Falcons Win First Girls Track and Field League Championship in 26 Years

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The high school’s girls track and field athletes are league champions for the first time in 26 years. Led by captains Giselle Aparicio, Isabella Aparicio, Lexi Clark, Heather Dillon and Sara Felipe, the Falcons team finished the regular season undefeated at 6-0.

The student-athletes overcame an entire season of adversity and had to pull together when the school’s top performers were injured early on. Without the team’s throwing corps, the Falcons would have been in dire straits. Led by Tassyana Blake, Morgan Keuler and Temi Oshikanlu in shot put and Felipe in discus, Deer Park completely shut down every opponent throughout the season, providing the rest of the team with breathing room to gain points and ultimately win each meet convincingly. Battling pain throughout the season, Marissa Cummings still managed to win the triple jump, long jump and high jump in meet after meet.

Winning the championship was no easy feat, as the Falcons competed in one of the most challenging leagues, filled with state-qualifying competitors on every team they faced. However, their depth and persistence proved the difference. Among the many top Falcons throughout the season was Tionny King, whose performances in the 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and long jump helped the team tremendously until she was sidelined for the remainder of the season with an injury with two league meets left.  Freshman and winter track MVP Gianna Marquez, who was coming off a two-month injury, stepped in for King and excelled.

At the Falcons last event on May 3, which coincided with Senior Day, Deer Park defeated Eastport South Manor for the outright championship.

“These girls never let their teammates forget how much was at stake and motivated them throughout until the end,” said coach Jim Petti. “They battled every meet like it was a championship and understood the importance of what it took to become champions. What began as a dream, became a reality for the Falcons. Congratulations, girls!”