North’s Smith, Irving switch sports

Valley Stream North’s track and field team has gotten stronger and deeper over recent years. North captured the Nassau County Class Outdoor team title last spring and repeated last winter with the indoor team in its Class. High school track and field programs are divided among three sections based on enrollment, not on ability.

Head Track and Field Coach Mike Frazer is relying on a team effort scoring very well across the board. Some of the athletes are two or even three sports ones, playing soccer or football during the fall, basketball during the winter, and outdoor track during the spring.

Two of Valley Stream North’s senior athletes at the school fall into the latter category.

Trayon Smith, whose father, Everold Hunt, is a native of Jamaica, West Indies where he did not get involved in any sports.

Since the family lived in Jamaica, Queens, Smith at first attended PS 223. After his family eventually moved to Valley Stream, Long Island, Traynor attended Valley Stream Memorial for his education. And then he ended up in his district school of VSN, where basketball has been his main activity.

“It’s pretty good here at North, as a lot of people know each other (in this community),” he said during a recent track & field practice after school hours. “My specialty is the triple jump.”

His personal best triple jump in a meet came when he cleared 35 feet 2 inches, as a junior.

Throughout the whole season, he tried to play basketball and at the same time keep in shape for track.

“Last year I came out for track & field for the first time and really liked it,” he said.

“Making the transition from basketball to track wasn’t easy,” Smith added. “Track helped me for basketball as there is a lot of jumping in basketball. Coach threw me into the jumps and races. My goal this year is to reach the State Meet.”

Another multi-sport athlete is Dondre Irving, who as a senior, put on a school soccer uniform in the fall.

Originally Dondre’s father Norman Irving, also comes from Jamaica, and like Hunt, did not play any sports while he was living down south.

In soccer, Dondre, a forward, and came to Valley Stream from Elmont. He earned all-County honors in the fall. During the winter, he switched to and played basketball.

“It’s easy going from soccer to basketball,” the student athlete said. “The only difference is running outside as opposed to inside. We don’t miss any days of practice, for when one sport ends the other one begins. On the basketball team, I averaged about 10 points a game.”

“There is no real transition going from basketball to track (in the spring). We don’t miss any practice days unless there are playoffs.”

Valley Stream North High can go far this season.

“I believe that we’ll win the County championship,” Frazer said. “We’re covered in every single event and we are deep. We will be tough to beat this year. This is probably our best track team event. Manhasset, our major competitor, is always good, Roosevelt is also good.”

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