Riverhead girls finish fifth at division championship

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Riverhead sophomore Rachel Clement finished fourth in the pentathlon on the second day of the Division II Championship Wednesday at Connetquot High School.


After winning the triple jump on the first day of the Division II Championship Monday, Riverhead junior Kyra Braunskill picked up two more medals Wednesday on the final day of competition at Connetquot High School.

Braunskill ran 12.71 seconds in the 100-meter dash to finish third. She followed that with a second-place finish in the long jump. On her first attempt, she cleared 17 feet 2 1/4 inches, her best mark of the year. She couldn’t top that on her next five attempts and settled for second behind North Babylon’s Nailah Jones (17-08).

A second-place finish would have been great for most jumpers. Not for Braunskill, who was visibly frustrated after the long jump ended.

“She wants to be No. 1,” said Riverhead coach Maria Dounelis. “If she’s not No. 1, she’s not satisfied. She’s pretty hard on herself.”

The Blue Waves finished fifth as a team in Division II with 41 points. Braunskill accounted for 24 of those.

Sophomore Rachel Clement competed in her first-ever pentathlon and tallied 2,226 points to finish fourth. She long jumped 14-08 1/2 Wednesday before running the 800. She finished fourth in that race in 2:38.18. On Monday she ran 20.02 in the 100-hurdles, high jumped 4-07 3/4 and threw 24-11 3/4 in the shot put.

Junior Destiny McElroy came into the meet with high hopes in the 400-hurdles. But she caught an unfortunate break.

She ran in the 400-dash Monday and surprisingly qualified for the finals Wednesday. That meant she had to run the 400 finals before her main event, the 400-hurdles. There was supposed to be one event in between the two, which would have given her about 35 minutes between events, still a quick turnaround.

But as she prepared to run the 400, an official announced that the 400-hurdles were being switched with the 800 of the pentathlon, pinning McElroy’s two events back-to-back.

“They’re trying to kill me,” McElroy said, smiling, on the track before starting the 400.

McElroy ran a slow pace in the 400 to try to conserve energy and finished a distant sixth in 1:05.4. Still, she didn’t have enough left in the tank for the hurdles and settled for fifth in 1:08.52.

She had about 10 minutes between races.

“She’s a victim of her own success,” Riverhead coach Justin Cobis said.

Junior Danielle Thomas cleared a personal best 9 feet in the pole vault and finished fourth. Teammate Christy Brewer was fifth after clearing 8-6.

Thomas was a surprise in the long jump as well. She qualified for the finals and took seventh with a top mark of 15-11 1/4. Thomas had little left in the tank on her final three jumps after already pole vaulting earlier in the meet.

Riverhead’s 4 x 800 relay team shaved 16 seconds off its best time. The quartet of Rachel Conti, Maria Dillingham, Megan Carrick and Meghan Van Bommel ran 10:17.08 for ninth.

In Division III Shoreham-Wading River finished sixth with 40 1/2 points. Senior Meghan Serdock had a huge performance in the throwing events. She won the discus Monday with a top mark of 100-11. She followed that with a second-place finish in the shot put Wednesday by throwing 31-07 1/2.

McGann-Mercy was 11th in D-III with 18 points. Junior Danisha Carter was third in the 100 in 13.02 and fourth in the 200 in 26.55. Junior Delina Auciello ran the 2,000 steeplechase and finished third in 7:38.19.

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