenski – in Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” Mile
Dan Varon – 400 hurdles
Joe Caraciolo – Long Jump
Kelly Burke – 400 meters
Shannon Mcbrien – 800 meters
Julia Batista – Pole Vault
Lauren Kappleman – Triple Jump