Carly Woelfel had big plans and she wasn’t going to let a lopsided race slow her down. Despite being all alone on the final lap of the 3,000 meters at the Nassau IV track and field championships Wednesday night, the South Side junior was still booking it all the way home, a look of determination on her face and her arms pumping with a purpose.
“I had a goal coming in,” Woelfel said. “I wanted to get 10:40. The qualifying time for the 5k at [New Balance] Nationals is 10:41.”
Woelfel qualified for the March meet with room to spare, winning in 10 minutes, 38.90 seconds at St. Anthony’s.
Woelfel ran the 5k at nationals last year and, although she hasn’t quite decided whether she will enter the event at the prestigious meet this year, she at least wanted the choice to be hers.
“My team also qualified for the 4 x mile [earlier in the season], so that’s also an option,” Woelfel said. “It’s nice to have options.”
The indoor 5k is extremely rare within Long Island track, with a vast majority of the sport leaving that distance behind once the winter dawns. Woelfel, who is one of the best cross country runners in Nassau, got a taste of the event last March and was really intrigued by the experience.
“You’re running 25 laps on [the Armory] track, so it’s really crazy,” she said. “It was like running in my freshman year, when you have no idea what you’re doing and you just kind of run. This year, if I do it again, I could definitely have an impact on my race, be competitive, and have a goal.”
Woelfel went out at a steady pace with her teammate Olivia Duca (11:15.09) on Wednesday, the two distance standouts going through the first 1,000 meters in 3:26. Woelfel broke away from Duca at the mile mark and ran the second half of the race with only the clock to worry about.
“We both went out competitively and I knew from the get-go that I had to stay with her because she’s been having a good season,” Woelfel said.
Elsewhere, Bellmore JFK’s Maya Spottiswood won the 1,000 in 3:14.96. Spottiswood sat on the shoulder of Hewlett’s Kaylyn Forbes (3:16.94) before passing her at the bell.
Spottiswood said she was careful to make sure that Forbes didn’t get too far ahead.
“It’s risky,” Spottiswood said. “She could always take off.”
On the boys side, Hewlett’s David Durdaller won the 3,200 in 10:10.95 and the 1,600 in 4:54.0, Bethpage’s Aidan Pech won the 1,000 in 2:46.02, and Roslyn’s Daniel Williams won the 55 in 6.73 seconds.