CICERO, N.Y. — Regardless of where you go for a state track and field championship, chances are a Long Island athlete will win the triple jump. This time it happened twice.
Westbury’s Denisha West won the state Division I outdoor title with a jump of 40 feet and a quarter inch and Bayport-Blue Point’s Kathleen Cibuls took the Division II championship at 38-101⁄2 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School Friday. Sachem North’s Leah Blackall came in second after West at 39-61⁄2, the same order they finished in the state indoor championships.
West got her top jump on her first attempt to put pressure on the field and to define the day from the start. That didn’t mean her victory was a sure thing, however.
“I just kept going out there with the same amount of energy, the same amount of spirit, just to keep up with those girls,” West said.
The result gave her a confidence boost that she said will help her compete for a federation title Saturday.
“I realized how it’s supposed to be when I felt that 40 feet,” she said. “I know what factors to take in for that 40 feet for tomorrow. I think I’m well prepared.”
Cibuls will be another familiar face in the federation meet after increasing her distance with each jump and securing the Division II title on her final attempt.
“I do better under pressure,” Cibuls said.
North Shore’s Diana Vizza took second in the 3,000-meter race in 9:32.26 after going back and forth with Corning’s Jessica Lawson, who won in 9:24.36. Vizza said she used familiarity with the field to her advantage, even when others went out fast at the start.
“I sort of made sure not to panic and then I just pushed the middle because I’m a very strength-based runner and I knew that pushing the middle laps is something that not many other people are going to do,” Vizza said.
The lead pack was reduced to four runners before Vizza and Lawson separated from the others. They traded first and second during the second-to-last lap before Lawson used her long stride and kick to pull away.
Vizza will return Saturday for the 1,500. She’s looking win her third state title in a third season this school year. She took the public school Class B 5-kilometer cross-country race, and the state indoor 1,500.
“It’s a really stacked field tomorrow also, so I’m looking forward to it,” Vizza said.
Bay Shore’s Aviana Goode took second in the Division I long jump with a 20-8 leap.
Commack’s Amanda McNelis took third in the pole vault with a 12-foot jump. She said she battled a cross wind that made it difficult to keep the pole straight coming down the runway, but managed to stay consistent.
St. Anthony’s Halle Hazzard ran the fastest qualifying time for Saturday’s 100 final in 11.65. She also qualified for the 200 in 24.35.
Goode led Long Island qualifiers with a 14.05 in the 100 hurdles. Anthony’s Alyssa Yeboah-Kodie also advanced in 14.55, followed by Kellenberg’s Gabrielle Schreib in 14.82. Cibuls ran a 14.91. West Babylon’s Brittany Korsah qualified for the 200 in 24.83.