05/31/13 8:54pm
05/31/2013 8:54 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck pentathlon athlete Shannon Dwyer competing in the 100-meter high hurdles on Friday.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck pentathlon athlete Shannon Dwyer competing in the 100-meter high hurdles on Friday.

SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP STATE QUALIFIER

Delina Auciello is headed upstate and while she is up there, she will undoubtedly enjoy a piece of cake.

Auciello and another Bishop McGann-Mercy junior, Danisha Carter, both qualified on Friday for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls track and field championships. The timing is interesting, with the state meet to be held June 7 and 8 at Middletown High School. June 8 will be Auciello’s 17th birthday.

“That’s why I really wanted to go,” she said. “Yeah, it’s a birthday present.”

Auciello was ninth overall and the top Division II finisher in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10 minutes 58.39 seconds on Friday in the Section XI individual championship state qualifier at Port Jefferson High School. It was only her third time running the 3,000 competitively, and she was emotional following her race.

“I’m going to cry,” she said, but she successfully held back tears during an interview.

Auciello went to the state meet when she was a freshman as an alternate on a 4×400-meter relay team.

Cater punched her ticket to the state meet in both the 100- and 200-meter events by virtue of her performances on Friday. She clocked times of 13.03 seconds, bringing her 12th overall in the 100 preliminaries, and 26.22, good for seventh overall in the 200, but also qualifying her for Saturday’s finals in that event.

“We made it, yes,” Carter said. “I’m really, really excited, and it’s totally unbelievable.”

Carter said she was so amped up about the state qualifier that she “could not go to sleep last night at all. I was so pressured. I really, really wanted to do so good.”

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carter did well in the 200. She said it’s her favorite and best event. “That’s my race,” she said.

Earlier this season, Carter broke the school record in the 200 with a time of 26.20, which is just 2/100ths of a second off the time she recorded on Friday.

Now the two Monarchs will get to run on an even bigger stage.

“That’s all we wanted from the beginning of the year,” Carter said. “It’s what we’ve been looking forward to.”

If nothing else, it should make for a memorable birthday for Auciello.

TRACK NOTES Riverhead junior Kyra Braunskill took sixth place in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet 6 1/2 inches, a personal record.

The second and final day of the state qualifying meet will be tomorrow.

bliepa@timesreview.com

05/09/13 7:37pm
05/09/2013 7:37 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Mercy junior Delina Auciello won three individual events Thursday against Port Jefferson.

The drive for five came to fruition Thursday.

The Bishop McGann-Mercy girls track & field team clinched its fifth straight League VIII championship with an 87-57 victory at Port Jefferson to finish 6-0.

Even after losing several key athletes from last year’s team, the young Monarchs complied another dominant season, winning nearly every dual meet going away.

Mercy junior Delina Auciello won three individual events against the Royals and ran the opening leg of the winning 4 x 800 relay. Battling through an illness, Auciello won the 400-hurdles (1:10.2), 800 (2:33.1) and 3,000 (12:05.4).

She opened up a big lead at the start of the 4 x 800 before Tori Barlow, Dayna Young and Meg Tuthill closed it out.

Tuthill, a freshman, had a big day as well. She won the 1,500 (5:36), took second in the 400-hurdles (1:10.4) while also running on the winning 4 x 400 relay.

Junior Danisha Carter won the 100 (13.9) and 200 (26.2). Her time in the 200 guaranteed her a spot at the state qualifiers.

The Monarchs also got first-place finishes in the 400 from sophomore Delaney Macchirole (1:03.1), the shot put from junior Jackie Spinella and the race walk from junior Colleen Edwards (9:09.4).

BILL LANDON PHOTO | McGann-Mercy freshman Meg Tuthill reaches for the baton during a relay Thursday at Port Jefferson.

10/24/12 7:00am
10/24/2012 7:00 AM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTOS | Mercy junior Delina Auciello (left) and freshman Meg Tuthill finished third and fifth in the team qualifier race Tuesday at Sunken Meadow.

Delina Auciello and many of her track teammates at McGann-Mercy were already working out and training in late August. They figured they were preparing for the winter track season, which was still more than three months away.

Only a few weeks before the start of the school year did they learn that Mercy had brought back a cross country program.

“We were running over the summer,” Auciello said. “Our coach gave us schedules from track. But we found out the last few weeks and everyone was like, Yeah!”

The newest team on the block has been turning heads all year, especially Auciello, a junior running her first season of cross country. At the Section XI Division Championship Tuesday, Auciello ran an impressive time of 20 minutes 32 seconds over the five-kilometer course at Sunken Meadow State Park.

The Monarchs ran in the team qualifier race (the top two teams in each league ran in the championship race) and Auciello finished third out of 179 runners. Her time would have been good enough for third place in Division IV of the championship race.

It was her best time by more than 25 seconds.

“My coach really wanted me to win, but I’m fine with third place,” Auciello said. “I’m so happy about what I did. By the end of the season I want to at least get down to 19′s.”

Auciello began the season running in the mid-21′s.

“I PR’d at every race, which is all I could ask for,” she said.

Her teammate, freshman Meg Tuthill, wasn’t far behind. She finished fifth in the team qualifier race in 21:05.5.

An outstanding distance runner during the track season last year, Tuthill also got her first taste of cross country this fall.

“I was really excited,” Tuthill said about the chance to run cross country. “I just knew it would make me a better runner for track.”

Her times have improved by about two minutes from the beginning of the season, she said. One of the biggest challenges she faced was learning how to run downhill.

“I’m afraid I’m going to fall so I slow myself down,” she said.

Running uphill, however, was less of an issue. “I think I like running uphill,” she said, a statement rarely before uttered in human history.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mercy senior Patrick Derenze ran a personal best time Tuesday of 19:45.2.

Junior Jen Perugi ran 24:22.6 and senior Courtney Walsh ran 25:58.4.

On the boys side junior Matt Abazis posted the top time for Mercy in 18:28.4. He finished 34th overall in the team qualifier race.

Abazis said he started cross country to help train for track. But he found cross country might be his calling.

“After doing the season I think this became my more prominent sport,” he said.

All the runners said a big part of the success this season was the closeness between everyone. Neither the boys or girls had many runners, but they trained together and formed a close bond.

“I don’t know what it is about cross country, but I feel like the team was a lost closer than the track season,” Abazis said.

Auciello said: “We’re so small, but we’re so close.”

Abazis noted how while the small team has brought them together, the lack of depth has also been their biggest weakness.

“It’s a weird tradeoff,” he said.

Mercy senior Patrick Derenze ran the second-fastest time for the boys with a personal best of 19:45.2. Like many other runners, he joined cross country as a means to train for track.

“I want to run in college, so I was trying to build for my track performance later in the year,” he said.

Mercy coach Tricia Nunez said a goal this season was to teach the kids to run their own race.

“Now it’s toward the end of the season and I think they have a good feel for the course,” she said. “It’s like anything, the more you do it, the better you get at it.”

joew@timesreview.com