The result was in doubt as the field rounded the final turn in the Nassau Coaches Invitational 1,500 meters. Friends Academy's Katrina Garry and Jericho's Celeste Traub were running neck and neck, barreling down the last straightaway.
But then, seemingly out of nowhere, a third challenger appeared. It was Oyster Bay's Nicole Giannetti. The senior, who spent most of the race in the middle of the pack, used a strong kick in the final 200 meters to shock the field and win in four minutes, 59.50 seconds at MacArthur Saturday.
"I don't think anyone saw me coming," Giannetti said. "I really like that. They weren't prepared to kick with me. I had a head start because I already knew I was picking it up. They were slowing it down. Once I got to them, I was already in my sprint, so they had to start up again."
Giannetti entered the race as the seventh seed, giving her a less than advantageous lane position.
"I was stuck in lane three for the first 50 meters," she said. "That had never happened to me, so I was kind of uncomfortable. There was a girl right next to me. I knew I had to sprint to go in front of her and make my way to lane one."
Garry finished second in 5:01.10. Traub was third in 5:01.70.
Chaminade's Jordan Brown also came from behind in his race, winning the 400 in 50.60 seconds.
"I didn't try to do that," Brown said with a smile. "After the first 100, I noticed that everyone started to pull away from me. I knew that I had to stay calm. I just used the kick that I always use."
Brown said he was confident in his ability to catch the top of the field in the final half of the race.
"You have to believe in yourself when you come through that final 200," he said. "You have to keep those legs moving and make sure those arms keep moving as well."
The victory came despite Brown reaching his top speed later than usual.
"I felt like I got there a little bit late," he said of his optimal gear. "I got there at the 70-80 meter mark. You want to be there at the 40-50 meter mark. I adjusted by giving 110 percent effort to try to keep up with them."
Garden City's Tim Josephs didn't have to come from behind to win the 3,200, but he did have to hold off Jericho's Jose Velasquez, who was on his shoulder until the very end. Josephs needed to use every ounce of energy to hold off Velasquez in the final 50 meters and win in 9:47.70. Velasquez finished in 9:48.10.
"I couldn't have gone any faster," Josephs said. "I gave everything and collapsed afterward."
But Josephs popped right back up, satisfied with a win that was a little more difficult than anticipated.
"From [Velasquez's] PR, I thought he was going to hang with me for three quarters of the race," Josephs said. "But he was good. He stuck with me."