WEST POINT - A year can make a big difference. For the Newburgh Free Academy Lady Goldback Indoor Track Team members, that proved to be a pivotal factor in earning the team’s first OCIAA Indoor Track Championship in four years.
Trailing last year’s champion Cornwall by less than ten points, the then runner-up Lady Goldbacks were determined to change the script this January. They did just that - and more - tallying a first place 94 point total to trump this year’s runner-up Cornwall’s 58.
"We really worked hard and pushed each other as a team; we began we could win it this year, especially after Coach Greene said we could do it," said NFA junior Gianna Frontera, who led the way, earning points in three events, repeating as the 3000 Meter Champion, winning the 1500 Meters and earning a second place in the 1000 Meters. "It felt really good to be able to contribute to our victory."
Also chipping in to the title effort were; Kristina Smith (1st - Long Jump) Aliyah Matta (1st - 55 Meter Hurdles) D’Yanna McCaskill (2nd - 300 Meters and 3rd - 55 Meter Hurdles), Saleen Matta (2nd - Long Jump, 4th - Triple Jump), 3rd in the 4 x 400 Meter Relay, and 4th in the 4 x 200 Meter Relay.
It was a full team effort that did not go unnoticed by the Newburgh coach, Bruce Greene. Realizing his teams’ talent, Greene provided them with a plan for victory. The formula’s success was evident to everyone on the track inside West Point’s Gillis Field House on Saturday afternoon.
"I was very pleased with the outcome of the meet today; the girls did just what we planned," said Greene. "We had some injuries, but other members were able to step up in their place, and we had some great performances, making the girls and myself very excited."
On the boys side, the Goldbacks tallied 21 points, turning in a 7th place overall showing.
Led by junior sprinter Ahkeil Savage, who captured second place in the 55 Meters, several other members turned in solid performances.
Antourn Walden claimed 6th place in the Shot Put. Meanwhile, in the 600 Meter race, Daniel Beliard finished in 7th place, while teammate Kinard Gaynor finished just behind him, claiming 8th. Two good relay showings were also posted; a 2nd in the 4 x 400 Meters and a 4th in the 4 x 200 Meters.
Next up for both Newburgh Free Academy indoor track teams is the OCIAA A Meet on Friday, January 25, 2013, once again in West Point, NY. The meet is currently scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.
Some team members will also be attending another meet, the New Balance Games, on Saturday, January 26, 2013. That meet is to be held at the Armory in New York City, and is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.