Allie Hays finds the 1,000 meters to be an intriguing event in high school girls winter track. She doesn’t get to run it often, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t like it.
“It’s basically an 800 and you just keep going,” the Shoreham-Wading River High School senior said. “I like that distance. I think it’s an interesting distance because you have to have speed, but you also have to have endurance.”
Hays proved she has both Saturday. Running only her second 1,000 of the season and the last one of her high school career, Hays made it a memorable one. She took first place in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational at St. Anthony’s High School, clocking a personal-record time of 2 minutes, 58.47 seconds. The second-place finisher was Manhasset eighth-grader Angeline Caamano in 3:00.32.
Did Hays foresee bettering her previous fastest time of 3:04?
“I was hoping to but I didn’t expect it,” she said. “I just felt really good and I wanted to lead from the start of the race to the end.”
Which she did.
That time wasn’t far off the school record of 2:56 that Megan Holden set in 1987, said Shoreham coach Paul Koretzki.
Hays said the race was a good tuneup for the upcoming state meet that will be held Saturday at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island. She will run the 1,500.
Also competing in the state meet will be Shoreham senior Payton Capes-Davis, who will run for Section XI’s intersectional medley relay team.
Capes-Davis had an interesting experience in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational. She said she was about 85 meters from the finish of the 1,500 when another runner trying to pass her clipped her right ankle and made her go down. Capes-Davis said, “I did a little bit of a forward roll, kind of thought to myself, ‘Your only option is to get up.’ ”
Which she did and, rather remarkably, still finished in third place, one second off her personal-best time.
Smithtown East sophomore Gabrielle Schneider was first in 4:48.94, Wheatley senior Brianna O’Brien was second in 4:49.05 and Capes-Davis took third in 4:51.88. Another Shoreham senior, Amanda Dwyer, finished sixth in 4:53.61.
This was the third straight meet in which a Shoreham girl was tripped up in a race. That string of misfortune started at the Millrose Games when Katherine Lee was cleated from behind while running the 1,500, sustaining an injury to her left ankle and costing the junior a chance to qualify for the state meet. Capes-Davis was victimized the next two times, including the state qualifying meet when she said she lost her right shoe during the 1,000 after another runner stepped on it on the second lap. She still managed a fourth-place finish to earn a place on the intersectional medley relay team.
“It’s definitely a little bit defeating,” Capes-Davis said after Saturday’s meet. She added, “It’s like all about how you come back from defeats.”
When it was jokingly suggested that a conspiracy was at work, Koretzki said, “I told Allie the reason this happens is we’re in front of them.”
In other events: Riverhead freshman Christina Yakaboski finished fourth in the frosh/soph 1,500 in 5:04.53. Shoreham senior Haley Lindell did not clear a height in the pole vault.
Shoreham has more than the state meet to look forward to. The Wildcats will have a team run the 4xmile in the New Balance Nationals Indoor meet that will be held March 10-12 at The Armory Track and Field Center in Manhattan. Three of those legs will be run by Capes-Davis, Hays and Dwyer. The fourth team member will either be senior Maria Smith or sophomore Francesca Lilly.
One of those two will replace Lee. Although Lee no longer is wearing a walking boot from her injury at the Millrose Games, she still is recovering from a sprained ankle and will undergo a hernia operation Thursday, said Koretzki. He said the plan is for Lee to come back fresh for the spring season.
“We’re talking about Secretariat here,” Koretzki said. “We’re not going to screw around with a weak ankle, so we’ll just let her heal.”
Thirds for Cunha, Carrick. On the boys side of the Long Island Elite Track Invitational, two Riverheaders picked up runner-up places. Eric Cunha, a senior, was second to Sachem North senior Christopher Tibbetts in the 1,600. Tibbetts won in 4:23.92. Cunha was timed in 4:29.07. The frosh/soph 1,600 had a tight finish, with the first two runners separated by 15/100ths of a second. Northport freshman Thomas Fodor (4:41.64) edged Riverhead sophomore Ryan Carrick (4:41.79) for the victory at the finish line.
Shoreham pole vaulter Ryan Leda took fourth place. The junior cleared 11 feet, 6 inches.
Riverhead senior Trequanne Miles-Ross was eighth in the 300 in 39.05. He also ran a time of 6.88 in the 55-meter dash preliminaries, but did not qualify for the finals.
Shoreham junior Daniel Montenegro landed ninth in the long jump with a distance of 19-6 3/4.
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River High School senior Allie Hays took first place in the 1,000-meter race in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational at St. Anthony’s High School on Saturday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)