Chica Akazi of Uniondale runs the 100 hurdles at the New York...

Chica Akazi of Uniondale runs the 100 hurdles at the New York State Track and Field Championship, Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Cicero. Credit: Derrick Dingle/Derrick Dingle

CICERO — Chica Akazi practiced on Uniondale’s track for the first time this season on Tuesday.

Renovations to the school’s running surface forced her to practice on grass for the majority of Akazi’s senior season — but her unfinished business was on the state championship track.

Akazi improved on her fourth-place finish from last year with a personal-best time of 14.07 seconds to earn the 100-meter hurdles Federation title on the second and final day of the girls outdoor track and field state championships on Saturday afternoon at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

“I felt so happy. The entire team has come a long way,” Akazi said. “When we have a track meet, that’s when we get to run on a track, so being able to come here and win states is such an incredible feeling and accomplishment.”

Akazi clocked back-to-back personal records, running the Federation race seven-hundredths of a second faster than her Division I state championship time (14.14). She won that title 30 minutes before the Federation final.

“I knew what I had to do after the trials yesterday because it was crazy in the rain, so when I came out today, I just kept pushing and pushing with each leap,” she said. “To get two personal records, a state and a Federation championship is a blessing.”

Floyd’s Zariel Macchia also bested last year’s silver medal in the 3,000 meters with a gold, securing the Federation title in 9 minutes, 34.75 seconds Friday night.

So what helped the national distance standout capture her first outdoor state title?

“The weather delay,” Macchia said of the nearly four-hour stoppage that prolonged the first day of the championships. “I actually had a lot of fun with the other girls while we were waiting for the thunder to stop. We had a great group. We were all warming up together and during the race it was a lot of fun. I was just enjoying myself throughout the whole way.”

For Malverne’s Nicea Jones, who found herself in the 400 Federation final for the first time, nerves built her winning performance. The junior, who used her prerace anxiety to propel her down the home straight, held up a No. 1 with her finger before she crossed the line in 55.71 seconds.

“I was really nervous, which actually helps me. I run my nerves away. I don’t think, I just run,” Jones said. “I also normally don’t finish well, that’s something I’ve strived to improve on, so I’m really proud of myself and how I finished today.”

Elsewhere, Alexa Jacobs of Port Jefferson won her second Division II state title in the 100 in 12.3 seconds.

“I was really ready to come back and I was excited for the good competition,” Jacobs said. “I knew I kind of had to do it again if I did it last year, so I’m so happy that I was able to do it. I hope I can keep coming back and winning.”

Jillian Scully of Miller Place captured Federation titles in the shot put and discus. Scully threw the discus 154 feet, 4 inches, nearly 27 feet further than the runner-up, and heaved the shot put 46-11 1⁄2, an almost five-foot advantage.

Other state champions include Bayport-Blue Point’s Sophia McInnes, who won the Division II 800 (2:08.94) and 1,500 (4:27.19), Samara Lawrence of North Babylon, who won the Division I 400 (57.05) and East Meadow’s Zaria Hall, who won the Division I 1,500 (4:28.57).


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