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Winter Track: Injured Lee watches, SWR’s Hays triumphs in 1,500

Shoreham-Wading River runner Allie Hays 021317

Now this wasn’t exactly a sight the Shoreham-Wading River High School girls winter track team had envisioned at the Section XI indoor state qualifier on Monday night. Instead of running the 3,000 meters and the 4×800-meter relay, Shoreham’s star runner, Katherine Lee, was moving about with the aid of crutches, wearing a protective boot on her left foot.

Lee had been cleated from behind while running the 1,500 in the Millrose Games Saturday, sustaining an injury to her left ankle. The junior said the ankle swelled up afterward. She is to undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

Regardless of the results of that MRI, the injury has cost Lee a chance to run in the state meet that will be held March 4 at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island.

Lee was third and had about three and a half laps to go in the Millrose Games race at The Armory in Manhattan when she was cleated from behind before taking a hard fall on the track with another runner landing on her, she said.

“I never fell in a race before,” she said. “Really, it happened so fast. I was running one second [and] the next I was on the ground. I got up and tried to make the best of it.”

Lee completed the race, finishing last among the 12 runners in 5 minutes, 0.81 seconds. Germantown Academy (Pennsylvania) senior Abbe Goldstein won in 4:31.01.

Shoreham will send two girls to the state meet, seniors Allie Hays and Payton Capes-Davis.

Hays earned her place in the state meet by clocking a winning and personal-best time of 4:43.16 to take first place in the 1,500 Monday night at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. The 5-foot-11 Hays, who has a long stride, was running side by side with Eastport-South Manor’s Taylor McClay for a while before pulling in front. Hays ran a 2:29 split. With about 500 meters to go, she went about lengthening her lead and finished strong. West Islip’s Klaire Klemens was second in 4:44.75.

“It was a perfect tactical race and she had the power,” Shoreham coach Paul Koretzki said. “She was in good shape.”

Capes-Davis earned a place on the Section XI intersectional relay team that will run in the state meet by virtue of her fourth-place finish in the 1,000, but she clearly wasn’t happy about it. Capes-Davis said she lost her right shoe on the second lap when another runner stepped on it. Her time was 3:03.07. Smithtown East’s Gabrielle Schneide was first in 3:00.57.

Lee’s absence hurt Shoreham’s 4×800 relay team. With sophomore Francesca Lilly taking Lee’s place and Hays running about 26 minutes after her victory in the 1,500, they joined Capes-Davis and Amanda Dwyer in a second-place finish in 9:37.43. Ward Melville was first in 9:31.90.

That same Shoreham foursome was seventh among 12 teams at the Millrose Games in 9:22.23. Niskayuna won that race in 9:12.98.

Cunha qualifies for state meet. Riverhead senior Eric Cunha qualified for his first state meet. Cunha clocked a personal record of 2:33.13, good enough for second place in the 1,000 behind Sachem North’s Christopher Tibbet (2:30.45).

Shoreham junior Daniel Montenegro landed sixth in the long jump with a distance of 21 feet.

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Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River senior Allie Hays took first place in the 1,500 meters in a personal-best time of 4 minutes, 43.16 seconds. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)