Ashley Fulton of Elmont wins the girls 300-meter dash in...

Ashley Fulton of Elmont wins the girls 300-meter dash in 39.19 seconds at the New York State indoor track and field state championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island on March 2. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Ashley Fulton, Elmont, 300 meters

Fulton entered the indoor track and field championships with a goal of setting either a state record or a meet record.

The senior won the 300 meters in 38.15 seconds, breaking the meet record by 0.08 seconds. It was a new personal best for Fulton and the fastest time in the state this winter, according to milesplit.com.

“I didn’t know how fast I was going until I saw the time,” Fulton said. “I wasn’t surprised, but it was nice to hit a PR.”

It’s Fulton’s first indoor state Federation championship. She won the public school 300 title in 39.58 seconds in 2023.

“This is my first time winning an individual Federation championship indoor, so it was very important to me,” Fulton said. “I’m a senior, so I’m going out with a bang.”

Fulton won the 300 at the Nassau state qualifier in 39.86 seconds and the 55 in 7.01 seconds.

Sariah Doresca, Baldwin, 55 meters

Sariah Doresca of Baldwin wins the girls 55-meter dash in...

Sariah Doresca of Baldwin wins the girls 55-meter dash in a PR of 6.93 seconds at the New York State indoor track and field state championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island on March 2. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Despite being slowed by a hamstring injury at the start of the season,  Doresca only got faster on her way to her second-straight 55 meters state championship.

The Baldwin junior entered the championships with a personal best of 7.02 seconds, which she set in last year’s state championship race. This year, she ran a 7.01 in the trials before winning the title in 6.93 seconds.

Doresca’s injury forced her to miss a few meets and she needed physical therapy to help her recovery, but it all helped her get stronger and faster.

“It means a lot to me because I know my coaches and teammates believe in me,” Doresca said. “It’s good to see all my hard work pay off when it counts and on the biggest stage.”

Later in the state championship meet, Doresca ran on Baldwin’s 4 x 200 relay team that won a second straight title in 1:40.11.

Zariel Macchia, Floyd, 1,000 meters

Zariel Macchia of Floyd wins the girls 1,000-meter run in...

Zariel Macchia of Floyd wins the girls 1,000-meter run in a time of 2:49.23 at the New York State indoor track and field state championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island on March 2 Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

It was always a matter of when, not if, Macchia would win a state track championship.

One of the most decorated distance runners in the country won the 1,000 meters state title in 2 minutes, 49.23 seconds. She ran in the middle of the pack until the second-to-last lap, when she kicked her way to the front. The Floyd junior traded the lead with Smithtown West’s Laina Friedmann throughout the final lap, but pulled ahead for good in the last 60 meters.

“I had been really excited for the 1,000 for a while,” Macchia said. “No matter where I was, I wouldn’t let myself lose the front. With 60 meters to go, I just said, ‘Everything to the line. I can do this.’”

Macchia took second in the 3,000 in 9:25.77,  a Long Island record time.

Macchia has also won a state Federation cross country championship, a Class A public school cross country championship and a Nike indoor national championship. Could a spring track state title be next?

Said Macchia, “I don’t have a spring championship, so maybe this will be the year.”

Chica Akazi, Uniondale, 55 hurdles

Chica Akazi of Uniondale wins the girls 55-meter hurdles in...

Chica Akazi of Uniondale wins the girls 55-meter hurdles in a time of 8.21 seconds at the New York State indoor track and field state championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island on March 2. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Akazi wasn’t sure if she did enough to qualify for 55 meter hurdles final.

The Uniondale senior ran the trials in 8.48 seconds and was the eighth and final qualifier by 0.02 seconds. Akazi stayed the course in between races and turned up the heat to win the  state championship in 8.21 seconds.

“My coach told me to stay focused. He had confidence in me that I would be able to come back in the final and run as well as I did,” Akazi said. “My goal has been to win gold at least once before I graduate. I’m so thankful for my coaches for encouraging me and supporting me all this way.”

Akazi won in 8.26 seconds at the Nassau state qualifiers. Last year, Akazi finished in 8.38 seconds for fourth place in the indoor state finals.

Jillian Scully, Miller Place, Shot put

Jillian Scully poses during the indoor state track championships at the...

Jillian Scully poses during the indoor state track championships at the Ocean Breze Athletic Compler, in Staten Island on March 2. Credit: Debbie Scully

Each season, Scully sets a distance that she wants to reach. Her original goal this winter was 42 feet, but a broken finger that forced her to miss a month early in the season caused her to lower her own expectations.

But, the Miller Place junior soared past her original target to win the state indoor shot put championship with a 42 foot, 11 ½  inch throw, which was a personal record at the time. Her previous record was 41-11.

“I honestly couldn’t believe it,” Scully said. “I remember going to the outdoor state championships and I was struggling to be there. I was so anxious and nervous and I didn’t know what to expect. I was so intimidated. But this season, it just clicked.”

Scully reached 44-1/2 and placed third at Nike Indoor Nationals a week later. It was the longest throw in the state this season, according to milesplit.com.

Scully finished last spring with a personal record of 39-11. Her switch from glide to wheel turns, combined with her tireless work ethic, have propelled her to the top spot in the state.

“The second I came back from my injury, I remembered how much I love track and how much I enjoy practicing,” Scully said. “So, I started staying after practice and just kept throwing and working towards higher numbers.”

Logan Schaeffler, Calhoun, 1,600 meters

Logan Schaeffler of Calhoun wins the boys 1,600-meter run in...

Logan Schaeffler of Calhoun wins the boys 1,600-meter run in a time of 4:11.00 at the New York State indoor track and field state championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island on March 2. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

When Schaeffler won his first indoor state track title a year ago, he was shocked by how well he ran.

The Calhoun senior was one of the favorites to win the 1,600 meters at this year’s state meet. He met the lofty expectations and won his second straight state title in a personal best 4 minutes, 11 seconds flat. It was the fastest time in the state this season, according to milesplit.com.

He finished 4.16 seconds ahead of Ketcham’s Connor Hitt, who took second. Schaeffler’s previous personal record was his championship-winning 4:13.51 a year earlier.

“It felt really good. I wasn’t sure if was going to PR, even if I won,” Schaeffler said.

Despite being the reigning champion and being a popular pick to repeat, Schaeffler was still nervous entering the race. What was his mindset?

“Don’t take anything for granted. Give it every morsel of energy that you got every race,” Schaeffler said.

Schaeffler also won the 1,600 at the Nassau state qualifiers in 4:27.77.

Baldwin 4 x 200 Relay

The Baldwin girls 4x200 meter state champions, from left, Breanne Barnett, Kelys...

The Baldwin girls 4x200 meter state champions, from left, Breanne Barnett, Kelys Walker, Jahzara Emeli ans Sariah Doresca posr at the Officials Hall of Fame Invitational at the Nike Indoor Nationals on March 10 at The Armory. Credit: Baldwin Schools

Baldwin sets its own standards.

Sariah Doresca, Kelys Walker, Jahzara Emeli and Breanne Barnett all set the track ablaze to lead Baldwin to its second straight 4 x 200 meter relay state championship in 1 minute, 40.11 seconds, breaking the state meet record of 1:40.27 set by Huntington in 2020. The time was also the fastest in the state this winter according to milesplit.com.

“We were actually set to go even faster,” Doresca said. “I know we will in the spring, but this just goes to show that this is just a starting point. We have more to achieve.”

“Our goal is not only to win, but to set certain times,” added Emeli.

Emeli said the team’s goal in 2023 was to break the state meet record, but they settled for a win in 1:41.17. Walker is the only new member of the team.

“You have no idea how good this feels,” Walker said. “This is really an amazing feeling because I’m not really accustomed to this.”

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