Lindsey Yakaboski of St. Anthony's, left, races to victory in...

Lindsey Yakaboski of St. Anthony's, left, races to victory in the girls 800 meter run during the St. Anthony's Track & Field Invitational at St. Anthony's High School on Saturday, May 6, 2023. She posted a time of 2:14.16. Credit: James Escher

Lindsey Yakaboski didn’t expect to win the 800-meter race.

She lined up next to a competitive group of girls in what’s a historically talented race at the St. Anthony’s Invitational.

But after the 200 meters, she realized it was her race to win.

“My plan was to hang behind them and see what I can do at the end,” Yakaboski said. “But at about 200 in, I felt it slowing down, and I knew it was too slow. So, I just tried to move around everyone. No one really came with me either . . .  I expected them to catch me at the end, but when I didn’t really hear anyone behind me, I just tried to finish it off strong.”

Yakaboski, a senior at St. Anthony’s, is a natural 800-meter runner, so she felt super comfortable on her home track. She set a new personal record with a 2:14.16, beating out Laina Friedmann by .13 seconds.

That said, this was Yakaboski’s first open 800 meter of the season. She had prepped for today with a couple time trial meets earlier this year.

Her win today is a strong start to what she calls the beginning of the “bigger meets.” She hopes to qualify for the New York state championship and New Balance national championship. To do so, she’ll continue to do what she does before each race.

“I always go through the same warm up — an eight-minute jog,” Yakaboski said. “Then I do my standing stretches and drills. I’ll do a couple strides, leg swings, and pray.”

Logan Daley of Holy Trinity also prays before her race, which helps calm her nerves. She lines up for her 100-meter final, marking the first 30 meters in her head so she knows how long to hold her drive phase.

The junior will also create a “race plan” prior to lining up to help navigate her way to the finish line.

“To get out really hard and hold my drive phase,” Daley said of her race plan for the 100-meter. “Because, for me, that’s the most important part of my race. Then toward the end, just getting tall and holding my form.”

Daley finished in 11.83, which is a personal record. It also takes over as the fastest girls 100-meter in New York in the spring 2023 season.

“[The season] has been going pretty good,” Daley said. “Every race that I’ve run, I’ve been [ setting apersonal record]. So, hopefully I can keep that momentum for the rest of the season, for the big races.”

Daley’s favorite race is the 200-meter, which she wants to run at least a 24.3 to set a new personal record.

Ruby Ray, a Port Jefferson senior, won the 1500-meter race walk in 7:22.34, beating Commack’s Madeline Pettit by just under 14 seconds.

Asha Pensa-Johnson, a Hampton Bays sophomore, won and set a personal record in the discus with a throw of 122 feet 2 inches. Walt Whitman’s senior Lizzie Schreiber won the triple jump at 39-8.

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