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Bay Shore girls, Port Jeff boys each win Suffolk winter track titles

Bay Shore's Jacqueline Anderson placed first in the

Bay Shore's Jacqueline Anderson placed first in the seeded 600m run at the Suffolk large schools girls track and field championships. (Feb. 1, 2014) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The Bay Shore girls winter track machine is humming at a seemingly effortless pace. The Mauraders added another county championship plaque to their overflowing trophy case after winning the Suffolk large schools title Saturday at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. They scored 109 points, outpacing Sachem North by 35.

It was Bay Shore's 13th county championship in 14 years. Though history is in the Mauraders' favor, the group is careful not to let the success of the past influence the intensity of the present.

"It's reassuring," said Jacqueline Anderson of Bay Shore's recent dominance. "But, like anything in life, there will always be someone trying to get your spot."

Anderson, who won the 600 meters in 1 minute, 42.52 seconds, found herself boxed in during the opening lap. But ever the veteran, Anderson found a way to break free. "I just weaved my way through the turn," she said. "Usually, that's where everyone slows down. So I knew that's where I had to pick it up. That was the only way I was going to finish."

Anderson's work wasn't done. The senior still had the 4 x 800 and 4 x 400 relays to run; both teams finished third.

"It was a hard double, especially considering I only had 15 minutes in between," she said. "It's definitely mental. But if you flush out your legs [keep them moving and stretched], you'll be fine."

Bay Shore's contingent of jumpers were key to the win as well. Imani McGhee won the long jump, flying 18 feet, 21/2 inches. Patrice Baston took second with a 17-81/2 effort and Anisa Toppin won the triple jump in 38-feet.

"I went heel to toe and came down the runway very quickly," Toppin said.

Aviana Goode won the 55 hurdles in 8.68 seconds. Goode also placed second in the high jump, clearing 5-4. East Islip's Faith Penny won the event in 5-5.

Smithtown East's Jaclyn Gallery won the 1,500 in 4:48.32. The time broke the school record of 4:49.44.

It was set by Christina Roberto during the 1999-2000 season, coach Greg Schepanski said.

Also at the venue, the Port Jefferson boys won the Suffolk small schools title, topping Huntington, 73-63.

James Burke won the 1,000 in 2:38.68. About 45 minutes later, Burke won the 1,600 in 4:26.91. "Right after the 1,000 I went for a little jog," Burke said. "I just jogged through the hallways" trying to generate a strategy for the next race.

"I was going against [Shoreham-Wading River's] Ryan Udvadia, [Eastport- South Manor's] Tom Meehan, and [Islip's] Mike Watts," Burke said. "I knew that Meehan and Watts were fresh and would have a little advantage on us. It was going to be a tough race."

Burke was happy with the way he ended the race, conserving just enough energy to "close fast." He began to make his move toward the front with about 1,000 meters remaining.

"I was a little further back than I wanted to be at the start," Burke said. "I was watching Watts and Meehan. They're both great runners, so I knew I couldn't let them get too far away or else they were going to leave me in the dust. I had to move on them and I thought I went at the right time."

Justin Bove won the 600 in 1:27.85.

"I wanted to go out strong, try to get the lead early on, then hang on for the win," Bove said.

Daniel Gross won the 55 hurdles in 7.94 seconds. Gross said he was a bit nervous entering the final after he bumped his knee on the fourth hurdle during the preliminaries.

"Any millisecond can loose this race," Gross said. "I just had to get my knee up higher than I usually do and bring it around."

The Port Jefferson 4 x 400 relay team, composed of Bove, Gross, Noah Kirchner and William Witrock, won in 3:38.34.

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