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Sachem East’s Margaret Atwood wins state 1,500 race walk title

A time of 6:49.09 puts her and Floyd’s 4x200 relay team among the champions.

Margaret Atwood of Sachem East wins the girl's

Margaret Atwood of Sachem East wins the girl's 1500 meter race walk in a time of 6:49.09 at the New York State high school indoor track and field championships held at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, New York on March 3, 2018. Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Sachem East’s Margaret Atwood has been alone for most of the indoor season. But, this is a good kind of alone, an alone that virtually every athlete strives for — alone at the top.

Since mid-December, Atwood has held the top 1,500 race walk time in the state. But, it’s one thing to have a top time and quite another to prove it at the highest level. Saturday afternoon, Atwood did the latter.

The senior walked her way to a championship, winning easily in six minutes, 49.09 seconds at the indoor track and field state championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island. Half Hollow Hills East’s Jessica Grover was second in 7:04.33.

“At this meet, a lot of people have a lot of energy,” Atwood said. “So, when I first went out, a couple girls went out really hard. But, I didn’t want it to scare me, so I just stayed close and maintained my pace throughout the race.”

As the top walker in Suffolk by a wide margin, Atwood didn’t have a lot of tight finishes this year.

“It’s difficult,” Atwood said of being alone. “But, it also keeps me more focused because I don’t have people surrounding me.”

Floyd’s 4x200 meter relay team, composed of Kianna Hawkins, Tatiana Kistner, Jade Foster, and Antoinette Miller, won in 1:41.49. The time broke the meet record of 1:41.61, set by New Rochelle in 2014.

Valley Stream South’s Chibugo Obichere won her second consecutive public school 55 meter hurdles state championship, finishing in 8.19 seconds. Sophia Myers of the Queens High School of Teaching won the Federation championship in 8.01 seconds.

While in hot pursuit of Myers, Obichere clipped the fourth hurdle with her knee, but was able to move past the minor disruption and take home public school gold.

“You just have to finish.,” Obichere said “I told myself ‘just keep going. You’re not going to fall, just keep going,’”

Shoreham-Wading River’s Katherine Lee, in a bid for her first track state championship, moved into second place as the final lap of the 1,000 began, but it was not enough to catch Ursuline’s Lily Flynn, who won in 2:45.83. Lee was second in 2:46.91. Lee’s time broke the Suffolk County record, a 2:49.48, set by Bellport’s Brittany Sheffey in 2005, according to Suffolkxctf.com.

Kellenberg’s Maureen Lewin finished third in the 1,000 in 2:50.05, breaking the CHSAA record of 2:51.70, set by St. Anthony’s Olivia Williams in 2011, Kellenberg coach Marty Brown said

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