Payton Capes-Davis was the last one to the starting line and the first to the finish line.
In the end, that was all that mattered.
The Shoreham-Wading River High School senior finished first in the 1,000-meter race in the Suffolk County League IV girls winter track championships Saturday at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. But it was close. Capes-Davis edged a teammate, senior Amanda Dwyer, by 2/100ths of a second, turning in a time of 3 minutes, 10.88 seconds.
That wasn’t the only close triumph by Capes-Davis. She won the 1,500 race in 4:50.60, topping teammate, runner-up and fellow senior Alexandra Hays by 21/100ths of a second. Dwyer took third in 5:01.03.
“It definitely was a great day for me,” said Capes-Davis, who remains undecided on her college choice.
The prelude to the 1,000 was interesting for Capes-Davis, who had asked coach Paul Koretzki how much time she had left before the start of the race. “He said I had a little bit of time before my race,” she said. “I didn’t realize that he really meant just a little bit of time.”
Capes-Davis said she had walked outside the gym and when she returned to her team area, she was alerted by teammates. She said, “They were like, ‘Payton, the 1,000 is on the track!’ ”
Running to the starting area in her socks while holding her sneakers, Capes-Davis was greeted by Hays, who handed her her singlet with a number on it and saved her spot for her.
Capes-Davis’ 1,500 time set a League IV meet record, as did teammate Katherine Lee’s triumph in the 600 in 1:35.15. The previous marks were 4:51.19 by Miller Place’s Tiana Guevara in the 1,500 in 2013 and 1:39.95 by Westhampton Beach’s Grace Gilbakian in the 600 in 2015, according to suffolkxctf.com.
Lee, a junior, also won the 3,000 in 10:36.22, with Hays second in 10:36.32 and Shoreham sophomore Alexandra Smith sixth in 11:28.12.
The Wildcats also posted a pair of victories in the relays. The 4×400 team of Capes-Davis, Smith, sophomore Francesca Lily and Lee won in 4:17.96. In the 4×800, freshmen Nicole Garcia and Isadora Petretti joined Dwyer and Hays to prevail in 10:13.41.
Another Shoreham runner, senior Haley Lindel, was fifth in the 55 hurdles in 10.04.
It added up to a second-place finish for Shoreham (97 points) in the team rankings. Miller Place was first with 100.75.
Koretzki had projected his team to score 12 points less than what it came up with. “I didn’t even know where those points came from,” he said. “It was inch by inch, so we were very pleased with the performance. We had some real good stuff going on.”
It has been quite a season for Capes-Davis, who was an All-State runner this past cross-country season.
“Really the only word I can just use to describe it is surprising,” she said. “Coming off a good cross-country season, I was confident that I would have a good winter season, but nothing like this.”
In League V, Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Madeleine Joinnides took second in the 600 in 1:43.79. Mercy junior Olivia Valle was sixth in 1:47.87. Mercy seventh-grader Rose Hayes placed fifth in the 1,500 in 5:20.64. Mercy also took fifth in the 4×400 relay (4:57.09) and sixth in the 4×200 relay (2:06.27).
In League II, Riverhead picked up sixth-place finishes in the 4×200 relay and the 4×800. The 4×200 team of Eve Pittman, Emma Panciocco, Delu Rizzo and Shannon Schmidt clocked 1:56.46. Emma Conroy, Christina Yakaboski, Megan Kielbasa and Aimee Drexel ran the 4×800 in 10:26.76.
SWR sets Yale record. Shoreham’s 4×800 relay team turned in the second-fastest time in the nation and set a meet record in the Yale Invitational on Friday. The foursome of Payton Capes-Davis, Amanda Dwyer, Alexandra Hays and Katherine Lee won the small schools race handily, in 9:16.06. In doing so, Shoreham reclaimed a meet record it set in 1987 with a hand-held time of 9:33.6. About three years ago Bronxville ran the same time with electronic timing and was credited with the record, Shoreham coach Paul Koretzki said.
Lake Braddock of Virginia has fastest time in the nation, 9:16.03, said Koretzki.
As for the new Yale Invitational mark, Koretzki said, “That’s going to stay there for another 25 years.”
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River’s Payton Capes-Davis, right, and Amanda Dwyer, left, finished first and second, respectively, and within 2/100ths of a second of each other in the 1,000 meters. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)