06/20/11 12:39am
06/20/2011 12:39 AM

Melodee Riley of Jamesport, a Riverhead High School junior, finished fourth in the triple jump in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals that were held Thursday through Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. Riley’s best effort of 39 feet 8 1/2 inches placed her behind Thea Ford of Silver Spring, Md. (40-5), Jessica Caldwell of Randallstown, Md. (40-3 1/4) and Essence Mayers of Lakewood, N.J. (40-0).

Two Bishop McGann-Mercy High School seniors ran in the 400-meter emerging elite event. Kayleigh Macchirole of Greenport was 23rd in 59.18 seconds, and Olivia Schumann of Manorville was 28th in 59.61.

06/04/11 10:38pm
06/04/2011 10:38 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead junior Melodee Riley posted one of the best triple jumps in the country this season and won the long jump as well.

A merry Melodee was on display in Port Jefferson High School’s triple-jump pit on Saturday, and for good reason.

Melodee Riley was beaming in the mid-afternoon sun. The Riverhead High School junior had barely started to rise to her feet following her final triple jump of the day when a smile creased her face. She undoubtedly knew the jump was a good one. It was only several seconds later when the distance was announced that her sense was confirmed: 41 feet 3 1/2 inches.

Riley’s jump was not only a school record and an effort worthy of first place in the Section XI Individual Championships/State Qualifier, but it is the best triple jump in New York State and one of the best in the nation this season, coaches said.

“I was amped,” Riley said. “I feel great. This is what I wanted to do, and I did it.”

The triple jump capped a wonderful meet for Riley. Just the day before she turned in a personal record in the long jump, 19-1/4, which was good enough for first place. She will compete in both events in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships that will be held Friday and Saturday at Caledonia-Mumford High School in Caledonia.

But it was the triple jump, which Riley describes as her favorite and best event, that produced the greatest satisfaction for her. She broke the previous school record of a little over 40 feet that she set earlier this year.

“We’ve been waiting for this because she’s been hitting 40 feet consistently,” Riverhead Coach Maria Dounelis said. “Oh, it’s impressive. She’s probably got to be top five in the nation.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Olivia Schumann will compete in the state meet for the fourth year in a row.

Riley’s nearest competitor in the triple jump was Kings Park senior Tara Greco, who took second place with a distance of 38-3. Another Riverheader, freshman Kyra Braunskill, was sixth at 36-8.

Riley, who was a fifth-place finisher in the triple jump in last year’s state meet, will be making her third appearance in New York’s biggest high school meet.

“I think her expectations are big, and that’s good,” Dounelis said. “She’s very athletic, but it’s just that jumping ability. That’s why she’s able to do what she can do.”

Riley said she surprised herself on Friday by winning the long jump with a leap that bettered her personal record by 6 1/4 inches. Northport junior Sara Ronde was second at 18-9 1/2. It was during that competition when Dounelis encouraged Riley to smile and be happy.

“When she’s relaxed and she’s coming down the runway, that’s when she jumps her best, and that’s why she won yesterday,” said the coach.

Riley was certainly happy on Saturday. In fact, she said it was the happiest she has ever been in connection with the triple jump.

“Once I hit 40, I felt I could go farther, but I had to work at it. It doesn’t come easy,” she said. “Jumping 41 feet, that’s crazy.”

Shannon McDonnell of Shoreham-Wading River had a productive meet. The junior finished second in the 800 meters and fifth in the 1,500.

Sachem East junior Rachel Paul (2 minutes 11.59 seconds) edged out McDonnell (2:13.53) in the 800. McDonnell’s time in the 1,500 was 4:44.10.

Two Shoreham sophomores did well. Laura Lee was fifth in the 400 in 58.87, and Kylie Trettner came in sixth in the 1,500-meter race walk in 7:24.33.

Olivia Schumann will compete in the state meet for the fourth year in a row. This time, though, she will run in both the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and as a member of Bishop McGann-Mercy’s 4×400-meter relay team.

Schumann, a senior, clocked a personal-best time of 1:05.13 that brought her fourth place in the 400 hurdles. She also anchored the 4×400 relay team that was fifth in 4:00.53. That was three seconds off their season-best time. Sasa Vann, Kayleigh Macchirole and Lauren Woodhull ran the first three legs.

“It was the perfect day for running,” Schumann said. “You can’t really get any better than this.”

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06/01/11 11:12am
06/01/2011 11:12 AM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck sprinter Desirae Hubbard raced an unidentified Hampton Bays runner in the 100 meters.

Melodee Riley and her Riverhead High School teammates certainly enjoyed a winning and memorable time at the Suffolk County girls track and field division championships last week.

Riley, a junior, won two individual events and finished second in another one in Division II.

The Blue Waves enjoyed a strong showing at Connetquot High School in Bohemia last Wednesday and Thursday, finishing third with 63 points, behind the Kings Park Kingsmen (105) and the Copiaque Eagles (70).

Riley certainly met the challenge and then some during a busy and productive two days.

She captured the 400-meter high hurdles in 1 minute 6.75 seconds and the triple jump with a leap of 40 feet 1 1/2 inches. She also was runner-up in the long jump at 17-11 3/4.

Riley was far from a one-girl show as she had help accruing points for the Blue Waves, who will compete in the state qualifying meet at Port Jefferson High School on Friday and Saturday.

Kyra Braunskill, a freshman, took third in the long jump with a leap of 35-10 and fellow ninth-grader Destiny McElory also finished third in the 400 intermediate hurdles in 1:09.39.

In the discus, freshman Madison Blom (95-2) and junior Kerrysha Pittman (94-10) earned third and fourth, respectively. Alexandra Ingram (18-6) also earned a point with a sixth-place showing in the pole vault.

The Blue Waves also registered eight points behind a second-place performance in the 4×400 relay (4:05.81) and four more behind a fourth-place showing in the 4×400 relay (51.98).

In Division III, the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats took home second-place honors with 81 points behind the team champions, the Bayport-Blue Point Phantoms (121).

Shannon McDonnell, a junior, led the way for Shoreham with two individual victories and a second-place finish. She crossed the finish line first in the 800 (2:14.60) and in the 1,500 (4:50.52) in additions to taking second in the high jump (16-8 1/2).

Shoreham senior Danielle Opatovsky won the 1,500 race walk in 6:55.75 and found time to take third in the 3,000 in 11:12.36. Her teammate Audrey Kelly was right behind her in sixth place in 11:23.59.

Laura Lee, a sophomore, was second in the 400 (60.38) and fifth in the 200 (29.06).

One of Shoreham’s seniors, Samantha Maier, enjoyed a strong day in the field events with a throw of 32-8 in the shot put, good for second place. She also hurled the discus 92-6 for a third-place finish.

Another senior, Shannon Gallagher, also gained a point in the shot put (30-1 3/4).

Shoreham sophomore Kylie Trettner was third in the 1,500 race walk in 7:22.42.

Shoreham also finished fourth in the 4×400 relay and sixth in the 4×800 race.

Bishop McGann-Mercy collected 14 points as several athletes decided to attend the school’s senior prom over last Thursday’s finals. The Monarchs’ highlights included junior Sasa Vann capturing the 400 in 58.32 and its 4×800 relay team coming in fourth in 10:17.80.

Mattituck grabbed a point in Division III on the strength of freshman Shannon Dwyer’s sixth-place showing in the pentathlon. Dwyer totaled 1,737 points after competing in the final two events last Thursday. She earned 299 points with an eighth-place finish in the long jump (3.96 meters) and another 437 points with a ninth-place showing in the 800 (2:52.62).

05/25/11 10:56am
05/25/2011 10:56 AM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | From left, Bishop McGann-Mercy's Delina Auciello, Miller Place's Kate Pouder and Mount Sinai's Nina Volino during an 800-meter heat.

Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School seniors Kayleigh Macchirole, Olivia Schumann and Lauren Woodhull qualified for the finals in their respective races at the Suffolk County girls track and field championships, but there is no way they can win a title on Thursday, the final day of the meet.

Instead, they have decided to attend their senior prom, which is scheduled for the same day. That decision wasn’t made lightly by the athletes.

“It was probably one of the toughest decisions that these kids have had to make so far in their young lives,” said McGann-Mercy coach Tricia Nunez, who added that she understood her athletes’ plight.

“It was a tough decision, but you only get one prom,” Macchirole said.

They might be athletes — top-flight athletes — but they also are teenagers who want to be, well, teenagers and like everyone else.

“I’m looking forward to it. It should be a lot of fun,” Macchirole said. “I’m bummed that I can’t be there.”

Woodhull said that “it’s a little upsetting” that she won’t be able to compete on Thursday.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead pole vaulter Nicole Mielnicki wore a determined look on her face as she cleared a personal-best height of 8 feet.

The Monarchs, undefeated League VIII champions, had a strong showing at Connetquot High School in Bohemia on Tuesday. But any McGann-Mercy competitor who was not going to compete Thursday was not awarded a place or points by track officials in the semifinals.

So, the official records won’t show Macchirole finishing second in the 400-meter run (59.51 seconds) or third in the 200 (26.75).

It won’t state that Schumann took second in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1:06.05.

It also won’t show that Woodhull qualified by finishing sixth in the 400 in 1:02.12.

And it also won’t show that the 4×100 relay team of junior Sasa Vann, sophomore Tori Cataldo, Woodhull and Macchirole qualified with a first-place performance of 52.53.

“That’s why the girls were in such bad lanes today because [officials knew] they wouldn’t run” on Thursday, assistant coach Gregg Cantwell said. “They were put in exhibition lanes, the outside lanes. Unfortunately, some of their seed times got them in some of the best. They had to run in the worst ones.”

Still the girls acquitted themselves quite well.

“We were really just working for [personal records] today because we knew we weren’t able to come back,” Woodhull said. “We knew that today was the day to make something happen to really go out there and put what we’ve done and worked for the whole season on the track and do our best.”

The Monarchs will have several athletes competing in the finals, including Vann, who finished first in the 400 in 58.26 and third in the 800 in 2:26.33 in heat runs. Meghan Donnelly, a junior, had accrued 966 points in the first five events of the pentathlon. She finished 12th in the 100-meter high hurdles (21.39), fifth in the high jump (4 feet 2 inches) and fourth in the shot put (24-3 1/2).

For them and their teammates, there will be at least one other day for the seniors to run — in the state qualifiers at Port Jefferson High School on June 3 and 4.

“That was the saving grace in the whole division thing,” Nunez said.

“We still have time to improve,” Woodhull said. “We still have time to show what we’ve been working for.”

In Division II, Riverhead found itself atop the team rankings with 27 points after the first day of the two-day meet, followed by Smithtown East with 22.

Junior Melodee Riley won one event and reached the finals of two others. She topped the triple jump with at 12.23 meters. She also qualified for the 400 final by winning her heat in 1:07.04. Ninth-grader Destiny McElroy also reached the finals with a strong third-place showing in 1:08.78.

Freshman Kyra Braunskill was third in the triple jump at 10.92 meters.

Both Blue Waves relay teams reached the finals. The 4×100 relay quartet of Christy Brewer, Denise Brunskill, Braunskill and Tyesha Harrell clinched a spot as it finished third in 52.17. Likewise for the 4×400 squad, which was second in 4:07.78 behind Riley, Rachel Conti, Wynisha Hatcher and McElroy.

Riverhead freshman Madison Blom took third place in the discus (29 meters), earning six points, followed by junior Kerrysha Pittman in fourth (28.90). Alexandra Ingram recorded a point in the pole vault with a sixth-place finish at 2.59 meters.

Mattituck freshman Shannon Dwyer enjoyed a strong showing in the first three events of the pentathlon. She finished fifth in the 100 (20.27), sixth in the high jump (4 meters) and third in the shot put (25-9 1/4 meters). She accrued 901 points entering Thursday’s final two events.

05/13/11 2:03pm
05/13/2011 2:03 PM

BOB LIEPA FILE PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Kayleigh Macchirole has signed a national letter of intent for Wagner College.

Kayleigh Macchirole will, in effect, be trading in one green uniform for another, but still, it’s a big move.

The Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School senior signed a national letter of intent on Friday to accept a full track and field scholarship from Wagner College that is valued at $22,000 per year.

“It’s a little scary, but I’m also like really excited because I really like track, and knowing that I’m going to be able to go to a college and be able to do something that I really love doing is a really good feeling,” she said.

Macchirole is undoubtedly a winner. She has known little else during her time at McGann-Mercy.

The signing ceremony at the school’s renovated chapel came two days after the undefeated Monarchs (6-0) sealed their third straight Suffolk County League VIII dual-meet championship with a 95-54 victory over the Port Jefferson Royals. “It’s been a really exciting week because Port Jeff is such a big thing and now I’m signing with Wagner,” said Macchirole, who had also considered Sacred Heart College (Conn.), Assumption College (Mass.) and Bryant University (R.I.).

Macchirole, a Greenport resident, has never seen the Monarchs lose a dual meet in her three years on the team,. During that time the Monarchs went 21-0. An accomplished tennis player as well, she has never experienced a losing season at the school in any sport.

“Mercy is very, very proud of Kayleigh,” McGann-Mercy’s athletic director, Paula Nickerson, said. “She’s definitely competitive and you can see that she means business when she’s out there on the track, and that’s what I like about her.”

Macchirole, who was a member of McGann-Mercy’s all-state 4×400-meter relay team last year, has been enjoying quite a season. She has recorded personal records in the 100 meters (12.9 seconds), 200 (26.6), 400 (1:00.4), 800 (2:29), discus (86 feet) and the shot put (29-11 1/2). It hasn’t been by accident, either.

“Kayleigh comes to practice every day and really wants to get better,” Gregg Cantwell, the team’s assistant coach, said. “She has goals. She sets them high enough where they don’t come real easy, and she knows she’s not going to get there without any hard work.”

Macchirole has come a long way since first taking up track and field as a sophomore.

“I like how competitive it is,” she said. “After my race, it’s really a nice feeling to know that you did your best. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of really hard work. Even when you don’t want to do it, you still always have to.”

A team leader who leads the team in warmups along with fellow captain Olivia Schumann, Macchirole sets an example for younger athletes. Even though the race will mean nothing to her personally, she will run in the 4×800 relay at the Loucks Games in White Plains on Saturday in order to help four teammates who are trying to reach a qualifying time for the state qualifying meet.

“She’s running another hard race that she doesn’t want to do because it’s not her favorite, just to help the team,” Cantwell said. “That’s what kind of a leader she is.”

Macchirole, whose younger sister Delaney is an eighth-grader on the team, has more work ahead of her. She said she wants to run in a national meet and break 1:00 in the 400.

Cantwell said he knew Macchirole is capable of running at the NCAA Division I level for the Seahawks.

“She’s going to fit right in, and hopefully she just takes off and hits the ground running,” he said. He added: “Unfortunately, we have to lose Kayleigh, but that’s how it works. It’s tough losing a senior, one of your top point scorers and one of the most well-rounded, nice kids on the team. You can’t really replace a kid like that.”

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05/11/11 11:12pm
05/11/2011 11:12 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Olivia Schumann won three individual events, helping Bishop McGann-Mercy capture its third straight league championship.

Three consecutive years as the Suffolk County League VIII girls track and field champions.

Make that three successive years as unbeaten champions.

Yet, it never gets old for the Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs.

“You can’t ever say that it gets tired because every season you get new kids in,” Coach Tricia Nunez said. “It’s a great accomplishment for any coach to be able to get a team to that point. It’s all them. All we do at this point is cheer. We’ve given them the workouts. We’ve given them the training. And when they come to the meets, we’re here to cheer them on and support them.”

Nunez and her assistant coach, Gregg Cantwell, had plenty of reasons to cheer and be cheerful as the Monarchs (6-0, 6-0) clinched the title in their last dual meet of the season, a 95-54 win over previously unbeaten and host Port Jefferson Royals (5-1, 5-1) last Wednesday.

“Its really exciting,” said senior Olivia Schumann, who won three individual events and was part of a winning relay team. “We work so hard. We train in the rain and snow. It’s so exciting especially [since] it’s my senior year because we just really wanted this.”

Another senior, Kayleigh Macchirole, who captured three events and finished second in another, admitted she entered the meet with some trepidation because she knew how good the Royals were.

“Well, for the team, I was really nervous because I know Port Jefferson is the team to beat,” she said “They are our biggest competition in the league. We all kind of brought our ‘A’ game today.”

Many of the Monarchs did on a sunny and warm afternoon, although Schumann and Macchirole were not at full strength.

Macchirole fought a cold and slept on the team bus on the way to the field. “I was a little tired,” she said.

But not tired enough to slow her down en route to wins in the 200-meter run (26.6 seconds), shot put (29 feet 11 1/2 inches) and discus (86-2), Macchirole took second to teammate Sasa Vann in the 400, who won in 59.4.

“I’m satisfied,” said Macchirole, who noted that she achieved three personal records. “I cut off a lot of time in my 200. I was close to the my goal in the shot put and I threw a lot over my PR in discus.”

Schumann said she had “really bad shin splints.” Yet, she emerged victorious in the 100 (13.0), 400-meter intermediate hurdles (1:09.9), the high jump (4-10) and anchored the winning 4×100 relay team (53.1).

“I kind of coasted,” she said. “They told me not to kill myself. I’m running this weekend, so they wanted me to try to take it easy if I could.”

It’s not an easy balancing act when you’re trying not to overdo it while striving to win.

“A lot of it is knowing what the other team has,” Schumann said. “If you don’t, then you kind of suck it up and run. I don’t feel the pain when I’m running. I just feel it after the fact. I’ll worry about that when the race is over.”

Nunez said that having talented competitors and role models such as Schumann and Macchirole has been an absolute joy.

“They’re [the] kind of athletes that a coach dreams of having,” she said. “And having two of them on one team, you feel like you’ve hit the Lotto. On top of their extremely talented abilities on the track, they’re super people that work for the team.”

Other Monarchs who won included Meg Tuthill in the 800, Isabella Franz in the 1,500 and Lindsay Gelling in the 1,500 racewalk. McGann also finished first in the 4×400 relay (4:32) and 4×800 relay (11:10.2).

But the biggest surprises came in the 400 intermediate hurdles and the 800. Tori Cataldo, running the 400 intermediate hurdles for the first time, finished second in 1:13.8.

Fiona Nunez took 20 seconds off her time in the 800 for a personal record.

“You usually don’t see something like that,” the coach said. “She ran the 800 at the beginning of the season and really struggled with it.”

05/11/11 10:53am

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy freshman Fiona Nunez cleared this attempt in the high jump during last Thursday's dual meet against The Ross School/Pierson.

One meet for everything.

That is what the race for the Suffolk County League VIII girls track and field dual-meet championship has come down to. The Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs and the Port Jefferson Royals, who are both 5-0 overall and in the league, will compete for the title on Wednesday at Port Jefferson High School. Winner take all.

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Tori Cataldo, a sophomore, ran the 400 meters for Bishop McGann-Mercy last Thursday.

After an Easter break, the Monarchs had a lot on their plate last week, including a school record in the 4×400-meter relay.

Following their final home meet of the season, a 90-60 defeat of The Ross School/Pierson Ravens last Thursday, the Monarchs honored their four seniors — Michelle Borge, Kayleigh Macchirole, Olivia Schumann and Lauren Woodhull — by presenting them with flowers.

McGann-Mercy had a lot to feel good about. Tori Tremble won both the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and the 100-meter high hurdles. Tori Cataldo, a sophomore who is a three-year letter-winner, won the 400 and was also on the winning 4×100-meter relay team.

Lauren Valle made her much anticipated return to competition after an early-season hip injury. She competed in the 800 and took second by 1/10th of a second to freshman teammate Fiona Nunez. It was Nunez’ first time under 3 minutes for the 800.

Macchirole, Sasa Vann and Olivia Schumann all broke 28 seconds in the 200, with Woodhull just above 28 seconds to complete McGann-Mercy’s sweep of the top four places in the event.

Colleen Edwards and Lindsay Gelling went first and second, respectively, in the 1,500 racewalk.

Some of the Monarchs competed in the prestigious St. Anthony’s Invitational the next two days. The highlight of the meet for McGann-Mercy was the 4×400 relay. Vann, Macchirole, Woodhull and Olivia Schumann clocked a school-record time of 3:57.91. They improved on the previous mark of 3:58.57 that was set last year.

It is the second-fastest time in the county this year, and it qualified the Monarchs to run in a national meet in North Carolina.

Delina Auciello, Isabella Franz, Meg Tuthill and Emily Venesina all ran season-best times in the 800 on Friday night. Vann won the 400 in a season-best time of 1:00.6.

04/05/11 1:59pm
04/05/2011 1:59 PM

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Since coming to Riverhead from Southampton last year, freshman Kyra Braunskill has emerged as the Blue Waves' top sprinter.

Kyra Braunskill had been tagged as an up-and-coming sprinter for the Southampton High School girls track and field team. And then she moved to Riverhead last year.

Southampton’s loss was Riverhead’s gain. Southampton Coach Eddie Arnold evidently knew he had a gem in the making in Braunskill, and he kidded Riverhead Coach Maria Dounelis about the talent that had come her way.

Dounelis said Arnold told her, “You took my sprinter!” She recalled him saying, “Of all the middle school kids, Kyra, you had to take her?”

Braunskill, a freshman in her second season with the Blue Waves, is already regarded as Riverhead’s top sprinter, right in front of junior Tyesha Harrell.

“She’s just a naturally gifted athlete,” Dounelis said. “All the coaches have been so impressed.”

There has been a lot to be impressed about. For one thing, Braunskill has already been named a Riverhead athlete of the week. In the team’s first dual meet — a 79-71 win over the Bellport Clippers on March 29 — she took first place in the 100 meters in a personal-best time of 12.6 seconds, first place in the 200 in 27.0, and second place in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet 6 1/2 inches.

But perhaps even more encouraging than those numbers is the improvement Braunskill has shown since last season. “Dramatic improvement,” said Dounelis.

Braunskill, whose older brother Kyren was a track athlete for Southampton, said she didn’t like track when she was first introduced to the sport. But she said she is taking track more seriously than she did last year and has been encouraged by the strides she has made. “I saw more of my hard work paying off with my times coming down, so I kind of stuck with it,” she said.

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Fatima Brown, a junior in her fourth year with Riverhead, said confidence and a more positive outlook have helped her.

Dounelis is glad she did. The coach said Braunskill long jumped about 15 feet last year, but reached 16-8 a few weeks ago in a scrimmage.

“A light bulb clicked somewhere,” Dounelis said. “You could see the difference in her. When we’re on the track, she’s working hard. She’s going.”

Braunskill may be following in the footsteps of teammate Fatima Brown, a junior who has come a long way since she joined the team as an eighth-grader. Dounelis said Brown has shown a great degree of maturity and has emerged as one of the team’s leaders.

Brown, who captains the Blue Waves along with senior Wynisha Hatcher, has gone as far as 16-11 1/2 in the long jump, run the 400 intermediate hurdles in as fast as about 71 seconds, and has a personal-best time of 1:05 in the 400. She has recently tried the triple jump and wants to reach 30 feet in that event soon.

One thing that has changed for Brown is her living arrangements. Her mother, Mary, a former track athlete for the Blue Waves, moved from Hempstead and now lives with her daughter.

In addition, Brown has a new outlook on things. “I became more confident because last year, every time I didn’t do as good as I thought I could, I just got down on myself and I always criticized myself too much,” she said. “But I think I stopped doing that so much and I got better.”

Brown is coming off an indoor season in which she was an all-league selection in the long jump, her favorite event.

“She’s positive with the other kids,” Dounelis said. “I mean, she’s just a true leader, and she’s athletically gifted. Her biggest hurdle is her, but she’s finally starting to overcome that and doesn’t beat herself up because it’s a sport that mentally can beat you up.”

In the meet against Bellport, Brown ran a 66.8-second split time for a 4×400 relay team that included Destiny McElroy, Hatcher and Rachel Conti; they were timed in 4:25.1. That day Brown was also third in both the 400 intermediate hurdles in 1:14.2 and the long jump at 14-10 1/2.

Being that this is her fourth year on the team, Brown said she sometimes feels as if she is a senior, not a junior. Younger teammates seek her out for advice.

“That reminds me of how I used to be,” she said.

The best advice Brown can offer to the young Blue Waves is the same advice she tries to follow.

“Never have a negative attitude, always stay positive,” she said. “I know I don’t sometimes.”

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