Manhasset boys track and field wins major matches, eyes relay state title

Manhasset boys track and field wins major matches, eyes relay state title
Ryan Boldi (front) and the Manhasset boys indoor track and field team captured the Class B county title, and five runners are headed for the state meet. Photo courtesy of Manhasset H.S.

Track and field is that most democratic of team sports. In basketball or baseball or football, one or two dominant players can lead a whole team to victory, overshadowing the rest.

But for a squad to win a team track and field meet, just about everyone has to pull their weight. Sprinters have to sprint, distance runners have to endure, and field athletes have excel.

And you also need a few surprise performances if you’re going to win, and Manhasset boys track and field got all of those things to happen on Feb. 6.

Led by coach Steve Steiner, Manhasset captured its first indoor crown since 2020, and in doing stopped Valley Stream North’s dominant run of nine consecutive indoor team titles.

In scoring the 99-95 win in the Class B meet, Manhasset showed the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts.

“Not only do you need the winners at a meet like this, you need all the fourth and fifth place finishers we got, because every point matters,” Steiner said. “We had more depth than we’ve had in recent years, and I’m just so proud of all the kids.”

Leading the way was meet MVP junior Cole Thalheimer, who won three events: the 600 meter run (1:24.92), the 300 meters (35.95 seconds) and was a part of the 4×400 meter relay that also beat all comers.’

“They’re all different races and challenging in their own way,” Thalheimer said. “It was great seeing so many different kids step up.”
Also excelling on the track were junior Ryan Boldi, who won the 1,000 in 2:39.16, and the 4×800 relay team of John Hogan, Nicolas Katsoulis, Tommy Sheerin and Mychal Duffy, who won in 8:37.83
“It meant a lot to beat Valley Stream, because they’ve been so good for so long,” Boldi said. “We thought we had a good shot, and then at the end, we weren’t totally sure we had won, the officials were checking on a few events and then finally they told us we had won, and we went nuts.”
One of the performances Steiner said he didn’t expect was the shotput win by junior Tristan Chang. Chang, who’d never touched the shotput until a few months ago, steadily improved throughout the season and then uncorked a throw of 43 feet, 10.75 inches to grab first place.
“He went from being a total novice to county champ, because he worked hard at it and has great natural athleticism,” Steiner said.
A few days after the county meet Manhasset continued to excel at the New York State qualifier meet on Feb. 12, with five athletes advancing to the Feb. 27 state indoor meet on Staten Island.
A 4×800 relay team of Kenneth Lee, Thalheimer, Hogan and Boldi is a threat to win the state crown (in indoor season, all Classes compete against each other), as Steiner said their best combined teams stack up against all other competitors this season, while individually senior Tommy Sheerin met the state qualifying standard in the 1,600 meter run.
“I think we have great chemistry, the four of us, and definitely have a chance to win,” Boldi said. “Each guy does their part.”
Sheerin credited the team’s success in cross country season as carrying over to winter.
“Everybody who ran great (in the fall) kept building and working and getting better this winter,” Sheerin said. “And then getting to know the new guys who didn’t run cross country, and all of us coming together has been awesome.”

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