Wheatley’s Romano, Manhasset’s Park shine brightly at state track meet

Wheatley’s Romano, Manhasset’s Park shine brightly at state track meet
The Wheatley School's Sydney Romano finished third in the discus throw in the state meet at Middletown High School on June 10. Photo credit: Sydney Romano

Sydney Romano thought her ears were deceiving her.

No way the official at the New York State High School Athletic Association state track meet on June 10 said what she thought he said, right?

The Wheatley School junior came into the meet hoping to possibly break 120 feet in the discus throw, her signature track event, and on her third toss of the first round at Middletown High School, she uncorked a beauty.

But still, did she hear right? The official said 126 feet, two inches. That’s nuts.

“I actually turned to someone else and asked “wait, what did he say?” she recalled with a laugh. “I had no idea I had thrown it that far. I think I’ve only hit 125 in practice a couple of times, so I was very very excited.”

Romano’s personal-best discus throw delighted her coaches, Robert Capobianco and Tim Schwalm, and was good enough to give the junior third place in the state in Division 2.

Pretty impressive considering track and field is something Romano only does a few months a year; the rest of the calendar sees her stopping shots and booming goal kicks in soccer. After considering several colleges she has “committed to the admissions process at Princeton,” Ivy League language that means she’ll be playing soccer there.

“They really have a beautiful campus and a great program, and I felt it was a great fit right away when I visited,” Romano said.  “I just really felt a bond with the program.”

Romano matched her third-place states finish in 2022 but threw the discus 11 feet farther. She said her increased explosiveness through soccer training helps her a lot in discus.

“I knew the competition was going to be really strong this year; some of these girls can throw 130,” Romano said. “I did a lot of strength work with the coaches and really tried to get my technique exactly right before states.”

Romano’s third place finish was the best among area female athletes, but some members of the Manhasset boys team also had strong state meets.

Paul Park, the state champion of the triple jump during indoor season, battled a heel injury for the last several months but still managed to have an outstanding meet at states. Park finished second on June 10 in long jump in Division I, with a leap of 22-2.50, and placed fifth in the triple jump, with a final leap of 45.4.25.

Still, despite the two top-5 finishes to end a wonderful Manhasset career, Park wasn’t happy with the meet.

“I was a little disappointed, because I was hoping to be state champ again,” Park said. “I wasn’t necessarily disappointed where I placed, but I was disappointed where I jumped.
“I had been jumping pretty well, but I really fell off at the state meet.”
Park’s left heel injury, which he said he’s been told may be nerve damage in the foot, hampered his takeoffs, he said, and despite trying to rest and manage the injury through the spring, it was still bothering him all the way up to states.
“We were so proud of his ability to persevere and  still find his way to the podium in both events in spite of being far from 100% and in pain,” Manhasset track and field coach Steve Steiner said. “He will certainly go down as one of the finest athletes to ever come through our program.”
Park, who’s headed to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall to continue his education and his jumping career, said he tried to mentally tell himself to power through the pain, since it was his final high school meet.
“I was having trouble finding the board, and I was failing pretty often,” Park said. “But I’m still happy that I pushed through and gave it my all.”
Park said he looks forward to the challenge of college jumping.
“I’m a little scared; they are Division I, I know how good they are,” he said. “But I’m really glad I’ll get to compete alongside and against so many talented people.”
In addition to Park’s performance, Manhasset’s 4×800 boys relay team finished eighth. The team was comprised of John Hogan, Ryan Boldi, Cole Thalheimer (all sophomores) and junior Kenneth Lee, and ran the race in 8:03.35

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here