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Falcons Take Flight Indoors at The Armory

Track & Field Falcons Take Flight Indoors at The Armory
Posted on 05/14/2019
Track & Field Falcons Take Flight Indoors at The Armory

The Flatbush Girls & Boys Track & Field Teams hit the ground running – and jumping and throwing – at the first ever indoor meet in League history on Tuesday night (5/14) as the Falcons saw the girls finish first and the boys take second overall out of nine MYHSAL schools in the final regular season tune up at the famed Armory Track in Upper Manhattan, NY before the MYHSAL Championships next week.

 Fastest Track in the World

In a season that has already seen one meet shortened and two others cancelled due to unseasonal rainfall, the indoor venue of The Armory was definitely a respite from the weather, and it was a boon as well providing not only a classic venue for track competition, but a potential for a boatload of personal best performances on a surface well known to be one of the fastest tracks in the world. The Armory serves as host to the Millrose Games, New York City’s annual premier indoor track competition that draws top track and field athletes from across the globe and also serves as a primary training facility for USA Track and Field, the sports’ governing body in the United States. For Flatbush’s Head Coach Lorelei Black, a former world-class runner, it was an opportunity to return to one of her favorite venues as an athlete, and a chance to open the eyes of her Falcon tracksters to what it is like to compete in a premier venue.

 the Armory

It was certainly fortuitous that the meet was being held in an indoor venue, as the weather was a definite factor, delaying the arrival of the Flatbush team bus. With minimal time to acclimate to the shorter oval of the indoor facility, the Falcons nevertheless were ready when the whistle blew to release the runners in each and every heat.

 Coach Black with David Guy

From the start, the Flatbush girls let the competition know they were here to run, and run fast! This was the final trial run in advance of the championships, and the Falcons would take advantage. The first event was the 400m, and Alyssa Shaaya secured the first points of the meet for the Falcons with a second place finish, circling the 200m oval twice in a time of 1:23.9 seconds. Teammate Ginger Beyda placed 6th. It was the start of a run that saw a Flatbush female score in every single event of the meet. The middle distances saw Sarit Alkaada take the 3rd place points first in the 1600m, then follow that up by earning the 2nd place points in the 800m. Her rival from SAR finished first in both events.

Alyssa Shaaya
 they're off Sarit Alkaada

The sprints saw multiple Flatbush runners turn in strong performances. In the 55m (a distance only contested indoors – outside these runners would race at a distance of 100m), Flatbush had four runners finish in the top 10. Rachel Skaba placed second with a time of 8.3 seconds (.6 seconds behind the winner from Ma’ayanot), with Elizabeth Nadjar, Serena Betesh and Jessica Saadia finishing in 5th, 6th and 8th places respectively. In the 200m, Lynn Pichotto, running in her first meet ever for Flatbush, earned points with a 4th place finish in a time of 35.5 seconds (3 seconds off the winning pace from Ma’ayanot). Rachel Skaba placed 9th.

 Girls 55m

The field events were another area of strength for the Falcons. The Long Jump saw Elizabeth Nadjar and Jessica Saadia tie for 4th place overall with jumps of 11 feet even (Ma’ayanot won with a jump of 12’9”).

Jessica Saadia Elizabeth Nadjar

But it was the Shot Put that saw Flatbush score its only first place finish of the night. Victoria Angel won the event outright with a toss of 23 feet, 3 inches. Her throw was well over two feet further than her nearest competitor, the thrower from Heschel. Teammates Elizabeth Nadjar and Flora Mamiye finished in 5th and 7th respectively.

Flora Mamiye  
Victoria Angel Victoria Angel

 The final event for the girls was the 4x200m relay. Flatbush had two teams entered in the event, and the foursome of Sarit Alkaada, Alyssa Shaaya, Lynn Pichotto and Elizabeth Nadjar took second place overall in a time of 2:23.8, 1.5 seconds behind the winning time from SAR. Proving that track is truly a team effort, even though Flatbush finished first in only one event all night, the Falcons outscored all others with a total of 62 points. However, it was not like Flatbush ran away and hid. SAR was right on their tails with 59 points, and Ma’ayanot was not far behind either with 57 points. Kushner placed 4th, Heschel finished 5th and the IDEA School placed 6th. With the competition so close, next week’s championships promise to be a great contest!

 Relay 2 Baton exchange
Relay 1

The Flatbush boys turned in some quality performances of their own at The Armory as well. In his first meet of the season, Senior sprint specialist Perry Sanders showed he is still the class of the short distances. Aaron Nadjar was almost equally as impressive in his first time on the track this season as well.
However, it took a while for the Falcon boys to get on the scoreboard, as they were unable to crack the top five in any of the middle distance races. Joey Alhadeff gave his all, finishing in 9th place in the 400m and 7th place in the 800m. In the 1600m, David Shalem finished in 9th place for the Falcons.

 Joey Alhadeff

The meet soon moved to the shorter distances, and that proved to be a different story for Flatbush. The 55m dash reminded all in attendance just how swift Perry Sanders is. As soon as the whistle released the runners, Sanders was off and by the midway point he had begun to separate himself from the pack. He crossed the line so quickly, not a soul was close in the photo frame. Aaron Nadjar finished 4th and David Guy placed 9th overall. Sanders shined in the 200m as well. Though the margin was not as great, the win was equally convincing. Running on a banked oval for the first time, he took advantage of the kick it gives you coming down off the turn and pulled away down the final stretch for the win in a time of 25.8 seconds. David Guy added points to the team total with his 5th place finish, while Aaron Nadjar placed 8th.

 Perry Sanders wins the 55m

The 4x200m relay was another chance for Flatbush to add first place points, but their chances took a blow when Sanders was unable to run the anchor leg due to unexpected fatigue. Coach Black shuffled the lineup, and the team of Aaron Nadjar, Benjamin Helwa, Oren Yeheskiel and David Guy pushed themselves to the limit in an effort to pick up their ailing teammate. Guy moved into the anchor leg, and in an amazing performance he closed the gap in more than half of what it was when he received the baton. It was an impressive effort by the four-man team, good enough for 3rd place overall (4 seconds behind the winning time from TABC; Rambam finished in 2nd place).

 Boys relay baton exchange 1 Boys relay baton exchange 2
Boys relay team

The field events wrapped up the night of competition at the Armory, specifically the boys Long Jump. The Shot Put ran throughout the evening, and Flatbush’s only entrant, Aaron Nadjar, took 2nd place with a throw of 29’4” (a little less than 3 feet behind the winning toss from TABC). The Long Jump also was contested over the course of the evening, but it proved to also be the last event to finish on the night.  David Guy took his jump earlier in the evening; it was good enough for 5th place.

 David Guy flies in the Long Jump

But, it was the final contestant that would prevail over all the others. Having passed on the relay, Perry Sanders had recuperated enough to take a crack at the Long Jump. With calm and ease, Sanders paced off his mark, placing the low cone in just the right place. Given the “all clear” from the judge, Sanders took off down the runway. He hit the toe-board and elevated into the air. With one leap, Sanders had gone farther than all the other competitors. “One-Jump Perry” traveled 16 feet, 1 inch. He asked the judge if that was the best jump of the night. When she confirmed it was, Sanders was done and the meet was in the books.

 One Jump Perry Sanders wins with one jump

The Falcon boys finished the night in 2nd place, though well behind the winning team from TABC. Kushner finished in 3rd, Rambam took 4th, SAR placed 5th, Heschel earned 6th and DRS & IDEA tied for 7th place overall.

Afterwards, the Flatbush runners were exhausted from their efforts, but equally energized by both their performance and the experience of running at this special venue.

NEST NOTES: The Armory meet concluded the regular season schedule for the MYHSAL. The final event of the year will be the MYHSAL Championships which are scheduled for Thursday, May 23, at Boverini stadium in Passaic, NJ. Start time for the meet is 7:00 pm.

A special note of thanks must be given to Tom Healy and Jonathan Schindel of The Armory Foundation who worked closely with Coach Black and the Flatbush Athletic Administration in helping make this event such a great success for the MYHSAL.  Hopefully, it is just the beginning of a long and successful relationship!

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