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Bay Shore girls run to Smithtown Invitational crown

Bay Shore's Brianah Allen just beats Sachem North's

Bay Shore's Brianah Allen just beats Sachem North's Alyssa Leto by .01 seconds to win the girls 100m. (April 28, 2012) Photo Credit: George A. Faella

After winning a dual meet on Tuesday and spending the next three days at the Penn Relays, Bay Shore took a six-hour train ride from Philadelphia back to Long Island on Friday. The Marauders got back at 12:30 a.m. Saturday, then caught a 7:30 a.m. bus to get to Smithtown West for another meet.

They may have felt exhausted after their whirlwind week, but they sure didn't look it Saturday.

Bay Shore won six events at the Smithtown Invitational to take home the overall girls championship. Led by Jessica Gelibert's two wins, the Marauders scored 139 points to claim the team crown. Kings Park (73 points) was second, and Longwood finished third with 62 points.

"Winning individually is great," said Gelibert, who won both the 800 (2:18.05) and the 400 hurdles (63.10). "But knowing that you have a well-rounded team that's great in different events is better."

Gelibert, who took fifth in the 400 hurdles and led off the Marauders' 4 x 400 at the Penn Relays on Thursday, was running in her first 800 since the end of the indoor season. The senior stuck with Shannon Ahern of Kings Park (2:18.47) for the majority of the race and edged her at the line to win.

"I knew I could rely on that kick," Gelibert said. "I saw her conserving, so I moved up, but then we both started kicking. At that point, it was just the toughest one wins."

About two hours later, Gelibert cruised to an easy victory in the 400 hurdles, taking the lead at the end of the first turn and opening up a 50-meter gap on the rest of the field on the final straightaway.

"I wanted to treat it as a workout," she said. "I just wanted to be smooth."

Gelibert said that the back-to-back-to-back schedule was tough, but hoped that it would pay off with faster times later in the season.

"With all the training and traveling, it takes a lot out of you," Gelibert said.

Judging by the way that they ran Saturday, it was nearly impossible to tell. Lindsay Arcuri kicked things off with a second-place finish in the 3,000 (10:39.08), and Danielle Rowe took second in the 400 (59.29).

"I was just trying to run for place," Rowe said. "I was comfortable."

The trio of Anisa Toppin (38-8), Imani McGhee (37-9) and Kelsey Palomino (36-101/2) swept the top three spots of the triple jump as Bay Shore jumped out to a 46-24 lead over Longwood after five events. After Gelibert won the 800, Brianah Allen won the 100 (12.77), followed by Gelibert's victory in the 400 hurdles.

"We push each other as we go along," Toppin said of the triple jumpers. "If I get a good jump, I go over to my teammates and say, 'OK, come get me.'"

Even though the team championship was clinched by then, the Marauders also won the 4 x 800 (9:53.72) and the 4x400 (4:10.92) -- and earned some much-needed rest.

Not that the girls needed it, though.

"You really have to be mentally strong in times like this," Allen said. "You have to be mentally strong to be physically strong."

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