Track & Field: Riverhead hoops star places seventh at nationals

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Riverhead senior Melodee Riley was a state champion in the triple jump last year. While playing basketball this winter, she still took seventh in the event at the New Balance Indoor Nationals last weekend.

Scoring a team-high 18 points with 14 rebounds in a Long Island Championship-clinching victory may seem like exhausting work. After Riverhead senior put up that line against Baldwin Friday night as the Blue Waves clinched a spot in the state semifinals, she didn’t have much time to rest.

The hoops/track star quickly switched gears to her main sport of track and headed into New York for the New Balance Indoor Nationals. Even without competing full time in track in the winter season, Riley — a defending outdoor state champion — placed seventh in the triple jump Sunday with a top mark of 39 feet 8 1/2 inches.

Carla Forbes was the winner with a mark of 42-05 1/4.

While the outdoor track season is already underway, Riley is still riding the wave of Riverhead’s unprecedented run to the state semifinals. The Blue Waves play Friday night against Penfield for a chance to make the finals Saturday.

Riley signed with the University of Connecticut to join the track and field team next year.

Shoreham-Wading River senior Shannon McDonnell competed in the 800 at nationals and finished 34th in the championship race in 2:19.79. Ajee’ Wilson ran 2:06.58 for the winning time.

McDonnell was an all-state finisher in the 600 this season. There is no 600 at nationals, so McDonnell ran the longer race. Last year McDonnell ran in the emerging elite race at nationals, which includes the second-tier runners.

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