Royals Running Returns with Optimism

Massimo Cipriano Sports Jan 30, 2021

Last March, athletes across the nation were disappointed to have their Spring Seasons cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown. Almost a year later, Port Jefferson has finally been able to return to athletic action, starting with its winter track program. The season opened with a home meet against Shelter Island and Southold on January 17.

The Royals hit the ground running. The boys put on a dominant display, racking up points in a variety of events. Senior Brian Veit led the way with first place finishes in the 1000 (2:52) and the mile (4:49). When asked about how he felt running his first races since November 2019, Veit said he’s been “yearning for competition for the last 15 months, and it’s just awesome to be back and have that competitive nature come back to the sport.”

His teammates seemed to feed off of that same energy. The boy’s opening victory was highlighted by sophomores Frankie Andriani and Teppei Fukuto leading the 55 meter hurdles (10.4, 10.5), with sophomore Brady DeWitt and junior Andrew Patterson finishing first and second in the 300 (41.4, 41.9), and sophomore Brendan Capodanno winning the 3200, followed by junior Gray Joyner (11:58, 12:28).

Brian Veit and Grant Samara finishing the mile in first and third place.

The girls did not emerge victorious on their end, but there were several impressive performances that should yield immense optimism for their meets to come. Junior Kasumi Layne-Stasik had a standout day in the field, placing first in the long jump (11’9”) and third in the shot put (20’5”). Fellow junior Lucy DeWitt finished first in the 300 (51.9) and third in the triple jump (23’10”). Sophomore Jenna Jacobs won the 55 (8.0), and eighth grader Gwen Connelly won the 600 (2:07.8). Their efforts culminated in a thunderous 4x200 relay by Layne Stasik, Connelly, DeWitt, and Jacobs that earned first place to close the afternoon (2:11.8).

The Royals were firing from all cylinders in their first day of action, and we expect to see them improve as the season continues.

Jenna Jacobs sprinting to finish the 4x200 relay

Massimo Cipriano

Massimo, a senior, is the editor of the sports column. An aspiring sports journalist, he attended a USC sports journalism summer program. He also runs a sports blog, The Step Back.

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