Floyd's Zariel Macchia wins 1,000 meters at Suffolk state qualifier...

Floyd's Zariel Macchia wins 1,000 meters at Suffolk state qualifier on Feb. 14 at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Here’s a headline for Zariel Macchia’s winter season – the winning continues.

Macchia, the Floyd freshman who was the best cross-country runner on Long Island this season and has been the best in Suffolk for at least two seasons, racked up another win Saturday afternoon, taking home the two-mile championship in 10 minutes, 17.09 seconds at Nike Indoor Nationals at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island. Her time broke the Suffolk indoor record of 10:24.73, set by Mount Sinai’s Sarah Connelly in 2019, according to Suffolkxctf.com

Although the record was not in her sights, Macchia saw special significance in taking it from Connelly. The two are summer training partners and the Floyd freshman looks up to Connelly, who graduated in 2020.

"She’s a great runner, great person, and an awesome racer," Macchia said of Connelly. "….I definitely did not think I would break her record coming into this race. That was something that I was hoping I would do, maybe, junior or senior year. It was surprising and exciting."

As for the race on Saturday, Macchia beat Connecticut’s Rachel St. Germain by 4.27 seconds.

"I was pretty confident," Macchia said. "I had worked on my speed throughout the season and had a great cross-country season. I knew I could run near the front of this race. Throughout the race, I just wanted to make sure that I pushed the pace the whole time. Rachel St. Germain was also pushing the pace. She’s a great runner and (third place) Hannah Kaercher (of Fayetteville) is one of the best runners in New York. So, it was a big accomplishment to be in front of her."

Macchia may be a freshman, but she’s quickly becoming a staple of the national high school running circuit. She finished 12th at the Eastbay Cross County National Championships in December. She’s clearly getting comfortable running with the best the nation has to offer. After all, she’s high among that lot and, seemingly, getting better.

"I prefer to run against competition in these bigger races," Macchia said. "It’s fun."

Elsewhere at Nike, Bayport – Blue Point’s Leeann Redlo placed third in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.77 seconds – the fastest Suffolk time in at least 20 years, according to Bayport – Blue Point coach Vin Ungaro. Mepham’s Camylin Blake was fifth in the same race in 8.85 seconds. Both finishes earned the sprinters All-American status.

In another borough – Manhattan – Rocky Point’s Alexandra Kelly placed an All-American fifth in the triple jump at New Balance indoor Nationals at the Armory, flying 39 feet, 5 ¾ inches.

"I didn’t have much hope, so that just makes it even cooler," Kelly said of being an All-American. "I know I’m (facing) the best of the best. Honestly, I was scared of having a bad day. It’s the highest competition you’ll find."

But Kelly doesn’t have many bad days. It’s certainly not as if the All-American designation is a major surprise. Kelly won the state triple jump championship last weekend and has established herself over the last two years as the best on Long Island.

"It wasn’t my best day this season, but I’m happy with my jumps," Kelly said.

Kelly’s best mark of the opening round, a 39-1, came on her third jump and was critical to securing her place in the finals.

"I knew the pressure was on and I had to get myself to finals," Kelly said. "During every phase, I knew each one had to be big. I just had a lot of focus."

Kelly said that her second phase of that final first-round jump was what made the difference.

"I had a lot more strength coming off the ground," she said.

Elsewhere on the girl’s side at New Balance, Elmont’s 4x200 meter relay team, composed of Alexandra Williams, Stephney Pryce, Andre-Anna Rodney, and Ashley Fulton, finished an All-American fourth in 1:40.54. The race was extremely close. Places 3-7 all ran 1:40, with miliseconds putting Elmont squarely within the All-American cutline.

Northport’s 4xmile relay, composed of sisters Mia, Finnley, and Emily Wickard, and Katie Hayes finished an All-American fifth in 21:04.81.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

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