Katherine Lee said goodbye to Suffolk racing in the only way she knew how — by winning. The Shoreham-Wading River senior, who has dominated the county since her freshman year, won the 1,500 meters in 4 minutes, 34.25 seconds on the second and final day of the Suffolk track and field state qualifier meet Saturday afternoon at a steamy Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station.
The victory, which came in her final race as a high schooler on a Suffolk County track, qualified Lee for the outdoor state championships, scheduled for June 8-9 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Lee also qualified in the 3,000, running a 9:58.42 on Friday. However, because of a recent illness, Lee said she hasn’t decided if she’ll make the trip upstate.
Lee said the illness has been unidentified by doctors despite numerous tests, but involves a fever and cold-like symptoms.
“I feel myself getting a little bit better everyday, just because I feel myself getting into a little bit better shape,” Lee said.
Lee broke away from the field with about 500 meters to go in the 1,500 and ran her fastest time of the outdoor season.
“I think I did a good job of holding on and holding my own,” Lee said. “Because I’ve been under the weather lately, I haven’t been as confident and I haven’t been running what I could be running at this time of the year . . . My strategy for this whole season has been to stay with the pack and finish as hard as you can. I thought I did a good job of that today. I led more than I wanted to, but they weren’t taking it and I thought ‘I can’t go any slower or else they’ll have more at the finish than me.’”
Elsewhere, Hauppauge’s Jada Obie won the 100 in 12.11 seconds and the 200 in 24.98 seconds. Mount Sinai freshman Kaitlyn Chandrika used a quick start to roll to a 6:57.97 victory in the 2,000 meter steeplechase. Chandrika said she practices in sweat pants to get used to the heat and, with temperatures in the high 80s, she was certainly prepared.
“I knew that I had to get in front in the beginning because, if I didn’t, I would lag the whole race,” Chandrika said.
On the boys side, Longwood’s Jaheim Dotson won the 110 meter hurdles in 14.35 seconds and the 400 meter hurdles in 54.40 seconds.
Whitman’s Jack Poplawski won the pentathlon with 3,399 points. He won the shot put (45 feet, 6 1/2 inches), long jump (20, 8 1/2), and 1,500 4:34.16, finished third in the 110-hurdles (16.34) and tied for fourth in the high jump (5-10).
Poplawski said he’s most comfortable in the shot put, using a combination of the glide technique and naturally long arms to place the shot where he wants it.
“When I get to the toe board, I get a good extension on it,” Poplawski said of the glide.