Girls Track and Field: It’s five league titles in seven years for Mercy

Bishop McGann-Mercy's Kaitlyn Butterfield, far left, and Meg Tuthill led the way during the 1,500-meter race. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)
Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Kaitlyn Butterfield, far left, and Meg Tuthill led the way during the 1,500-meter race. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)


A league dual-meet championship in high school girls track and field can be a rather fragile thing. Because teams run only a handful of dual meets over the course of a season, a loss can be devastating to a team’s title chances.

That was the case with Bishop McGann-Mercy last year when the Monarchs lost their season-opening meet to Southampton. It was their one and only loss of the season, but it cost them the league championship.

The Monarchs haven’t slipped up since then, winning 11 straight dual meets since that loss to Southampton. With their 116-24 defeat of Greenport/Southold on Tuesday night in Riverhead, the Monarchs capped a 6-0 season and won the Suffolk County League VIII championship outright. It is their sixth league title since 2001 and fifth in seven years, according to the team’s second-year coach, Collin Zeffer.

It was senior night for both teams. Greenport/Southold’s seven seniors (Jasmine Fell, Adeline Haugen, Kaitlyn Kettenbeil, Heather Koscinch, Megan Murray, Isabelle Simon and Claudia Steinmuller) were recognized by their coach, Mike Gunther, before the meet started.

McGann-Mercy’s six seniors (Adafih Blackburn, Magdalena Duda, Jessica Durray, Delaney Macchirole, Christina McDougal and Marta Wyszynski) were presented with their flowers in an emotional ceremony after the meet.

Macchirole, who captains the Monarchs along with Meg Tuthill, can take away fine memories from her final meet on McGann-Mercy’s track. She won three individual events — the 100 meters (12.8 seconds), the 200 (27.7) and the high jump (4 feet 4 inches) — as well as running the anchor leg for the winning 4×100-meter relay team. That team, which included Juliana Cintron-Leonardo, Dayna Young and Blackburn, was clocked in 53.4.

Duda was a double winner in the triple jump at 27-11 and the 1,500-meter walk in 9:43.

The Monarchs swept the three relays. Their 4×800-meter relay team set a school record and ran the sixth-fastest time in New York State, 9:26.8, at the recent Loucks Games in White Plains. They weren’t pushed as hard Tuesday night, but still won in 11:17.3, with Sarah Dern, Kaitlyn Butterfield, Devyn O’Brien and Tuthill. Maddie Joinnides, who was a part of that record run at the Loucks Games, was replaced by Dern.

Joinnides led off the 4x-400-meter relay that won in 4:40.2. Durray, Taya Conigilio and Olivia Kneski handled the other legs.

Also turning in winning performances for the Monarchs were: Teresa Bellucci in the long jump (13-7 3/4), Young in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (1:16.9), Tuthill in the 1,500 (5:28.5), Blackburn in the 100-meter high hurdles (19.1), Joinnides in the 400 (1:02.7), O’Brien in the 3,000 (11:33), Butterfield in the 800 (2:50.4) and Coniglio in the discus (69-0).

The only first-place finish of the day for the Clippers (2-5, 2-4) was provided by Simon in the shot put with a throw of 27-2.

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