As the bell lap began in Friday's girls 1,500 meters on the second and final day of the Nassau State Qualifier at Cold Spring Harbor High School, it was anybody's race. After nearly a mile of running, practically the entire field remained packed at the top, a trip to next weekend's New York State Track and Field Championships at the University at Albany hanging in the balance.
"It felt like we were running a workout," Syosset freshman Reilly Siebert, who held the narrowest of leads when the bell clanged, said. "It was a different kind of race."
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Siebert went on to win the race in 4 minutes, 45.97 seconds, battling with Garden City's Steph Gerland once the pack thinned halfway through the closing lap. With 300 meters to go Gerland's first kick edged her ever so slightly ahead, but Siebert withstood that move and never let the Garden City junior get more than a step in front.
"I saw her coming out of the corner of my eye," Siebert said. "I knew that I had to get my kick going and put down the hammer."
Siebert, who had thought she put Gerland away with a move with 250 meters left, was surprised to see her counterpart reappear down the final straightaway, needing to use another kick to outduel her.
"I felt her behind me, so I knew I had to all-out sprint it in," Siebert said.
Gerland crossed second in 4:47.65.
East Meadow's Michael Grady won the boys 1,600 in 4:15.39. He also won the 800 Thursday in 1:55.88. He'll run both events at the state championships, coach Michael Ringhouser said.
Farmingdale's Michael Outing won the Division I 110-meter hurdles in 14.45 seconds. Outing won convincingly, thanks, he said, to the recent perfection of his start.
"The first couple steps, I was going out straight," he said of his start at the beginning of the year. "We just worked on staying a little bit lower for a little bit longer and driving out."
Uniondale's 4 x 400 relay team, composed of Kristina Cherrington, Crystal Green, Michala Webster and Asia Jinks, won in 3:52.61.
Massapequa's John Putnam won the shot put, tossing 49 feet, 11 1/2 inches.