In what turned out to be a strong outing for both teams, Sachem East and North girls track competed in the first day of the Suffolk County Division Championships at Connetquot High School Tuesday.
Rachel Paul placed first in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:16.37, scoring 10 points for East. North's Keira Wood was less than a second behind her at 2:17.79, placing second and scoring 8 points for her team.
East's Alyssa Genduso and Essence Sterling both placed in the semi-finals for the 100- and 200-meter dashes and will compete in finals Thursday, the second day of the meet. Genduso ran the 200 in 26.15 seconds and Sterling ran the 100 in 12.59 seconds and the 200 in 26.46 seconds. Laurie Semetsis, also from East, will compete in the finals for the 400-meter dash and East's Meghan Walsh in the 400-meter hurdles.
Paul scored in the 3,000-meter run, placing second, and East's relay teams in the 4x100- and 4x400-meter races will compete in finals. East's 4x100 broke its school record with a time of 50.06 seconds. And while its 4x400 relay was in third for the first three legs, East's Melanie Notarstefano, the last leg, closed the gap between her and her competitors to win the race for the heat and ensure the relay a spot in the finals.
North's Nicole Desz and Sam Swift are currently placed seventh and eighth, respectively, in the pentathalon with 886 and 837 points. East's Maddy Egan is in ninth with 795 points. All three girls competed in the 100-meter hurdle race and high jump for the pentathalon and will compete in more events Thursday.
Other competitors were Emily Rathmann, Krystal Cheng, Andrea Hagerty and Siobhan O'Gorman, all from North, in the 100-meter hurdle race. Sam Eng, Jessica Grassi and Danielle Naer also competed in the race for East.
North's Melissa Michels ran the 100-meter dash in 13.07 seconds and East's Ebonie Lewis ran it in 13.12 seconds. Michels also competed in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.89 seconds. Kelly Lavan from North and Danielle Vazquez from East both ran in the 3,000-meter run. Walsh placed 8th in the triple jump with a jump of 34'12", just 6 inches away from making it to finals.
After the meet came to a close and the sun set, both North and East were still at the track. They were the last two teams to leave.
"Competitors or not, everyone was focused," said East's coach Dan Schaub at a team meeting. But while the girls competed strongly, he said he was more impressed with something else. As impressive as the performances were today, the most impressive thing was the energy and the attitude."
He said that if the girls bring that same enthusiam to the meet Thursday, the strong performaces will continue.