For Riverhead High School junior Juliana Marcucci, the Suffolk County League III girls winter track championships was as easy as one, two, three.
That is, Marcucci finished first in the 3,000-meter run, second in the 1,500 and was part of the 4 x 800-meter relay team that took third place at Suffolk County Community College West in Brentwood on Saturday.
“She has been doing an excellent job this season,” Riverhead Coach Becky Winkel said. “This was the first time she competed overall against a large group. To me, it is a challenge to run the [three races]. What an outstanding job.”
Marcucci took the gold medal in the 3,000 in 10 minutes 57.88 seconds, captured second place in the 1,500 in 5:11.24, and was a member of the 4 x 800 team that was third in 11:01.38. Rachel Conti, Sarah Governale and Corinne Kimmelman also ran the relay.
In the team scoring, Riverhead finished fifth with 55 points.
“They exceeded my expectations,” Winkel said. “They did a fantastic job. Each athlete who scored points and received a medal did what they were asked to do.”
Several Blue Waves distinguished themselves. Conti, a freshman, finished fourth in the 1,000 in 3:21.83. “To finish fourth as a freshman is an outstanding feat,” Winkel said.
Governale, a senior, took sixth in the 3,000 in 12:13.96.
Winkel was heartened by senior Wynisha Hatcher’s performance. Hatcher, who has been hampered by knee injuries in soccer and track, tied West Babylon’s Jaclyn Mariotti for third place in the high jump at 4 feet 6 inches and was a member of the 4 x 400 team that earned a bronze in 4:33.94. The other relay team members were Fatima Brown, Christy Brewer and Tysha Harrell.
“It’s great to see her come back and compete with a 4-6 in the high jump and run,” Winkel said. “I hope that leads to a successful spring season for her.”
In the shot put, Riverhead had a one-two punch. Junior Rebecca Kerr-Smith earned the silver with a throw of 30-3 1/2 while freshman Madison Blom was sixth at 28-4. “For a freshman, that’s promising,” Winkel said.
The Blue Waves also had a strong finish in the long jump as Brown was fourth at 15-8 1/2 and Brewer fifth at 14-10 1/2.
Bishop McGann-Mercy Coach Gregg Cantwell said the team could have accrued more points in the League V Championships by entering girls in more events. “I didn’t want to tire all the girls out at the expense of the rest of the season,” he said.
Still, he was satisfied with McGann-Mercy’s sixth-place finish and 32 points, which left the Monarchs one point out of fifth. “It went pretty well,” Cantwell said. “We had some girls who ran really strong in some races.”
At the top of the pack was senior Olivia Schumann, who was second in the 300 meters in 43.76, finishing behind the leader by 35/100ths of a second.
Senior Kayleigh Macchirole, who battled bronchitis, finished seventh at 45.8. “She had a tough time,” Cantwell said. “Near the end of the race she got really winded,”
Freshman Delina Acuceillo cut 1.5 seconds off her personal best with a fourth-place finish in the 600 in 1:46:07. Seventh-grader Meg Tuthill took ninth in the race at 1:53.
Sophomore Isabella Franz took fourth in the 1,000 meters with a her season’s best time of 3:20.03.
Junior Lauren Valle completed the race walk in a season-best 8:39.9, good for fourth place.
Senior Lauren Woodhull finished eighth in the 55 meters at 8.10.
The quartet of Tori Tremble, Schumann, Macchirole and Woodhull enjoyed a third-place showing in the 4 x 400 relay in 4:28.
McGann-Mercy’s 4 x 800 team also had a strong showing in third place as Auceillo, Tuthill, Franz and Valle ran a season-best time of 11:04.