By Peter Briguglio
The spring season has all but wrapped up in the Region XV sports scene, and plenty of teams have found both regional and national success. Teams throughout the Region have had great success, none more so than Suffolk Community College, who has made four National appearances this spring.
Suffolk, who earned the #1 seed in the DIII baseball event, marched through the Region XV Tournament bracket with ease, going a perfect 3-0 to punch their ticket to the NJCAA World Series. Nassau put up a tough fight in the decisive game 6, but ultimately fell by a score of 5-4. The National Tournament took place May 28-June 1 in Kinston, NC.
In Division II action, the #1 seed Westchester Vikings faced more adversity but ultimately came out on top in the Region XV Tournament. #3 Sullivan began the event by upsetting Rockland 9-0 and then blew out the Vikings 10-0, but Westchester was able to remain alive in the loser’s bracket and defeated Sullivan in consecutive games to claim the title. Unfortunately, Westchester was unable to emerge from the District Championship and earn a bid into the NJCAA Tournament.
Similar fate felled the Monroe Mustangs. After claiming the Region XV Division I crown over ASA, Monroe advanced to the Eastern District Championship game but was knocked off in convincing fashion by Harford. The Mustangs’ 12-4 loss ended their season with a record of 38-16.
Suffolk’s DIII Softball team also managed to make a national appearance after going undefeated in the Region XV Tournament and claiming the District H title against Montgomery. The Sharks only needed one game to eliminate Nassau from contention in the Regional event and then marched through the District with ease. A 13-0 drubbing of Montgomery punched their ticket to Nationals, however the team earned the #8 seed and was knocked into the loser’s bracket early by eventual national champion Rock Valley. They then dropped a tough 7-6 loss to Rowan-Gloucester to end their season.
In Division II, Orange earned the Regional title over Monroe but couldn’t advance any further as Region 3’s Mercyhurst North East ended their year in the District tournament.
Rockland won the Region XV Championship to earn a NJCAA bid, and while the team didn’t find much success as a whole, Lysander Payano Almonte won an individual national title at #2 singles.
Nassau earned the Region XV crown by 40 strokes over second-place Suffolk. Chris Lambrou of the Lions led individually by 11 strokes. In additional to the Nassau team, five other tournament entrants qualified for the national event, which is scheduled for June 7-10 in Chautaqua, NY.
Suffolk’s impressive spring season began with dual national titles in men’s and women’s outdoor track and field — the first in school history for each team — at the NJCAA DIII Outdoor Track and Field Championships on May 7-8. The men’s team brought home four individual champions and five All-Americans, while the women’s team had two national champions and ten All-Americans.
On the track, sprinter Sam Pollucci won the women’s 100m dash in 12.69 seconds and earned All-American status placing second in the 200m with a time of 25.74 seconds. Ryleigh Donegan won the women’s 5,000 meter run in 19:20.63. Sophomore Leana Wiebelt broke the school record in the 10,000 meter run with a time of 41:31.12, earning All-American status. Menely Genao earned All-American in the 1500 running 4:57.94.
In the field events, Taylor Van Nostrand earned All-American honors by vaulting 2.91m (9’6.5”) in the pole vault. All-American Ebonie Lewis placed second in the shot put with a throw of 10.58m (34’8.5”).
The women’s 4×100 and 4×800 relay teams earned All-American status running season best times. The 4×100 team consisting of Tasmere Lee, Ashley Mack, Ebonie Lewis, and Sam Pollucci ran the race in 48.94 seconds and the 4×800 ran in 10:10.90.
On the men’s side, Suffolk cleaned up in field events. Micah-Assibey Bonsu won the triple jump with a jump of 14.30 meters (46’11”). Cordell Nix won the men’s high jump with a jump of 1.95m (6’4.75”). School record holder Connor Langdon won the decathlon, placing first in the decathlon 100, long jump, high jump, 400, 110 hurdles and 1500m run. Langdon also placed second in the high jump with a jump of 1.95m (6’4.75”), earning All-American status. Sophomore Jesse Mattera earned All-American in both the decathlon and the pole vault. Mattera won the decathlon, shot put, discus, javelin and pole vault with a personal best vault of 4.05m (13’ 3.5”).
On the track, Sam Chimezie ran a 54.22 to win the 400m hurdles by one second. Chimezie also placed second in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.19 seconds, earning his second All-American title.
These successes come after the women also claimed the Cross Country national title back in the fall. The men finished fifth in that event.