When Mary Chimezie crossed the finish line Wednesday night, the crowd noise told those that may not have been watching what they had missed.
The Half Hollow Hills East senior broke the Suffolk State Qualifier 300 meter meet record in 39.94, running through the finish to the audience’s gasps and cheers in her last meet at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. The previous record was 40.02, set in 2000 by Chinny Offer of Half Hollows Hills District.
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“My coaches told me the meet record was a 40 and as soon as I crossed the line and I heard the whole crowd, I knew I had it,” Chimezie said.
Her first-place standing was never much in doubt, as Chimezie sprinted down the stretch with a comfortable lead, as comfortable as an all-out sprint over 300 meters can get.
“The first 100 meters, I always want to go out strong and get ahead of the pack,” Chimezie said. “As soon as I pass the 100 line, I zone in and try to get to the finish first.”
Chimezie will be capping her senior year with her fifth trip to the indoor state championships at Cornell University in Ithaca on March 5. That means another chance to improve on her indoor time, but another result takes precedence.
“I hope to come in first place at states,” Chimezie said. “I just want to win the race and if a 38 comes, then ok.”
West Babylon’s Brittany Korsah and Connetquot’s Bryana Padula will join her, finishing second (41.17) and third (41.74) to qualify.
Meg Tuthill of Mercy won the 1,000 meters in 2:55.26 with one of her trademark late-race takeovers. She trailed Alexandra DeCicco of Sachem, who took the pace out fast. But when the time came, Tuthill took the lead with a lap to go, powering down the stretch in a close finish. DeCicco crossed in 2:56.12.
“I think it played into my hands perfectly,” Tuthill said. “I don’t think it could have gone better, to be honest.”
Aviana Goode of Bay Shore set a meet record for the long jump with a leap of 19 3⁄4 . It surpassed Bay Shore’s Anisa Toppin who set the mark of 18-10 3⁄4 in 2013. Goode also won the 55 meter high hurdles in 8.02.