The track and field coaches at Uniondale High School are very proud of the efforts turned in by the athletes in the Section VIII or Nassau County championship meet in winning their 30th overall championship.
It was teamwork, led by Nyder Chardonette, a native of Haiti, in the 55-meter high hurdles with a winning time of 7.82 in the semi-final round and 7.79 clocking in the finals, and by running an opening leg of the third place 1600-meter relay team during his last year at Uniondale High. Chardonette thus defended his title in the hurdles.
A two-sports athlete, Chardonette helped to pace Uniondale to the team crown and in the process earned all-County honors as he heads into the State meet and then the outdoor or spring track and field season.
“It’s a great honor to add on to the legacy here at Uniondale,” said Assistant Coach Elijah Blue. “We have a lot of good kids (who) work hard for us. I’m very proud of all of them.”
And Chardonette, a versatile athlete leads the way in his senior year as he is graduating come June, thus stepping up to another level of competition.
“Chardonette looks great, and had a performance well done,” said Blue. “He’s a great kid and a great competitor. Everybody around likes him. He’s very personable, always congratulating other guys. His progress has been tremendous. And he plays soccer in the fall.”
In fact, Chardonette, a forward on the booter squad, became the first high school soccer all-American athlete in the school’s history last fall. He has been playing it for most of his life.
“He was real pleased and very happy about being an all-American,” Blue went on during the Section VIII track meet at St. Anthony’s High School in Huntington. “Also he’s a pretty humble kid. After getting that honor, he focused more on his track. His goal is to get All-American (honors) in track, as well.”
Chardonette, who is among the top hurdlers on Long Island, started running when he attended middle school in Uniondale, but did not take it seriously at the time. He has since progressed tremendously.
In addition by playing soccer made him still quicker. Some sports such as football or soccer plus indoor and outdoor track could be very helpful to the athlete, especially on the high school level.
“It (plus a little weight training) actually helps prepare the kids with a lot of exposure,” continued Blue, who ran at Uniondale and then at New York Tech college. “One (sport) helps the other.”
“Soccer helps an athlete more for running than does football, because the athlete is constantly running (in the former sport),” said Freeport’s Jonathan Greenwood, winner of the 600-meter run in the County meet in 1:22.46.
Freeport finished with 29 points good for sixth place in a field of 24 scoring high schools.
Chardonette will continue with soccer in college but is unsure that he will do both sports on the next level. He hopes to stay in the immediate area for college. If he has a choice of the two sports, he would go with soccer. He likes everything about soccer.