WHITE PLAINS — “Forever.”
That word means very different things to different people.
To Spring Valley senior Simara Miller, it represents how long she’d wanted to reach 39 feet in the triple jump.
That would be since she began triple jumping in middle school.
Her “forever” wait ended Saturday during the third and final day of the 54th annual Loucks Games, a track and field meet that drew more than 3,500 competitors from 10 states and Canada.
No counting Miller, 43 were in her event and she beat them all.
Miller, whose previous outdoor best in the triple was 37-4, powered and sailed her way to 39-3.
That jump is No. 1 in Section 1 and No. 3 in New York this season among high school girls.
“It means a lot,” said Miller, whose goal at Loucks had simply been to win.
Now, she said, “I’m just shooting for more at this point.”
And Spring Valley head coach Andrew Delva, who thinks Miller would be father along if not losing big chunks of two years to COVID restrictions and shutdowns, is confident she can get more distance before graduating and competing for Oakland University in Michigan.
“She can be a 40-foot jumper. She has that in her,” he said.
Scarsdale’s Diya Shadaksharappa won bronze in the event at a personal-best 38.2.5.
All for one
Miller was the lone local athlete to win gold Saturday in an open championship event, although plenty had personal-best performances and/or medaled.
Some wore the uniforms of local teams and others did not.
The latter included Croton resident Carter Tresgallo of Fordham Prep.
He tied his personal best in clearing 15 feet to win silver in the boys pole vault.
Tresgallo, who hopes to walk on to the track team at Division I Cornell next year, started pole vaulting as a freshman.
“I like competing with myself. I like that it’s an individual and a team sport,” said Tresgallo, who rooted for long-time opponent Nicholas Lourenco of St. Anthony’s to break the meet record of 16-1, which he did, clearing 16-2 for the win.
“We’re all supportive of each other,” Tresgallo said.
And that extended beyond the pole vault.
Before the gun went off to start the boys 400-meter hurdles championship, Jack Gallagher of Yonkers was talking to event favorite Elijah Mallard of Washingtonville.
Mallard advised Gallagher to be aggressive.
Later, Gallagher was grateful.
“I took his advice,” said Gallagher, who broke his personal-best time by just under a second to win silver in 56.51 seconds.
Mallard got the win at 53.47.
Mount Vernon’s Jamar Matthew, who wasn’t even in the top grouping, ran a PB of 68.68 for third and Washingtonville’s Joe Napolitano (59.11) was fourth.
Mallard was also second (14.45) in the boys 110-meter hurdles, behind only Michael Parks of East Syracuse-Minoa (14.42).
Yonkers’ Ben Domingo (16.19) was seventh and Matthew of Mount Vernon was eighth (16.30).
Nanuet’s Sam Dow (PB 1:06.21) was fourth in the girls 400 hurdles, which were won by Paul Robeson’s Kamoy Campbell (1:01.81).
And Mallard, who’ll run for Syracuse next year, anchored Washingtonville’s second-place 4×400 relay team.
He, Jaiden Bradshow, Dion Burroughs and Peter Efinger clocked 3:22.89 to finish behind Greenwich, Connecticut (3:21.42).
Mallard said the goal this spring has been to get down to 3:19/3:20.
“We have a lot more work to do,” he assessed.
Mount Vernon (Nyack College-commit Matthew, Nyack College-commit Shaquian Simeon, sophomore Karran Riley and Albany-commit Jabari Barriffe) ran 3;25.12 for third.
The team has qualified for the rising stars division at nationals.
Baloga second to Canadian Vringer
Cornwall’s Karrie Baloga clocked the fifth fastest girls mile in Loucks history at 4:48.77.
But she ended up with a silver medal because Erin Vringer ran the third fastest all-time time, 4:46.83.
Vringer drove to White Plains with her parents from her family’s home in St. John in the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
Vringer had finished fifth in the Loucks mile in 5;02.29 in 2019 but between COVID cancellation and meet travel restrictions, hadn’t been back.
This was also the first time she’d PB’d in two years, in part due to shin surgery.
“It’s so much fun. It’s such a big meet. … I just love the atmosphere. There are so many people. In New Brunswick, we don’t get so many,” said the University of Utah commit, whose high school outdoor track season has yet to start and is dwarfed by her track club season.
Baloga had held the lead for the better part of three laps but had company throughout.
“I should have asserted dominance in the beginning,” she said.
But she said she’d learned from the race.
And she was also pleased to have retaken second place from Allegany-Limestone’s Angelina Napoleon(4:49.3) and held her off on the straightaway to the finish.
“I’m happy,” Baloga said. “It really just shows my fitness. I think I was grinding my teeth the last 150 meters. It makes me a stronger and faster runner facing these girls.”
Somers’ Luciano, Ursuline’s Negrete win discus silvers
Somers’ Brian Luciano didn’t win the boys discus but it would be hard to find a negative about his performance.
The senior postedt a near 10-foot personal best with his162-7 throw that placed him No. 1 in Section 1 this season and No. 5 in the state.
Joe Licata of New Jersey’s Gill St. Bernard’s School won the discus at 166-6.
Iona Prep’s Chris Milillo (148-8) was fourth.
The girls discus throw went to Auburn’s Bryn Whitman at 120-10.
But not far behind was Ursuline junior Prizila Negrete, who threw a personal-best 117-6 for second after PB’ing and taking third in the girls shot put Friday.
While her placement didn’t earn her the podium, since she was seventh, Clarkstown North’s Ella Maerz PB’d in the discus with a109-9 throw.
Givan gets bronze in 100, Samson bronze in 400
Putnam Valley’s Mia Givan didn’t break her personal record in the girls 100. But she wasn’t complaining.
Givan clocked 12.43 to capture bronze in an event that drew 78 competitors.
“I’m really so excited. I love being pushed. I love the energy,” Givan said. “This is my first time at Loucks. I love it. There’s a lot of talent here. I appreciate the push.”
The talent included Friday’s girls 200 winner, Zionna Perez-Tucker of Mohonasen, who won the 100 in 12.13.
Arlington’s Riley Pettigrew, who finished second behind Perez-Tucker in the 200, medaled in fifth in 12.53.
The boys 400 went to Greenwich, Connecticut’s Andrew O’Donnell in 47.4.
Suffern’s Samson Joseph ran a personal-best 48.99 to capture third.
Cornwall relay wins 4×100 relay gold, Bronxville girls second in 4×800
Cornwall (Jiles Addison, Charles Cypress, Christian Sterling and MarcSean Montero) clocked 42.93 to win the boys 4×100 relay.
Addison thinks the squad, whose PB is 42.6, can cut that to 42.2 or 42.3 if it continues perfecting its handoffs and if he improves his start as the leadoff leg.
Addison was also third (10.87) in the boys 100, which St. Peter’s Prep’s Fitzroy Ledgister won in 10.7.
James O’Neill’s Jadon Spain (11.07) was fourth in the 100.
Ramapo Xavier Gaines finished one spot removed from a medal in sixth at 11.15.
Bronxville’s Hope Hershberg, Maddy Stupart, Kate O’Hare and Ava Black clocked a season-best 9:30.93 to finish second to Simsbury, Connecticut in the girls championship 4×800 relay. .
The Broncos (Juliet Winiecki, Milly Koenig, Danielle Dragoni and Donna Napolitano) also finished second in the championship 4×400 in a season-best 4:02.13.
Paul Robeson blazed to the win in 3:45.65.
North Rockland (Gabriella Cabrera, Esther St. Fort, Skylah Zamor and Dami Modupe) ran a season-best 49.64 to capture third place in the girls 4×100 relay.
North Babylon took the win in 49.35.
Tappan Zee (Cassidy Donovan, Mackey Donovan, Grace Reynolds and Sofia Fenton) won the Nick Panaro girls 4×800 in 9:40.12.
Cornwall (Adriana Cecchetelli, Maris Potter, Lillian Stephenson and Sophia Semo) ran 10:09.19 for fourth.
No local teams medaled in the boys championship 4×800, which North Andover, Massachusetts won in 7:51.04.
But Ketcham ( Connor Hitt, Eddy Corporan, Nicholas Taylor and Nicholas Castorina) came close, finishing sixth in 8:08.78
Locals excel at hurdles
Four of the eight finalists in the women’s 100-meter hurdle finals came from either Section 1 or Section 9.
Brinesha Derrick-Bain of Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn won in 14.82.
But Nyack’s Makayla Dorvil ran a personal-best 15.4 for third place, North Rockland’s Dami Modupe clocked a 15.5 PB for fourth.
Lakeland/Panas’s Grace Adeyeye ran 15.94 for sixth and Cornwall’s Caigan Leonard ran a personal-best 15.97 for seventh.
Dorvil said she was surprised to have even made the final.
“It’s an honor just being able to compete here,” Modupe said.
Both Dorvil, who’ll run next year for Manhattan College, and the junior Modupe hope to qualify for states in the event and hope their performances Saturday will help get them there.
“I think PB’ing helps pump you up for the next meet,” Modupe explained.
Carmel’s Greta Vaughn (2,462 points) took third in the girls pentathlon, Hackley’s Skylar Safriet (2,215 points) was fourth and Hen Hud’s Madeline McKinley (2,109 points) medaled in fifth in the girls pentathlon.
The win went to Baypoint-Blue Port’s Leeann Redlo (3,059 points).
“This is my best ever (finish),” said the senior Vaughn, who’ll compete for Williams College next year.
Vaughn, a four-year pentathlete and former vegan who’s now an “iffy vegetarian,” credits her improvement in part to her change in diet.
What particularly stood out was her 800 run. Last year, she couldn’t break three minutes at the distance. This season, prior to Saturday, she cut her time to 2:40. But at Loucks, she ran 2:31.29.
“It’s amazing. I’ve been dreaming of this since eighth grade,” Vaughn said of medaling at Loucks.
On the boys side, Zachary Carifa won the pent with 3,235 points.
Arlington’s John Zelker, who’ll compete for SUNY-Cortland next year, won bronze with a personal-best 3,034 points.
“I thought I was well-rounded,” said Zelker, who noted he approached the pent seriously, hydrating, stretching and, ultimately, running hard in the 1,500.
Section 1 events and winners
The meet included some races that were restricted to Section 1 athletes. They weren’t as fast overall as the open races but some proved memorable.
Eighth-grader Sloan Wasserman of John Jay-Cross River, for instance, won the girls Section 1 mile in 5:16.5.
Wasserman, who noted she played middle school basketball last winter but will switch to track for the upcoming winter, had run the mile once before this spring, clocking 5:24.21.
“It feels pretty good. It feels super rewarding,” she said of winning gold at Loucks.
Pleasantville’s Adriana Catalano was second (5:20.33) and Fox Lane’s Morgan Eigel (5;23.56) was third.
Arlington’s Ethan Green, who was DQ’d from Friday’s open 3,200 for a lane violation, came back strong, winning the boys Section 1 mile in 4:31.02.
John Jay-East Fishkill’s Tyler Sturomski (4:33.21) was second and Nyack’s Bobby Royston, rebounding from a six-month absence due to a fracture, was third (4:34.42).
“I can’t say I’m satisfied. I’d wanted 4:30 today, Next tine I’ll make it,” reassured Green. “I feel horrible but it was a great race.”
In a fast 4:11.96, Sean Kennedy-Wonneberger of Connecticut’s Nathan Hale-Ray High School captured the boys 100-meter dash.
Section 9’s Evan Waterton of Monticello clocked a personal-best 4:15.43 for fourth.
Curiously, four Section 1 runners clocked 4:21-plus in the race.
Mamaroneck’s Jason Markopoulos (PB 4:21.18) was 13th.
Nyack sophomore Matthew Schutzbank, whose athletic resume until this spring included only bowling, wrestling and baseball, now plans to stick to running after a strong 3,200 finish Friday and his 14th-place, 4:21.4 mile run Saturday.
Pawling’s Noah Brightman finished just behind in 15th in a PB of 4:21.94 and Mamaroneck’s Sam Young PB’d in 4;21.95 for 16th.
Waterton also ran 9:26.5 for third in the boys 3,000 steeplechase.
Niskayuna’s Julian Franjieh won the steeple title in a meet-record 9:08.46.
Saratoga Springs’ Sheridan Wheeler captured the girls 2,000-meter steeplechase in 6:49.71.
Putnam Valley’s Gabriella Randazzo (7:58.34) was the first local finisher, crossing in sixth.
Ashley Brule of West Half Hollow Hills won the girls pole vault at 11-6.
The top local finisher in the girls pole vault was Clarkstown South’s Madison Chalfin, who coming back from an injury, medaled in fifth at 10-6.
No Section 1-area athletes placed in either the boys or girls high jump.
The top jump of the day was a eye-catching 6-8 by Simsbury, Connecticut’s Timothy Watson.
Washingtonville’s Dion Burroughs cleared 6-0 for a fifth-place medal.
Finishing just out of the medals was Clarkstown North’s Chris Merilus, who tied for sixth at a personal-best 5-9.
The girls high jump went to Tia Stapleton of Fairfield Ludlowe at 5-6.
Section 9’s Bianca Staples of Valley Central was second at 5-4.
Weston, Connecticut’s Shea Green won the girls javelin with a 142-2 throw.
Carmel’s Madelyn McMath recorded the best throw among local girls with a sixth-place 99-3.
Freehold Township, New Jersey’s Tyler Zawatski captured the boys javelin at 197-0.
North Rockland’s Brian Rivera medaled in fourth at 158-1, which was a PB.
Lakeland/Panas’s Kyan Muendell just missed a medal, finishing sixth at 154-3.
St. Anthony’s Jordan Spencer (45-6.75) won the boys triple jump and Hackley’s Michael Abbey (43-7.25) won bronze.
St. Anthony’s won both the boys team scoring award and award for highest boys and girls team scoring combined. (Washingtonville was second in boys scoring.)
Paul Robeson was the top scoring girls team.
Nancy Haggerty covers cross-country, track & field, field hockey, skiing, ice hockey, girls lacrosse and other sporting events for The Journal News/lohud. Follow her on Twitter at both @HaggertyNancy and at @LoHudHockey.