Local high schools excel at state qualifier track and field meet

Local high schools excel at state qualifier track and field meet

By Samantha Rutt

In a showcase of athletic prowess, high school athletes from across Suffolk County displayed their skills at the annual State Qualifier track and field meet on Feb. 14. With fierce competition and a spirited atmosphere, athletes gathered at Suffolk Credit Union Arena in Brentwood to compete for a chance to advance to the state championships.

The meet saw remarkable performances from several local athletes, with many students securing qualifying positions in various events. Notable among them was a standout from Ward Melville High School, senior Brian Liebowitz, who earned the top mark in the 1600 meters with a time of 4:26.02, qualifying for the state championships on March 2. His teammate, Jon Seyfert, a junior, also earned a spot in the state championships, finishing second in the 1000 meters with a time of 2:37.74. 

The Lady Patriots displayed exceptional teamwork as they finished in second place, securing a qualifying position in the 4×800-meter relay. The quartet of junior Melina Montgomery, freshmen Julia Schmitz and Elizabeth Wright, and senior Amanda Probst ran 9:31.24. 

“We stayed confident in our abilities and ran for each other,” Probst said. “We put in so much hard work, effort and time, and it truly was an amazing feeling to finally qualify. We knew we were ready and prepared, but to actually do so is an amazing feeling.”

As the dust settles on another thrilling meet, these athletes now focus on the state championships held at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, where they will go head-to-head with the best high school athletes from across the state. 

“I’m really looking forward to states and nationals, of course, to end this winter season on a high note, but now looking forward, I am really excited for spring season to begin,” Probst said. “It’s my final season with my team before I leave high school for college, and it makes me really upset thinking about leaving them, but I’m also excited for what’s to come this season. I look forward to seeing what my team and I will achieve.”