Grace Teller is a quick study. After every race she runs, the Sachem East mid-distancer takes to her journal, writing down things she learned, things she liked, and things she’d like to improve upon. The night before her next race, she cracks open the journal and puts those post-run thoughts back in her head, looking to learn as much as she can about herself before she enters racing-mode again.
"I reminded myself that I needed to pump my arms and take short, quick steps," Teller said of this week’s brush up.
The newest entry will be the happiest of recaps. Teller won the 600 meters in one minute, 52.8 seconds in Sachem East’s 106-17 victory over host Whitman in a Suffolk girls track and field meet Saturday. Teller out-strode teammate Chelsey Weber on the final straightaway and won by three steps. Weber was second in 1:53.1. Sachem East has won all four of their winter meets.
"I felt relaxed in the beginning," Teller said. "I think that probably helped me push towards the end…I love to kick at the end. I do that every time. I just think it’s fun. [Weber] and I raced the 1,000 two weekends ago, and she beat me. So, I guess it was kind of a redemption thing today."
Teller says that she’s been reviewing film of her races, recorded by the Sachem East coaching staff, before writing in her journal - giving her an even better perspective of the race that was.
"I check how my form was and if I backed off from certain parts of the race," Teller said.
The meet itself was somewhat in doubt earlier in the week, with the Whitman track under over a foot of snow, the product of the storm that halted much of Long Island life on Monday and Tuesday. But, thanks to the mid-week work of Whitman custodial staff, AD Dr. Jim Wright, and the boys and girls coaching staff, the track was is pristine condition. With the temperatures in the 40’s, Saturday was the mildest day of the four-week-old winter track season.
"We were really scared that it was going to be cancelled," said Sachem East’s Sabrinna Mena, who won the 1,000 in 3:28.8. "We actually had plans to have an alternate training day. We were going to have a longer run and go hard for it. When we found out that they were cleaning the track, we were super excited to race."
Elsewhere, Angelina Colon won the 1,500-meter race walk in 7:16.1, good for second in the country and besting her indoor time of 7:21.80, run as part of her club team at the Hispanic Games at the Armory in Manhattan in January, according to milesplit.com.
"I just wanted to get off the line as fast as possible and keep the momentum," Colon said. "The goal was to go sub-7:30 today. I wasn’t expecting to go 7:16, but I just kept telling myself that my training was going to help me through this and my teammates played a big part in it. Their support and their cheering helped me get through the race."
Ariann Robinson won the 300 (41.7 seconds), long jump (14 feet, four inches) and anchored the 4X200 meter relay that won in 1:51.8.