North Shore’s Caroline Reiner knows the perils of satisfaction. Sure, she won two events at her school’s home invitational Saturday. And yes, she’s in prime position to have a successful postseason when the spring kicks into high gear next week. But no, she isn’t satisfied, and that’s a good thing.
“As a runner, I feel like you can never be happy with where you are,” Reiner said. “I can always push myself more. I’m excited to go to state qualifiers and I hope our team wins counties.”
Nassau state qualifiers is still a little while away — scheduled for May 30 and June 1 — so for an afternoon anyway, no one could blame Reiner for being happy. She won the 400 meter hurdles in 64.64 seconds and the 400 meters in 59.38 at the North Shore Invitational.
“I stayed pretty low to the hurdles, which I thought was good,” Reiner said of her first victory of the meet. “I also made sure that I had a good finish and I stuck with it, even though I was exhausted.”
With a little over a week until the county championships, Reiner is the fastest 400 hurdler on Long Island, according to milesplit.com. She ran 62.35 at last weekend’s St. Anthony’s Invitational, a personal best, albeit under much better conditions. Saturday featured periods of heavy rain early in the meet, followed by general sogginess throughout.
“I’d love to shave off those .35 seconds I have on my 62, and make it 61,” Reiner said. “ . . . I just have to stay consistent and keep practicing my start. I know I can do it.”
Longwood’s Arielle Desir also looks to be gearing up for a successful postseason. Desir won the 100 in 12.44 seconds, the 200 in 25.54, and was on the 4 x 100 team that won in 50.18.
“I was definitely happy with my finish,” Desir said after her victory in the 100. “I think I came to compete and I did exactly that . . . I would have liked to get out a little bit quicker, but there’s still time left [before the postseason]. It’s definitely a point that I can improve on.”
Desir didn’t have time to dwell on the less-than-perfect start. Sprinters must be two things — quick on their feet and easily forgetful.
“It’s all in your head,” she said. “That part of the race is over. You move on to the next and keep driving to the finish line.”
Elsewhere, West Islip’s Klaire Klemens defended her North Shore Invitational 2,000 meter steeplechase title, winning this year in 7:12.35. Klemens got off to quick start and, practically before the first hurdle, had a commanding lead that she wouldn’t come close to relinquishing.
“On the first lap, they take away about half the steeples that are on the track, so I think it’s important just to get your speed down without the barriers and just work yourself up to getting a good consistency in the race,” Klemens said.
On the boys side, Longwood’s Jaheim Dotson dominated the hurdles. He won the 110 meter variety in 14.70 seconds and the 400 hurdles in 54.51. Dotson’s 400 hurdle time is tops on Long Island, breaking his own season standard of 55.57 seconds, ran at the Crusader Relays in Central Valley last weekend, according to milesplit.com.
In the field, Farmingdale’s Kyle Berotti won both the long jump (19 feet, 11 1/4 inches) and the triple jump (43-6.5). Kings Park’s Michael Perez won the high jump (6-0) and Bay Shore’s Shane Boone cleared 12 feet to win the pole vault. Eastport- South Manor’s Julian McIntosh won the discus (134-0) and shot put (49-2)
North Shore won both of the traditional distances. Jack Rosencrans won the 3,200 in 9:30.20 and T.J. Burfeind won the 1,600 in 4:32.38. Rosencrans, who made a name for himself during the cross country season, broke the meet record of 9:36.3 set by Byram Hills’ Marc Violine in 2011. Burfeind, only a freshman, notched his first invitational victory.
“I just want to spread the love and joy and inspire my teammates,” Burfeind said. “My teammates were saying, ‘T.J., you did it!’ and I said, ‘and you can do it, too.’ ”