When North Shore’s Diana Vizza crossed the finish line at the Nassau State Qualifier at Bethpage State Park on Nov. 7, it looked as if she had run the entire cross country race on her own. Essentially, she had. No other Class B runner had approached matching her pace. Her time of 17 minutes, 46.74 seconds in the 5-kilometer contest not only blew her class away, it blew her county away.
Vizza, who won the Class B race by a minute and a half, was the only Nassau girl in any class to break 19 minutes. Vizza was no longer running as part of the packs that has defined so many North Shore team championships. She was out on her own and showing the rest of the county what she could do.
“This was the first race of the season where I could really go all-out at Bethpage,” Vizza said after her state qualifier victory. “This is my last Bethpage race and I wanted to go out with a bang. I knew I was in good shape to run it, and I had never really executed it. I’m glad I finally ran to my potential and my fitness.”
A week later, Vizza would show the entire state exactly what her potential was. Running at Monroe-Woodbury High School in Central Valley, a course that is generally considered one of the toughest in New York, the senior won the public school state Class B championship in 18:15.6, nearly 30 seconds faster than the field.
Vizza was the second state champion in North Shore history. Samantha Nadel won the 2011 title, coach Neal Levy said.