As far as the gameplan went (run with the pack and use a late kick near the end), Meg Tuthill ran as good a race as one could ask. It was the placement she wasn’t as happy with.
Tuthill won her section in the 1,000 meters, but the Bishop McGann-Mercy junior finished 11th overall at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships on Saturday.
Running shoulder to shoulder with Burnt Hills senior Janelle Rothaker down the stretch, Tuthill, who was seeded 12th, pulled out a victory in her section. But when all three sections of the event were completed, she was left five places shy of a coveted spot on the podium at Cornell University’s Barton Hall in Ithaca. The Southold girl’s time of 3 minutes 1.78 seconds was the second-fastest she had ever run the 1,000. Her personal record is 2:59.90.
Sammy Watson, a Rush-Henrietta sophomore, took first place in 2:53.33.
Even in a long-distance race like the 1,000, every second counts. Every 10th of a second counts. Every 1,000th of a second counts.
That was clear in the race Tuthill ran. She edged Rothaker, who finished 12th, by a mere 2/100ths of a second.
It was Tuthill’s second straight trip to Ithaca for the indoor state meet. Last year she ran the 1,000-meter leg for Section XI’s triumphant distance-medley relay team.
Shoreham-Wading River junior Kaitlyn Ohrtman came in 11th place in the 1,500. Her time was 4:50.60. Friends Academy senior Paige Duca was first in 4:36.42.
Ohrtman, who was seeded 16th, started the section race in the middle of the pack in the opening lap. Patiently picking off a runner at a time, she worked her way to seventh, then sixth, then fifth and finally fourth in her section.
Katherine Lee of Shoreham-Wading River had her first state meet marred by injury. The freshman collapsed to her hands and knees in obvious pain immediately after completing the 3,000 meters.
Lee, who said she has been dealing with pain in her right abdomen, had bolted into the lead at the start of her section race for about half a lap. She fell back to the middle of the pack for the next one and a half laps before working her way up to fourth on the third lap. The pain she felt may have begun to take its toll, though. The next three laps she was sixth. Among the 15 runners in her section, she fell to 14th on the seventh lap and 15th on the eighth. At the start of the ninth lap she was 13th, clearly in pain, laboring and wincing at a turn. She was either 13th or 14th the rest of the way.
After crossing the finish line, Lee worked her way into a sitting position on the track, with her knees tucked back against her chest and her head down. A meet official spoke with her for a while before a trainer was summoned to look at her. Lee, holding an ice pack to her abdomen, said the trainer told her he doubted she had a hernia problem, saying it was more likely a muscle strain.
Lee, who was seeded fourth, finished 17th among 30 runners with a time of 10:32.71. She had run the 3,000 in as fast 10:09.83.
Arlington senior Bella Burda earned a winner’s medal in 9:58.10.