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Bay Shore's Anisa Toppin sets long jump mark

Anisa Toppin of Bay Shore wins the girl's

Anisa Toppin of Bay Shore wins the girl's 4x200 meter relay. (Feb. 5, 2011) Credit: Bob Mitchell

When Bay Shore long jumper Anisa Toppin hit the sand, she had no idea how far she had flown.

"It's really quick," she said of being in the air. "I really don't feel anything. You jump, stay in the air, land, and think 'was that a good jump or not?' "

Her mark of 18 feet, 10 3/4 inches at Tuesday night's Suffolk State qualifier meet at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood wasn't just good -- it was record-breaking.

Toppin's distance broke the all-time Suffolk state qualifier record of 18-10 -- set by North Babylon's Bianca Fung in 2006.

As she went through her three-jump progression in the finals, Toppin had one thing on her mind.

"Get higher. Get better," she thought. "Don't stop. Don't have a limit."

That limit never came. The record-breaking jump came on her final try and qualified her for the New York State meet, scheduled for March 2 at Cornell University.

Among the many other suffolk athletes joining her will be Northport's Brigid Brennan and Miller Place's Talia Guevara. Brennan ran 10 minutes, 16.52 seconds in the 3,000 meters, edging Guevara, who finished in 10:29.03.

The two are some of the best runners on Long Island, making the 3,000 a fiercely competitive race, something Brennan lives for.

"It's an honor to run with someone who's that great," Brennan said. "When I step to the line and see someone like Talia running against me, I know that I'm going to do well. There's no way I can run badly if I stay with her."

The key to running with top competition, according to Brennan, is discipline. After a quick start by Guevara, that self control was tested.

"I saw them go out fast," Brennan said. "I don't like to go out fast. I stayed back and relaxed until the end, when I knew I had to get going. But I knew my own body and I felt strong."

With five laps remaining and thinking that Guevara was catchable, Brennan began to make her move. With two laps to go, she took the lead. As the final lap wound down, that lead became more and more pronounced.

Brennan is looking forward to her fourth trip to the state meet, a chance to improve upon her past performances.

"I've done the 3,000 there every year," she said. "It's always been good, but not great. I really want to do well this year."

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