By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer
Coach Ian Clark could not say enough about the performance of the Bronxville boys.
“It was a great weekend--arguably the best ever for the Bronxville boys’ track team,” said Coach Clark. “Both relays were all-American, and one relay won nationals.”
The boys’ sprint medley relay (SMR) won the national title in 3:27.34, a new national #1 time and Westchester/Section 1 record.
It was a gritty performance from the Bronxville boys, who were recovering from spike cuts and busted toenails, and they won with a down-to-the-wire performance.
Seamus Watters led off in the 200m, followed by Tommy O’Connell in the 200m, who then handed the baton to Alex Rizzo. Alex held his ground in the 400m, and when he handed off to brother Matt, the Bronxville team was in fourth place, about 20m behind the leader.
Over the course of four laps, Matt gradually closed the gap and passed the top-ranked 800m high school runner in the country, Alfred Chawonza of St. Benedict’s, in the final seconds of the race.
“Matt ran an absolutely perfect 800, showcasing why he is one of the top runners in the country,” said Coach Clark. “He maintained his composure and ran even splits for each 200.”
National champions in the SMR (L to R): Seamus Watters, Tommy O’Connell, Matt Rizzo, and Alex Rizzo. Photo by C. Rizzo
Click here to view the race.
The boys’ distance medley relay (DMR) ran a 10:07.15, setting a new Section 1/Westchester record by over 13 seconds. Matt Rizzo ran a 2:59 in the 1200m, which, according to officials, had never been done before by a high school runner. Tommy O'Connell ran the 400m, Jack Kochansky ran the 800m, and Alex Rizzo finished it off, running the 1600m.
The DMR finished third overall, with the first-place team, Jungle TC from Virginia, setting a new national record.
“It's every coach's dream to have a season like this,” commented Clark. “I owe it all to the boys, their hard work and their commitment to the team.”
The DMR (L to R): Tommy O’Connell, Alex Rizzo, Matt Rizzo, and Jack Kochansky. Photo by C. Rizzo
The Bronxville girls’ relay teams also had outstanding performances at nationals. The girls’ team sent five relays to the National Championships, the most in Bronxville School history.
The 4x200m relay, Caroline Ircha, Sabrina Mellinghoff, Alisa Kanganis, and Eve Balseiro, placed thirteenth, breaking the Bronxville School record with a time of 1:44.83.
The 4x200m relay (L to R): Coach David Ryan, Caroline Ircha, Sabrina Mellinghoff, Coach Keina Samuels, Alisa Kanganis, and Eve Balseiro. Photo by Jane Ircha
The 4x400m team, Betsy Marshall, Caroline Brashear, Mellinghoff, and Balseiro, placed fifteenth in a time of 3:57.43, the second-fastest time in Bronxville history.
The 4x400m relay (L to R): Caroline Brashear, Eve Balseiro, Sabrina Mellinghoff, and Betsy Marshall. Photo by D. Ryan
Bronxville sent two sprint medley relay teams this year. The first team, Ircha, Mellinghoff, Balsiero, and Brashear, ran the fourth-fastest time in Bronxville history (4:09.52), placing nineteenth. The second team, Kanganis, Milly Koenig, Marshall, and Natalie Weiner, ran a 4:15.81, the eighth-fastest time for Bronxville.
The SMR (L to R): Caroline Brashear, Eve Balseiro, Sabrina Mellinghoff, and Caroline Ircha. Photo by Jane Ircha
Finally, the 4x800m relay, Clio Dakolias, Maeve Sullivan, Weiner, and Brashear, ran a season best of 9:25.59, placing eighteenth. Dakolias (2:20.30) and Sullivan (2:21.35) set personal bests.
L to R: Caroline Brashear, Maeve Sullivan, Natalie Weiner, and Clio Dakolias. Photo by D. Ryan
It was an outstanding weekend for the Broncos, who once again made it clear that Bronxville is the fastest square mile in the U.S.
Pictured at top (rotating): Front row (L to R): Matt Rizzo, Seamus Watters, and Jack Kochansky; back row (L to R): Coach Ian Clark, Tommy O’Connell, Alex Rizzo, and Coach Victor Palumbo (photo by C. Rizzo); L to R: Caroline Brashear, Maeve Sullivan, Natalie Weiner, and Clio Dakolias (photo by D. Ryan).