To win four long races in a two-day meet, it takes more than just stamina or speed. It takes a game plan, and the foresight to conserve energy when possible.
After winning the Suffolk Division I 3,000 meters (10:18.77) and 800 meters (2:17.08) Tuesday at Northport, Sachem East junior Alexandra DeCicco began the 1,500 meters Thursday content with sticking with the pack.
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"You almost have to think about it like pulling a trigger slowly," DeCicco said. "In the back of my mind, I knew I had the 4 x 800 later. So I just had to conserve energy and pick the right moment to let it all loose."
After two laps, DeCicco made her move. She finished in 4:43.11 to win her third title at the Suffolk girls division championships. Two hours later, DeCicco was fresh for the 4 x 800-meter relay, which she and teammates Jillian Manfredi, Ciara Murphy and Kaylie Wessberg won in 9:30.71. The victory gave Sachem East 112 points. That clinched the Division I title and snapped Bay Shore's four-year win streak.
"The relay was extra special because you share the same emotions with three other runners," DeCicco said.
Kathleen Cibuls, who won the 100-meter hurdles (15.53), 400 hurdles (1:05.56) and 400 dash (59.13) to help Bayport-Blue Point (126 points) claim its fifth consecutive Division III title, had a slightly different approach for her shorter races.
"Plan about your events ahead of time," Cibuls said, "but then during each event, don't think about anything else. Just run as fast as you can."
In the Division III 200-meter dash, Lauren Lorefice never held anything back. The Westhampton senior had an early lead before winning in 27.0 seconds, just ahead of Islip's Alexis Harper (27.07).
After the race, Lorefice made sure to approach Harper for a handshake. "I just wanted her to know that even though one person had to win, it was a great race," Lorefice said. "She's a lot younger than me. I remember older girls coming over and shaking my hand when I was younger. That always meant a lot."
Huntington (91 points) edged East Islip (89) in Division II for its first county title.