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Kings Park’s Alyssa Womack excels despite tough lane position

Kings Park's Alyssa Womack wins the 300 meters

Kings Park's Alyssa Womack wins the 300 meters even though she was in lane 6 ahead of Brentwood's Nataly Ramirez and Angelique Palmer in a girls crossover D track meet at SCCC-Bretnwood on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Although placed in a rather precarious lane position, Kings Park’s Alyssa Womack wasn’t nervous as she lined up for the 300 meters at a Suffolk Girls Indoor Track Crossover Meet at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood Tuesday night.

Womack, a senior, drew the sixth — and farthest outside — lane, not exactly a sprinters best friend.

“It didn’t bother me that much,” Womack said. “I definitely wasn’t happy I was in the sixth lane, but I dealt with it. You get what you get.”

That ‘it is what it is’ mentality, as well as some pretty fast feet, led Womack to a victory in 43.07 seconds.

Runners in the sixth lane start ahead of the rest of the field. While the final distance isn’t any different, the placement on the track can create the illusion that they have a larger lead.

“You are already up ahead in the far corner before anyone even gets to you,” Womack said. “ . . . I just tried to go out fast and try to pace myself . . . I knew [the field] was going to come up along the last corner. So, I was kind of expecting that.”

And when they did, Womack closed hard on the final straightaway to top Brentwood’s Nataly Ramirez (43.30) and Angelique Palmer (43.60).

“It gave me motivation to know that [Ramirez] was right there,” Womack said.

Elsewhere, Smithtown East’s Catherine Farrell won the 1,500 in 4:55.59, a personal best, she said. Farrell, who started fast and finished faster, had to fight off West Islip’s Sierra Koehler (4:57.91), who was a step behind for nearly the entire race.

“I zone in and run my own race,” Farrell said. “I race against the clock . . . But, I felt [Koehler]. I heard the footsteps. I was prepared that, if she came with me, I would sprint and try and hold it.”

That sprint came on the final lap, as Farrell was finally able to gain more than a footstep lead over Koehler. “I don’t want to regret anything or think that I could have ran faster,” Farrell said. “I try to give it my all at the end . . . I didn’t really care if she was behind me. I just left it all out there to see what I could do.”

The quick start, which set up the hard finish, was nothing out of the ordinary for the sophomore. “Every race, I go out fast, settle in, and find my pace,” Farrell said. “I know what splits I want to hit and make sure that I keep hitting them every time.”

In the field, North Babylon’s Sade Meeks won the shot put (39-11⁄2), Glenn’s Alice Chiodo won the high jump (5-1), and Smithtown East’s Grace Young won the long jump (17-21⁄2) and the triple jump (34–101⁄4).

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