Melissa Gueye of Valley Stream South competes in the girls...

Melissa Gueye of Valley Stream South competes in the girls 55 meter hurdles during the Nassau County Class C indoor track and field championships at St. Anthony's High School on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. She won with the event with a time of 8.63. Credit: James Escher

Melissa Gueye misses gymnastics.

The running, jumping, all of it is something that she still thinks about. But, she can do most of the same general things in track and field, and that’s a pretty good replacement.

Gueye, a senior at Valley Stream South, did gymnastics until an injury early in her high school career forced her to give it up, she said. She’s found a similar passion, though.

“(Track) gives me that feeling again,” Gueye said. “ . . . I’ve always loved tumbling. I was always jumping around the house. That’s always going to be something I love to do.”

Next month, her love of running and jumping will take her to the pinnacle of the state when she competes in the indoor track and field state championships, scheduled for March 4 at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island.

She officially punched her ticket to the championships in two events Tuesday night, winning the 55-meter hurdles in 8.50 seconds and the long jump, clearing 17 feet, 5 ¼ inches at the Nassau state qualifier at St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington. 

After a slower start in the trials, Gueye met the moment in the 55-hurdles finals. She got out quick and came home in a personal-best time.

“Usually, I don’t get out as well and I have to do some catch-up,” Gueye said. “But (Tuesday), I knew I had to get out. I got out really hard, pushed myself, tried to stay low and go through the hurdles…I’ve been practicing getting out and not hesitating. I had to deliver that.”

Elsewhere, East Meadow’s Zaria Hall won the 1,000 in 3 minutes, 7.05 seconds. The freshman outdueled sophomores Megan Jasinski of Cold Spring Harbor and Ashley Carillo of Port Washington on the final straightaway. Jasinski was second in 3:07.23 and Carillo was third in 3:07.46.

“In the last 100 meters, I tried to go around (Carillo) and she wouldn’t let me, so I got a little boxed in” Hall said. “But, it still came down to a kick and I was able to sprint fast enough to out-kick them.”

While Hall won the 1,000 easily at the Nassau Class A championships last week, she said she’s able to  easily pivot to a more tactical race.

“It kind of comes naturally,” Hall said.

Friends Academy’s Aislinn Frazer won the 3,000 in 10:30.95 and the 1,500 in 4:52.39.

In the field, Calhoun’s Sara Manson won the triple jump, flying 36-5 ¾ and Seaford’s Jessica Reiter cleared 5-2 to win the high jump.

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