The girls' side of the Suffolk track and field division championships was shrouded in symmetry this week. First-time champions and classic county stalwarts all had their place in the — sometimes very hot — sun.
Sachem East took the Division I championship with 119 points. The perennial powerhouse typically is always at, or near, the top of the Suffolk girls track scene, no matter the season. It was the team's fourth outdoor title in the last 10 years and first since 2017, coach Dan Schaub said.
Arya Deshpande won the 100-meter hurdles in 16.64 seconds and Ariann Robinson won the 200 in 25.60 and the 400 in 57.64. Robinson also was on the 4x400 relay team that won in 4:07.32. Angelina Colon took the 1,500 racewalk in 7:05.98.
Robinson said she stumbled out of the blocks in the 200 but was able to rebound.
"I just paced myself and picked up the speed," she said.
Sachem East always has been a program steeped in culture, and a good one at that. Robinson said the history of the program isn’t lost on her or her teammates.
"It’s about our community and the bond that we have," she said.
East Islip won Division III, its first outdoor county championship, scoring 113 points. Joy Petersen won the 2,000 steeplechase in 7:46.40, despite having never running it before in competition. Her teammate, seventh-grader Danielle Simonetti, was second in 7:48.70.
"It was at that moment that we knew that this was going to be it," Petersen said of the win. "We were going to make East Islip history."
Petersen and Simonetti, along with Hailey DeHaas and Samantha Tucci, won the 4x800 relay in 10:00.84. Hannah Smalley won the 800 in 2:19.92, and along with Olivia Simonetti, Jenna Scandale and Grace Micali, won the 4x400 relay in 4:09.35.
"It was probably one of the top-10 feelings I’ve ever had," Smalley said of winning the team championship.
Despite oppressive heat, Smalley came within a few quick steps of breaking her own school record in the 800. Danielle (2:21.90) and Olivia Simonetti (2:22.22) came in second and third, respectively.
"I went out in first and just started pulling away," Smalley said. "Honestly, I think the most important part of the race was Danielle and Olivia. Yes, I won the race, but Danielle and Olivia got passed in the last 100 and had to make up the time in 100 meters."
Bayport-Blue Point won the Division IV championship with 178 points. Eva Morris won the 2,000 meter steeplechase in 8:00.90, Leeann Redlo won the 100 hurdles in 15.30 and Andi Swedborg won the shotput with a 35-foot, 11½-inch throw. Melissa Redlo won the pentathlon with 1,511 points and the Phantoms’ 4x400 relay team won in 4:22.85.