Allison Turbush kept staring at the scoreboard.
The Eastport-South Manor senior couldn’t pull her eyes away, waiting with baited breath to see if she’d won the Division II 100-meter hurdles at the Suffolk girls division track championships Wednesday at Ward Melville. Turbush said the seconds seemed to tick on forever then, finally, she saw her name.
She won . . . by one-hundredth of a second.
Furbush took first place in 15.51. Half Hollow Hills East’s Sophia Clark finished in 15.52.
“That was the closest finish I’ve ever been in,” Turbush said. “I knew [Clark] was right next to me and I had no clue if I won or not.”
Both runners were neck and neck throughout the race, but Turbush said she thrived on the pressure and credited it for helping in those last few strides.
“If I know someone is right next to me, it gives me that extra push to go that much harder and beat them,” said Turbush, who also finished fourth in the 400-meter hurdles. “I like when that happens.”
The victory was especially meaningful for Turbush.
She suffered a stress fracture in her right leg and a stress reaction in her left leg eight months ago and said she’s worked on getting back to form this season. There have been other wins, but this one, and the way it finished, proved she’s on the right track again.
“She got beat up a lot over the course of the year,” Eastport-South Manor coach James Lever said. “But she’s always coming out on top and making herself better.”
While Turbush’s win came down to the wire, Whitman’s Gianna Paul left little doubt in the Division I 200 and 400-meter dash. She posted a time of 57.03 in the 400 and a 25.07 in the 200, breaking the school record previously set in 2018, according to coach Rufus Shepard.
“I was in a zone,” Paul said. “Nothing really gets in your head, it’s all focused on the finish line.”
Mt. Sinai’s Kaitlyn Chandrika was also a two-time winner. She recorded a 7:04.51 in the Division III 2000-meter steeplechase and ran anchor for the Mustangs’ 4 x 800 team, which finished in 9:47.59.
“I was going for time in the steeplechase,” Chandrika said. “In the 4 x 800, I knew my girls could do it. I just had to bring it home.”
Chandrika’s performance helped Mt. Sinai finish first in Division III with 150 points, while Huntington led Division II with 92 points. Longwood and Ward Melville tied for first in Division I with 78 points.
For Turbush, the day was about more than points. It was a dramatic race, but one she said she’s hopeful will help set her up for a strong run at next week's state qualifier.
“This feels really good,” Turbush said. “I’m building up and getting back out there.”