There’s just no stopping Katherine Lee. The Shoreham-Wading River junior, who was flying high after a top-10 finish at Nike Cross Nationals in the fall, had her indoor season derailed after a collision at Febuary’s Millrose Games. What resulted was a grade 3 sprain in her left ankle with substantial bone bruising, six weeks away from the sport she loves and a long slide down in her training regimen.
“It was really tough on me, especially mentally,” Lee said Friday. “I had never taken off that long from running . . . I got out of shape. It was really tough coming back, but I’m on the way.”
Lee’s signature modesty hasn’t left her. Neither has her talent. She won four Suffolk Division III county championships, completing the quadruple with victories in the 1,500 meters and 4 x 800 relay on the second day of the annual event at Ward Melville High School on Friday.
Lee took the 1,500 in 4 minutes, 28.62 seconds and, along with Payton Capes-Davis, Alexandra Hays and Maria Smith won the 4 x 800 relay in 9:27.64. Lee won the 800 in 2:11.33 and the 3,000 in 9:58.52 on Tuesday.
Lee’s performance helped Shoreham-Wading River win the Division III team title. West Babylon took Division II and Sachem East won Division I.
West Babylon’s 4 x 400 team, composed of Jessica Boos, Dana Beggins, Paige Keefer and Brittany Korsah, won in 3:54.76 and their 4 x 800 team, Keefer, Noela Franco, Paige’s sister Nadine and Tara Hauff, won in 9:40.97.
Westhampton’s Sarena Choi continued her outstanding year. After winning an indoor state triple jump championship in March, Choi won outdoor Division III county titles in the long jump (18 feet, 4 1⁄2 inches), triple jump (39-2 1⁄2) and the 100 meters (12.29).
Whitman’s Antoinette Miller won the Division I 100 in 12.23 seconds and 200 in 25.53 seconds. East Islip’s Jackie Ginty won the Division II 100 in 12.28 seconds.
Connetquot’s Kelly Iocca opened up the sun-splashed final day of the county championships with a dominant victory in the Division I 2,000-meter steeplechase. Her 7:06.59 finish was more than 13 seconds ahead of the field. Halfway through the opening lap, Iocca was already running by herself.
“You always have to go out strong because you never know what’s going to happen in a race, especially one like steeple where you don’t want to be near a lot of people while going over the barriers,” Iocca said. “It’s important to start out fast. I hit the barriers pretty well on the first lap or two.”