Written by Hal Bock Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00
Chaminade High School track coach Brian Hayes feels the message is simple. “If you’re a boy on Long Island and if you want to run fast, this is a good place to go,” he said.
The record would seem to bear him out. Chaminade has been among the top track programs in Nassau County for quite some time. The Flyers have 150 youngsters from freshmen to senior classes with seven coaches on staff.
“Track here is well-respected with a great tradition,” Hayes said. “It builds on itself. Kids want to be part of it. Our size is our strength. Our kids are driven academically and athletically. They’re motivated both in the classroom and on the field. They want to succeed.”
And they often do.
Earlier this season, in the Marine Corps Classic, the Flyers’ distance medley team of Sean Kelly, Caelum Maloney, Gunnar Nolan and Thomas Slattery ran a 10:21. For two months, that time stood as the best in the country. Then there is Chaminade’s 4x200 meter team, which set a school record of 1:31.6 earlier this season.
“That’s a blazing fast time,” Hayes said. “They’re among the top 10 in the nation. We’re looking to qualify that team for the state championships.”
Slattery, Maloney, Kelly and Jordan Brown also captured the 4x400 at the NSCHAA varsity indoor championships, a meet in which Slattery won three gold medals.
Rocco Signore runs the leadoff leg on the 4x200 with James Roberts, Liam Bradley and Kelsey Barabei behind him. “My job is to set the tone,” Signore said, “It’s a big responsibility.”
Signore brings a unique style to his assignment.
“I lean way forward,” he said. “If I leaned forward any more, I’d fall on my face. But the more I lean, the faster I go.”
So are the rest of his teammates following his lead? “I showed it to Kelsey,” he said. “I had trouble convincing him.”
And Signore said he doesn’t mind running in traffic, either. “I run better when I’ve got somebody right behind me,” he said.
Recently, the Flyers traveled to Boston for the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix where some of the top distance runners in the country and the world were competing. “It was a great experience for our kids, staying in the same hotel, warming up on the track with some of the best runners in the world,” Hayes said. And it was there that Kelly learned an important lesson.
“Sean was running anchor on the 4x800 relay team,” Hayes said. “He got the baton in third place, 20 meters behind. He got the lead and was 20 meters ahead. Then he ran out of gas and we finished third. He needs to be more patient.”
Chaminade finished behind St. Anthony and St. John the Baptist in that race.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
Eleni Pitzel has lived in East Williston since 1975, having raised five children. Prior to that, she and her family lived in Floral Park. Pitzel is a longtime club member, and served as corresponding secretary for two years.
Pitzel has been the club’s art instructor for four years; she also teaches art at St. Paul’s Orthodox Cathedral in West Hempstead. “My artistic skills are a gift from God, and from that gift I give back to others,” Pitzel said.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
A new proposal by interim Town of North Hempstead Supervisor John Riordan seeks to hike pay for elected officials. Riordan's plan would have board members’ salaries jump by $15,000 to a total of $55,000, an increase of approximately 37.5 percent. Other proposed salaries would be $138,000 for the supervisor, $115,000 for the receiver of taxes and $105,000 for the town clerk.
Riordan introduced the proposal at the last town board meeting, on Nov. 19, requesting that a resolution be placed on the agenda setting Dec. 10 for a public hearing to consider the adoption of an amendment that would enable the salary increases for the 2014 calendar year.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
MAA Travel Soccer teams wrapped up their respective fall 2013 seasons recently. Two MAA teams won titles this season in the Long Island Junior Soccer League; the BU13 Mineola Empire went 9-0-1 and the GU14 Red Bulls enjoyed a 8-1-1 campaign to each win first place trophies. The GU11 Honey Badgers went undefeated (6-0-2) and finished in second place in their division, as did the GU15 Mini-Mustangs with a 7-1-1 season record.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The Mineola 12U fall intramural baseball team celebrated their fall season and tournament championship with a pizza party/awards dinner on Nov. 20. In addition to celebrating a great fall season and tournament championship, the boys were treated to an inspirational talk by coach Ken Conrade, the 2013 New York State High School Coach of the Year.
Conrade, the Kellenberg Memorial High School assistant principal for academics and girls varsity softball coach, was the keynote speaker for the awards dinner. He presented a very talked about baseball and youth sports.
Conrade’s talk was framed around each inning of a baseball game. He used stories and examples from the first to an extra “10th inning” to drive home both a sports and life lesson. For example, as part of the seventh inning stretch, he had each player stand up, stretch their legs and then go and thank their parents for their support and commitment to their baseball playing.