The sprinters, throwers, jumpers, distance runners and relay teams all contributed to the Huntington High School girls’ track and field team’s juggernaut that propelled the Blue Devils to a 5-1 record and the league co-championship this past season.
After dropping the opening meet to Kings Park (87-48), Huntington reeled off five consecutive victories, topping Comsewogue (84-68), Harborfields (80-70), Eastport-South Manor (88-60), Bellport (86-64) and Islip (110-40).
The 48-athlete team contained 10 first year varsity letter winners. Jontae Smith (400m), Rachel Boisclair (400m), Latoya Shand (100m), Maliyah Davis (long jump), Jennifer Polster (pole vault), Raynisha Witherspoon (discus), Maia Cadle-Hinton (shot put) and Michelle Clearveaux (shot put) all earned Suffolk All-League honors.
“The girls were dedicated and willing to work from Day One,” head coach Jennifer Fudens said. “Each day they pushed themselves hard and gave their very best at each meet.” Kevin Thorbourne was the team’s assistant coach. Teacher Dave Moriarity served as a volunteer assistant.
“This team displayed a lot of heart,” Fudens said. “They were a mature group of hard workers. The seniors were a great group of leaders and the freshman and sophomore classes really stepped up to the plate. There was truly a sense of family developed among this team and they were a great group to coach.”
The Blue Devils also benefitted from outstanding performances turned in by Christine Simpson (race walk), Suzie Petryk (distance running events), Nina Cartwright (pole vault), Alexandra Koumas (distance running events) and Savannah Richardson (high jump) and relay team stars Katie Healy, Adelia Witt and Kerri Giambruno.
A highlight of the season came when six Blue Devils traveled to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays, one of the premier events for high school and college track and field teams, The group included seniors Katie Healy, Adelia Witt, Jontae Smith and Kerri Giambruno, sophomore Rachel Boisclair and freshman Alexandra Koumas.
“Going to the Penn Relays was a great experience,” Fudens said. “It’s something we are hoping to be able to do every year.”
Fudens hopes to recruit and train a new group to fill-out Huntington’s throwing (shot put and discus) ranks next spring. “We are losing some great athletes, but we have a depth of talent to tap into,” the coach said. “Our distance and spring crew will be returning and Nina Cartwright will lead up in the pole vault.”