The 2022-2023 winter sports season has come to an end with the Roslyn High School track team scoring a convincing victory in the Nassau County Section VIII tournament.
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the varsity boys winter track team earned the title of Conference Champions with a score of 136. The championship squad is led by head coach Kristen Hamilton and assistant Nick Chiarelli.
Complimenting the outstanding performance were many star turns by track team members.
Zach Davidson was the pole vault champion, while Julian Pinilla was high jump champ.
Bryan Molina was eight throw champion.
Ben Veneziano scored second place in the high jump. Liam Reilly had the same showing in the weight throw competition.
In the 4 X 800 relay, Benjamin Davidson, Alessandro Berganza, Ethan Berkowitz, and Matthew Voynovich also earned a second-place result. Also in relay competition, C.J. Smith, Justin Margulies, Eric Chen, and Matthew Voynovich came in fourth in the 400 X 400 race.
In other individual competitions, Gavin Glasco won third place in the 300 meters. Julian Pinilla took third place in the triple jump. Zach Davidson was right behind his teammate, scoring fourth place in that same competition.
In an interview with The Roslyn News, head coach Kristen Hamilton saluted the champions.
“I’d like to think that our team’s success is a mix of our ability to create a balanced program, hard work and dedication from both the athletes and coaches, and a team-first mentality that allows all our athletes to genuinely cheer for each other’s success,” she said. “Track and field is like other team sports in that you can’t win with only one stand out athlete. Nor can you win with only a strong offense or defense. In track, you need a variety of athletes who can compete in all the events that track and field offers from sprints, to distance, to throws, to jumps. This is something that we take great pride in trying to do: develop athletes who can fill each of these roles and hopefully score points for the team at the conference or county level.
“When athletes join our program, we prioritize and celebrate the progress they make in their respective events, regardless of where they start,” Hamilton added, summing up the program’s philosophy. “When that athlete buys in to our system of improvement, we get to watch amazing things happen over the course of their four years with us. This year, this is exactly what happened with our current seniors, many of whom first joined during their freshman year. It is no secret that it takes a certain dedication to want to run outside in the cold all winter, even though we race inside. Our athletes know that what they get out of the season will be a direct result of the work they put in.
“This season’s victory was a total team effort. Because of that we didn’t have the one or two stars that most teams tend to have. But we did have several athletes who had phenomenal post season meets. Julian Pinilla won the high jump and placed third in both the long jump and triple jump, outperforming his rankings in all events. Ben Veneziano was second in the high jump, and had previously led our team in the jumps during the conference championship meet. Bryan Molina and Liam Reilly went one and two in the weight throw, and Liam came back to score a point in the shot put. Having throwers really made a different this season and their improvement from the conference meet to county’s was amazing. Matthew Voynovich is one of our top distance runners and he was asked to handle a tough triple at county’s: the 1000m, 4×800 and 4×400 relays. The time between the two relays was only about 20 minutes and there was no one else I could have asked to compete with such little rest. He finished fourth in the 1k and then anchored our 4×800 to a second place all county honor and then anchored our 4×400 to a fourth-place finish. Gavin Glasco is a standout in the sprints. He placed third in the 300 meters, and impressively earned the All-County place by running out of the slower heat. This was a major turning point in team points scoring for us. The moment we knew we had the victory though, was during the triple jump. All three of our triple jumpers placed: Julian Pinilla, Zach Davidson, and Torian Smith.
Looking ahead, Hamilton sees a bright future for the track program.
“Zach Davidson is hands down our standout underclassmen. In fact, he was the pole vault county champion. He also competed in the hurdles. He is one of the most well-rounded athletes I have ever encountered. He has speed, a natural pop, and when you mix that with his unique ability to control his body during highly technical events and a dedication that far exceeds his years, you end up with an athlete who I think will make a mark on Nassau Track. His younger brother, Ben Davidson is making a name for himself in the middle distances. He led off our 4×800 to the All-County second place finish, and he competed in the 1000m with Voynovich. Every time Ben steps on the track he is ready to race and give it his all and that is why he is so much fun to watch. He might not compete in the technical events like his brother, but he is just as hardworking and dedicated, so with the two of them I think the future of the team looks bright. When you also add freshman Paul Lee who competed in the weight throw at the county champs for us and also improved his marks by over 10 feet in his first season, I think we could be a force to reckon with next year as well once these athletes grow and mature even more. We have several other freshmen and sophomores that I think will be integral to our team’s success in the future: Ethan Berkowitz, Justin Margulies, Matthew Clarke, and many others who I can already see becoming the stars three to four years from now.
“I’m incredibly proud of the hard work that this team put in to achieve this victory,” Hamilton concluded. “They set their intentions and believed they could. They supported each other through the whole meet and that camaraderie as a coach is worth just as much to me as the team title. I’m looking forward to seeing what they
have in spring.”