By Steven Steiner
Manhasset’s Boys Varsity Indoor Track & Field team recently completed another banner season, as a series of outstanding performances helped propel the program to its fourth straight Conference Title and a second place finish at the Nassau County Class A Large School Championships. In both championships, which were hosted by St. Anthony’s High School, Manhasset leaned heavily on its decorated senior class, a group that has worked together to accumulate 22 Division, Conference, and County Team Championships over their four-year athletic commitment comprising fall, winter, and spring seasons.
At the Conference III Championships on Jan. 18, Manhasset used its depth in the middle distance and distance events as well as numerous standout performances in the jumps and sprints to amass an impressive 171 points, out-distancing second place MacArthur by nearly 100 points to take home this year’s conference title. Fifteen Manhasset student-athletes were awarded individual All-Conference honors, the most in the program’s recent history, as the team scored in every event but the shot put. In addition to their strong senior group, the team posted several underclassmen who contributed to the scoring, as sophomores Jake Cizmarik (pole vault; 55m hurdles), Alex Park (triple jump; 4x400m) and junior Meldon Grant (high jump; long jump) all earned All-Conference honors in multiple events and freshman Marco Motroni scored in the 55m. The combination of an experienced group of returners and impressive performances from up and coming talent proved to be the difference in helping the team to victory.
Taking advantage of their success at the conference meet, Manhasset was able to carry that momentum forward as the team’s veteran squad of middle distance athletes dominated the county meet at St. Anthony’s HS on Feb. 6. The Indians accumulated 73 of 82 possible points in the distance and middle distance events on their way to a second-place finish to Uniondale—a perennial county champion. The 13 point differential is just four more than a year ago, when Manhasset also placed a close second to Uniondale.
On the track, Manhasset’s trio of Aidan Caggiano, Ryan Watson and Chris Courts took 1-2-3 in the 3200m to get the Indians off to a quick start with 24 points. Courts, a junior, outkicked MacArthur senior Kenny Barrett in an exhilarating finish to secure the sweep.
Manhasset senior Jack Cyprus led the way in the 1000m, earning the win, as teammates Ben Reilly and Aidan Sweeney also scored to bring 15 additional points. Cyprus returned in the 1600m to join Caggiano and Watson, who together helped Manhasset to another sweep in a distance event. This is the first time in recent memory, possibly in history, that any team has swept both the 3200m and 1600m at the large school county meet. However, the squad wasn’t finished there; Nicky Harris, Reilly, Sweeney and Watson would bring home the 4x800m relay title as well, outdistancing themselves from the competition over the final two legs as Watson anchored the team to victory in his third effort of the night. In the team’s final event of the evening, senior Alex Mazer continued his impressive season as he led an underclass core consisting of Alex Park, Eric Tacheci, and Andrew Jiang to a 6th-place scoring position, recording a season best time.
Manhasset’s track and field athletes will now look to capitalize on their team success as they move forward to the individual portion of the season which includes state, regional, and national level competitions to be held over the next several weeks.