Ryan Fowkes is heading to the New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
The East Hampton senior punched his ticket by winning the 2,000-meter steeplechase, in 6:14.30, at the Port Jefferson Steeplefest Plus at Port Jefferson High School on April 23. The qualifying standard for Nationals, which will be June 13 to 16 at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina, was 6:15.
Fowkes had said that qualifying for the New York State Championships, and breaking 4:20 in the 1,600-meter race, were goals coming into the season—but qualifying for Nationals, in any event, was also high on his list.
East Hampton head coach Ben Turnbull said his best chance to make it to the state meet is in the 1,600, but he noted that it is a stacked field, with six runners vying for just two spots. Either way, Turnbull said, it will be fun for him to accompany Fowkes to Nationals—since he ran in the same exact race, the 2,000-meter steeplechase, in the same exact competition 19 years ago.
The Bonackers actually had four runners place in the top six of the 2,000 steeple, with Frank Bellucci placing fourth, in 7:34; Matt Maya placing fifth, in 8:09; and Devon Merritt, sixth, in 8:45.96. Evan Massi won the freshman 2,000-meter steeplechase, in 6:59.46, and he was followed by teammate Amari Gordon, who finished in 7:21.06.
Maya also reached a personal best in the high jump, clearing 5 feet 10 inches.
The Bonackers also went to the Westhampton Beach Invitational on Saturday. Fowkes won the 800-meter run, in 2:02.05; Masi broke the 5:00 mark in the 1,600-meter race, crossing the finish line in 4:57.22; and Bellucci finished the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in a personal-best 63.67 seconds, good for 10th out of 25 participants. Merritt, Bellucci, Maya and Fowkes placed third in the sprint medley relay, which is back-to-back 200-meter dashes, plus 400- and 800-meter runs consecutively.
East Hampton (1-3 in League VI) hosts Amityville in what is the dual-meet season finale for both teams this Friday, May 3, at 4:30 p.m. The St. Anthony’s Invitational also begins Friday and runs through Saturday.
A week later, East Hampton will host its own invitational, the East End Classic, for both boys and girls, at the high school. Competition begins Friday, April 10, at 4:30 p.m. and will resume the following morning at 10 a.m.
The Lady Bonackers followed the same schedule as their male counterparts, competing in the Port Jeff Steeplefest Plus on April 23 and then the Westhampton Beach Invitational on Saturday.
Emma Hren finished third in the freshman 2,000-meter steeplechase in Port Jeff, in 8:44.95. East Hampton head coach Yani Cuesta said Hren was nervous going into the race, having never ran it before, but she did very well.
Ava Engstrom placed fifth in the open 2,000-meter steeplechase, in 7:46.56. Helen Barranco and Elizabeth Camacho each competed in the discus, in what Cuesta said was a good learning experience for both, since they are new to big competition meets. Barranco finished 10th with a throw of 68 feet 10 inches, and Camacho finished 14th with a throw of 64 feet 5 inches.
At the Westhampton Beach Invitational, Bella Tarbet placed sixth in the novice 1,500-meter race, in 5:36.24. Engstrom placed ninth, in a season’s-best 5:09.15, in the open 1,500, and Hren finished the freshman 1,500 in 5:45.56, winning her heat.
Hanna Medler placed sixth in the novice 400-meter run in a personal-best 69.36 seconds; Lillie Minskoff placed ninth in the open 100-meter dash, in 13.67 seconds; Megan “Mimi” Fowkes placed fourth in the open 1,500-meter race walk, in a personal-best 8:10.45; and Marlena Bellucci finished eighth in the freshman 100-meter hurdles, in 21.78 seconds.
The Lady Bonackers have their final dual meet of the season this Friday, May 3, at Amityville at 4:30 p.m., and several athletes also will be attending the St. Anthony’s Invitational this weekend.