A candid Olivia Miller said she didn’t expect to be on the Valley Stream Central varsity track and field team this season. How many seventh-graders would?
Yet the same superb talent that quickly jolted her up the ranks propelled her all the way to the Nassau Class AAA championships at MacArthur High School Friday.
And first place in the girls 100-meter dash as well.
“This is all new to me,” said Miller, who squeaked out a victory in 12.51 seconds. “But at the same time, it’s great to beat 12th-, 11th- and 10th-graders that have been doing this for a while.”
Following a slight trip in the early moments of the race, she said she remained focused on continuing to stride forward and utilize her speed.
Miller also exuded confidence despite her youth and inexperience that this moment could come to fruition.
“I’m a seventh-grader, but I work really hard with my coaches,” she said. “I was very prepared.”
While the result of Miller’s race likely was the most shocking of the day, the boys 1,600 presented the most thrilling outcome.
Mepham’s James Moehringer edged East Meadow’s Timothy Euler by one-hundredth of a second in 4:23.49 to win his second county title.
“Coming down the straightaway I heard Euler over my shoulder a little bit,” Moehringer said. “I just wanted it so badly with it being my senior year and last 1,600 at counties.”
Mepham boasted another champion moments later when Jeremy Lissade won the 100 in 10.69.
“I usually have a bad start,” Lissade said. “But I had a really good one today.”
Team champion Uniondale received winning performances from the girls — Asia Jinks in the 400 hurdles (64.84), Belinda Saint Louis in the shot put (37 feet, 2 inches) and double-winner Zaria Fuller in the high jump (5-2) and 100 hurdles (14.54) — as well as the boys — the 4 x 100 relay team of Tishon Dodd-Gray, Dawshawn Williams, Asiel King and Giordano Williams (43.35) and triple-winner Christopher Borzor in the long jump (22-51⁄2), 200 (21.63) and 400 (48.51).
“To bring back Asia Jinks in the third week of March after all the rehab and have her win is something special,” Uniondale coach Leigh Pollet said. “And Belinda Saint Louis has made such huge progress.”
Other winners included Syosset’s Reilly Siebert in the girls 1,500 (4:44.17), Freeport’s Nakacee McNab in the girls 400 (58.02) and Massapequa’s Kevin Cetin in the boys discus (153-11).
Individual champions will compete in the state qualifier meet beginning Wednesday at North Shore High School.
“This was a great experience for me,” Miller said. “When I heard I won I actually cried a little bit.”