Following her second event of the night, Sarah Connelly believed she needed to sharpen her focus.
The result was the Mt. Sinai runner’s second title of the meet.
“It was about the mental aspect,” said Connelly, who secured victories in the both the 3,000-meter run (10 minutes, 1.6 seconds) and 1,500 (4:45.63) at the Suffolk Girls Small School track and field team championships at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood on Friday night. “I’m really happy that I pulled through in the 1,500. The competition’s getting good and it’s just going to make me better.”
Mt. Sinai, which won the Suffolk championship last winter, repeated as team champion with 90 points. Westhampton (49 points) was second and West Babylon (47) was third.
Connelly earned third in the 1,000 (3:03.51) behind first-place teammate Kaitlyn Chandrika in 3:01.37.
“During the third lap I felt myself getting boxed in,” said Chandrika, who also finished second in the 600 (1:37.27). “I was like, ‘You know what, I might as well go on the outside and see if I can creep in.’ ”
Chandrika said she and Connelly constantly challenge each other in practice, which plays a large role in their success.
“Sarah’s more of a distance runner, so in practice she pushes me during longer intervals,” Chandrika said. “And I push her during sprints. It was great running with her this time.”
Bayport-Blue Point sophomore Leeann Redlo also came away a double-winner, placing first in the 55 hurdles (8.57) and high jump (5 feet, 2 inches).
“I wasn’t expecting this,” Redlo said. “It’s a big accomplishment and I’m really proud of it.”
Redlo discussed the key to coming up with her first victory in the hurdles.
“I was really focusing on sprinting between the hurdles,” Redlo said. “And not leaning too much at the end — just keeping a really good pace in between.”
Oceane Ode of Westhampton Beach won the 55 sprint (7.44) by narrowly edging Mt. Sinai's Kate Delgandio (7.48). After coming in third during last winter’s county championships, Ode said she certainly had added motivation entering Friday's meet.
Other winners include Michele Daye of Half Hollow Hills West in the 300 (41.14) and West Babylon’s Ja’lenrose DeFilippis in the 600 (1:37.27). Rocky Point’s Alexandra Kelly led the way in the field, winning the long jump (17-7.50) and triple jump (37-5). The Eagles also received a winning performance from Brook Pohl in the shot put (36-2).