Despite operating with half of its usual participation numbers and competing against bigger schools, Valley Stream North’s girls’ track and field program captured this spring’s Nassau County Class AA championship in undefeated fashion.
Led by triple county champion Danielle Phillip, who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and ran the leadoff leg in the winning 4x100 relay, the Spartans amassed 104 points to top the 15-team field. Hewlett finished runner-up with 80 points.
“Coming off the pandemic and knowing our numbers were down about 50 percent, we just wanted to provide the kids with a great atmosphere to train and compete and be a team again,” VSN coach Michael Frazer said. “Winning a championship was a secondary concern. The girls kept performing at a very high level. It was exciting and we’re beyond pleased.”
Phillip leaves behind quite a legacy, Frazer said. She won the 100 in 12.44 seconds and the 200 in 25.87. “She’s definitely up there in the sprint record books for our school,” he said. “She’s one of the all-time bests and is headed to UConn.”
Junior Ariana Paul was the county champion in the long jump with her only try covering 16 feet, 7.5 inches. She was also the anchor on the 4x100 relay. “She only got to do one jump but it was a good one and it held up by three inches,” Frazer said. “She’s a fantastic athlete and leader just like Danielle.”
Senior Adebowa Oluwatobi led a strong group of throwers who thrived under the guidance of assistant coach Alex Cuozzo. Oluwatobi won the county title in discus (109-1) and was runner-up in the shot put (31-11.5.) “We had a deep group of throwers and many of them looked up to Adebowa,” Frazer said.
The Spartans totaled 36 points in the two throwing events. Sasha Smalls placed second in the discus and freshman Nattaly Lindo was fourth in both events. Senior Joline Viau took fifth in the shot put.
The 4x100 relay edged Bethpage, 50.64 seconds to 50.94. Sophomore Gabriela Mensah and junior Ava Cicilia ran the second and third legs, respectively. Junior Samantha Szabo and sophomore Melissa Innocent scored points in the 2000 steeplechase.
“Being well-rounded has brought us a lot of success for many years,” Frazer said.
On the boys’ side, North finished fourth in the county thanks in large part to junior standout Ryan John. He won the Class AA titles in the triple jump, long jump and high jump. He’s the No. 1-ranked triple jumper in New York State (47-7 ¾) but will have to wait until this winter to compete at the state level since there were no state championships this school year.
“He’s in the ballpark of doing some really huge things,” Frazer said. “Ryan is extremely humble, but confident at the same time. He performs his best on the biggest stages.”
Senior Milton Morris won the county title in the 110 hurdles (15.86) to cap a solid four-year varsity career. Senior Malachi Lewis was All-County (third) in the 400 hurdles.