Even a driving rain couldn’t slow down the Firebirds on Saturday.
“It wasn’t too bad of an obstacle,” said Maureen Lewin, who won the girls 1,500-meter run in 4 minutes, 50.34 seconds and placed second in the 800 (2:16.62) for Kellenberg in the NSCHSAA track and field championships at St. John’s University. “Whenever it rains we’re always out there for practice. We’re really used to it.
In the 1,500, teammates Nora Bennett (4:50.45) and Maya Richardson (4:53.25) finished second and third, respectively.
“Maureen and I are training partners,” Bennett said, “so while running the race I sort of treated it like it was practice and tried to keep up with her. She’s an amazing runner.”
Kellenberg enjoyed plenty of success throughout the day en route to securing the league title with 93 points. St. John the Baptist (49) finished second and St. Anthony’s (44) placed third.
Gabriella Buissereth also came up with a victory for the Firebirds in the 400 (58.57) for her first individual league title. She said she used the inclement weather as motivation.
“Honestly, I just wanted to make sure I got out fast and maintained and made sure to drive at the end to finish strong,” Buissereth said. “The rain most definitely was a factor, but it kind of just pushed me to go harder against the conditions knowing they were going against me. It feels great to win for the first time.”
Ellen Byrnes of Sacred Heart came away as one of the top performers after winning both the 400 hurdles (64.67) and the 800 (2:15.86). She gave Lewin and Bennett plenty of praise.
“It was such a strong heat we had with various incredible athletes like Maureen Lewin and Nora Bennett,” Byrnes said. “I knew it would be a hard race and that we would all push each other. It was amazing to run with those girls.”
As the rain intensified, Nicole Karabaich brought home a victory in the 100 hurdles (16.42) for St. John the Baptist.
“I just wanted to keep pushing and get out in front,” said Karabaich, who edged Kellenberg’s Gillian Blackwood (16.53). “Gillian was right next to me the whole time. The weather was so bad. It literally started raining so hard as soon as we were on the line. It threw off my focus a little bit, but I tried to keep it together.”
Other winners included Anna Kavanagh of Sacred Heart in the 3,000 (10:46.22) and St. John the Baptist’s Zhanna Green in the 100 (12.71). Buissereth, Victoria Duignan, Christiana Foster and Lewin won the 4 x 400 relay (4:04.99) for Kellenberg and teammate Camryn Beckford won the 200 in 25.87.