Oceanside’s Andria Scaglione has fully embraced the track and field lifestyle. Because, at its highest level, that’s exactly what it is — a lifestyle. Track isn’t just a show-up-and-race kind of sport. Not for those who succeed in the postseason. And Scaglione has every intention of continuing to make waves as the postseason progresses.
Fresh off a victory in the 3,000 meters at the Nassau Conference I meet, Scaglione won the two-mile in 11 minutes, 2.28 seconds at the Ocean Breeze Invitational on Jan. 28 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island.
The victory was a gigantic confidence booster heading into the Nassau Class A Championships, held Tuesday night at St. Anthony’s High School — and it showed. Scaglione won the 1,500 meters in 4:52.72 and placed second in the 3,000 meters in 10:29.44 at the championships.
In the past, the junior has been frustrated with the stagnant nature of her times late in the season. She plateaued too early, she said, not able to shave off those last few seconds when they mattered most.
But that’s all old news. Scaglione’s entire outlook on the sport, and what goes into fast times and gold medals, has changed and, as February deepens, she’s seeing the results.
“I’ve been able to manage my time right, been going to bed at the right time and eating right,” she said. “Now that I’m older, I’ve been doing harder workouts and practicing every day, opposed to past years where I’ve been like ‘oh, it’s OK to skip a day.’”
“Now, I feel like I’m taking it a lot more seriously, where I’ve incorporated it into my everyday life,” she added. “Not only running, but the way I carry myself throughout the day. I track what I’m eating to make sure I’m caring about what’s fueling my racing.”
Some of her favorite training meals include avocado toast and eggs.
“I do this every day and then, during practice, I’m able to get the most out of the workout,” she said. “When it comes to race day, I’m more prepared.”
Being in optimum racing shape allows Scaglione to think more on the track. She can devote more time to strategy and less time to laboring through tired muscles. Her Ocean Breeze Invitational victory was a perfect example of this, with Scaglione recognizing that the pace was too slow for her liking and making a move to lead halfway through the race.
“I was trying to keep consistent 40 or 41 [second laps],” Scaglione said of when she decided to leave the pack in the dust. “At that point, the pace was getting to 43 [seconds]. Then I decided to go.”
Scaglione, as she hoped she would, kept to a 40-41 pace for the final eight laps. Her two-mile converted time (10:13.4) hit the state qualifying standard for the 3,000 meters, meaning she only has to place third at the Nassau State Qualifier, scheduled for Feb. 13, to make March’s state championship.
“This season, I feel like I’m getting more confident with my ability,” she said.