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Track and Field: Lee, Tuthill, Coulter victorious


Call it a tune-up for next week’s state championships. 

With more than three weeks in between the Section XI Championships (Feb. 10) and the New York State Championships (March 5), some of the top track and field athletes on Long Island got in one last meet Saturday night before the big date.

For many, it was a chance to experiment.

McGann-Mercy senior Meg Tuthill, a state qualifier in the 1,000-meter race, ran the 600 Saturday at the Long Island Elite Track Invitational at St. Anthony’s High School. Just as she did in the 1,000, Tuthill finished the race a winner.

“It’s funny because now my dad is going to be able to say he’s right,” Tuthill said, “but I said to him ‘No-no dad, I’m a distance runner.’ ”

It appears that Mr. Tuthill was right as his daughter was first at the final turn and kicked it through the finish line to win the 600 in 1 minute 36.80 seconds.

Tuthill was one of three locals to emerge victorious at Saturday’s meet. Riverhead senior Luke Coulter, a state qualifier in the 600, won the 1,600 in 4:25.79 and Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Katherine Lee won the 1,000 in 2:58.97.

Tuthill said because the 3,000-meter event was eliminated from the meet, she wanted to jump down to a shorter event.

“I decided to try something new to get a time so I was seeded last and with those girls cutting in [was hard] so I was behind the pack,” she said. “But as the race went on I realized, ‘Oh, I still have a little bit left.’ ”

Lee did what she’s done all season and was the class of the field in the 1,000, winning easily with a time almost three seconds ahead of the second-place finisher from Eastport-South Manor. Lee will compete in the 3,000 and 600 at the state championships.

Shoreham’s Kaitlyn Ohrtman finished second in the 1,500 with a time of 4:47.72, more than four seconds behind the first place finisher from Sachem East.

“I realized that Alex [DeCicco] was too far to catch so then I knew the race was between me and Bridget [Kanaley],” Ohrtman said. “So I settled in and was able to pass her at the end. It was a pretty good time; not my best, but I’m happy with it. I definitely had something left for the end.”

Shoreham’s Alexandra Hays, who placed sixth with a time of 4:52.35 in the 1,500, said she wanted to try a new event.

“Alex [DeCicco] just took off like she always does and I recognized that and kind of fell back this is only my second time running the 1500 so I was just looking for a time,” Hays said. “It’s a race to shake out {the cobwebs} before the states.”

Placing fifth in the 1,000 meter run was Mercy’s Kaitlyn Butterfield with a time of 3:05.66.

“I missed the states by one spot so I got ready for this looking for another race and to just have fun with it,” said Butterfield. “It was a good race and I’m really happy with the time.”

Butterfield will compete in Tuesday’s Eastern States.

McGann-Mercy senior Dale Kelly finished second in the 300 dash in 35.88, a fraction of a second behind Half Hollow Hills West senior Ahmed Galal (35.85).

The Riverhead boys’ 4 x 400 relay team placed third behind Hills West and St. John the Baptist.

Photo Caption: Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Katherine Lee (right) was the winner of the 1,000. McGann-Mercy junior Kaitlyn Butterfield (second from left) finished fifth. They posed for a photo afterward with Caelyn Reilly of Bay Shore (6th), Gianna Mincone of St. Anthony’s (3rd) and Taylor McClay of Eastport-South Manor (2nd). (Credit: Bill Landon)

McGann-Mercy senior Dale Kelly finished second in the 300 Saturday. (Credit: Bill Landon)
McGann-Mercy senior Dale Kelly finished second in the 300 Saturday. (Credit: Bill Landon)