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Tiana Guevara distanced herself from field as top runner

Tiana Guevara runs toward the finish line in

Tiana Guevara runs toward the finish line in first place in the Suffolk girls 5K run cross country championships with a winning time of 19:23.35. (Oct. 22, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

At the beginning of her junior year, Tiana Guevara's goals were clear.

They were focused.

They were achieved.

Entering her senior year, those goals became a little more broad, but no less important.

"We weren't looking at a specific time," Guevara said of preseason conversations with coach Fran Sullivan. "I just wanted to leave a mark. I just wanted people to remember that I was here."

It'll be a long time before anyone on Long Island, much less Miller Place, forgets the Guevara name. Once again, the senior was the class of Suffolk in 2013, earning Newsday's Long Island runner of the year honor.

She won the county championship at the Division Meet by 15 seconds, crossing the line at Sunken Meadow State Park in 19 minutes, 23.35 seconds.

"I didn't expect to win by that much," Guevara said. "Even the tiniest of margins is a really long time when you're striving really hard to run a good time. With Sunken Meadow being a little longer at the division championships, I wasn't focused on winning that race. I just wanted to push my time as low as I could."

Guevara's finish helped Miller Place win the Suffolk championship. The Panthers were the first small school to take the title in the history of the meet, Sullivan said.

After winning the Class B race at the Suffolk state qualifier meet, Guevara placed fourth in Class B at the state meet in 18:04.8. The time was the 15th fastest in the state -- regardless of class.

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