The uncertainty of the starting line can be a scary thing. Each week, countless runners and jumpers stand there, waiting for officials to say one of the most finite words in the track meet dictionary -- "Go!" Once that word is uttered, anything can happen.
As they stood waiting for that magic word at last week's Massapequa Invitational, Bellmore JFK's Sara Rosenzweig and Madison McGlone wanted to believe that the upcoming championship 1,500 was going to be a special one. But, much like their competition, they had no idea where the night would take them.
"Maddy and I weren't feeling very confident before the race," Rosenzweig said. "We were both nervous because you can never guarantee that you're going to PR [set a personal record]. It has to be the right place, the right time, and against the right people."
It was all of those things for both runners. Rosenzweig won the 1,500, finishing in four minutes, 54.80 seconds. McGlone finished third in 4:56.90. It was the first time in Bellmore JFK history that two runners have finished the same 1,500 in under five minutes.
The duo are also two of only three Cougars in history to run a 1,500 in under five minutes, according to coach Chris Mammone.
Maegan Krifchin was the first Cougar to break the 5-minute barrier. She currently holds the school record in the 1,500, running a 4:37.5 in 2006.
"Five minutes is a huge landmark for 1,500 runners," Rosenzweig said. "Once you break a barrier like that, it just feels so good. The first time I broke five I said 'wow, I'm one of those girls.' "
Rosenzweig, a senior, broke five minutes at the Massapequa Invitational in both her sophomore and junior years. McGlone, a junior who had only run the 1,500 twice before, had never eclipsed the magic number.
"It felt magical," McGlone said. "It was the perfect conditions. Racing under the lights, you always feel so much faster. The energy and adrenaline is really off the charts."By her own admission, McGlone, who intends to run more 1,500s next season, hasn't grasped the magnitude of her sub-five minute club membership quite yet. And, according to her, that's OK. Those kind of thoughts are best left for alumni.
"I'll mean more as time goes on," McGlone said. "Right now, it feels new and cool, yet it hasn't sunk it. But, to know that I did it with Sara means a lot."