They ran in a straight line, connected at the hip as they made their way around the track. It was no surprise to anyone who "they" were. It was Tiana Guevara, Talia Guevara, and Laura Nolan, the terrific trio from Miller Place who never waste any time asserting their dominance in the land of Suffolk distance running.
This current display came during the 3,000-meter run at the county's small school girls championships, held Friday night at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. Tiana Guevara won in 10 minutes, 44.69 seconds. Talia finished second in 10:46.53. Nolan was third in 10:52.72.
It wasn't hard to see where the race was headed early on. During the first mile, the trio ran side by side, forming a wall of blue jerseys at the front of the pack. But, the 3,000 is an event that can feature many different chapters. And while the first mile showcased Miller Place running along as efficiently as they do during a weekday practice, the girls could feel the presence of Kings Parks' Kristen Homeyer during the final mile. This caused them to sprint forward, or "go" as the move is known, a little earlier than planned. Homeyer finished fourth in 10:55.25.
But the top-three finish wasn't enough for Miller Place to take the title. That honor belonged to Bayport-Blue Point which, after topping Miller Place in the League V championship last weekend, used balance to unseat the defending small school champions, 62-57.
BBP's Kathleen Cibuls won the 55 dash in 7.64 seconds.
"I was told that I was in second to [Babylon's] Ashley Lucas at the halfway point," Cibuls said. "But, I knew that I had to contribute to the team and had to pick it up."
Cibuls also took second in the 55 hurdles in 9.22 seconds.
Teammate Courtney Dooley was second in the 600 in 1:42.22. "I got out a little too slow, but I battled and at the very end, [Southampton's] Hannah Connolly-Sporing got it," Dooley said. "But I was happy I could get points . . . every one counts."
Dooley, a senior who has been on the team since the eighth grade, has had a few close losses in her time as a Phantom, but never a win. That made this championship, which came down to the final relay, even sweeter.
"There's really no better feeling than this," Dooley said. "It's pretty amazing. It was a pivotal moment in my career."
The Phantoms' 4 x 800- relay team, composed of Caroline Giunta, Courtney and Cassie Dooley, and Maddy Fiorentine finished second in 10:09.26; Courtney Bofinger finished fourth in the 1,500 race walk in 7:39.58.