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Feb 6, 2018 10:11 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Weiss, Fowkes Earn Spots At Indoor Track State Qualifier

East Hampton senior Robert Weiss was the Small Schools champion in the 55-meter dash. DREW BUDD
Feb 6, 2018 10:23 AM

Robert Weiss of the East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton indoor track team won the 55-meter dash at the Small Schools Championships at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Friday evening, firmly planting himself at the Section XI Championships, otherwise known as the state qualifier, set for Monday, February 12, back in Brentwood.

Weiss, an East Hampton senior, had two solid performances in the 55. In the preliminary race, he ran a personal best 6.67 seconds which was tops among the field of 23. He went back against the top six and won the race in 6.72 seconds. Both times were under the state qualifying time of 6.74 seconds, meaning Weiss only needs to place in the top three at the state qualifier in order to go to the New York State Indoor Track Championships, which are March 3 at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island. According to East Hampton head coach Ben Turnbull, Weiss improved from 20th in Suffolk County to fifth, and 28th in the state.

Ryan Fowkes, an East Hampton junior, placed third in the 1,600-meter race, crossing the finish line in a personal best 4:32.65. Fowkes will attend the state qualifier with his teammate, Weiss, and will compete in both the 1,000 and 1,600-meter races, according to Turnbull.

The indoor track season came to a close for the four girls who were representing East Hampton this season, despite having to compete as independents due to the program not fielding the required 10 athletes to make up an official team. At the girls Small Schools Championships, which were at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Thursday, February 1, Lillie Minskoff and Isabella Espinoza placed 16th and 23rd, respectively, in the 300-meter dash in 46.46 and 49.36 seconds. The pair also placed 22nd and 23rd in the long jump; Espinoza reached 14 feet 1 inch while Minskoff leaped 13 feet 9 inches. Ava Engstrom placed 13th in the 1,500-meter race in 5:21.08. Megan “Mimi” Fowkes placed 11th in the 1,500-meter racewalk in 9:15.77.

East Hampton head coach Yani Cuesta said it was tough for Minskoff and Espinoza because the 300 and long jump were happening simultaneously, something they have never had to deal with before. Cuesta said now that they have experienced that situation it will only prepare them going forward. She added she’s hoping to have a full, official team in the spring.

“I’m proud of all the girls accomplished. Our little team of four had 100 percent attendance at this meet, which is a testament to their hard work and dedication,” she said. “We’re all looking forward to what the spring season will bring.”

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