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Girls Winter Track: It’s a career day for Pittman

It was Miasha Pittman Day. Well, not really, but Pittman had quite a day for herself, nonetheless.

The sophomore sprinter won the League II crown in the 300 meters, placed second in the 55 and ran a leg on Riverhead High School’s second-place 4×200 relay team in the league championships Sunday at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

“It’s amazing,” Pittman said when it was all over.

Riverhead coach Justin Cobis said, “She obviously had a really, really good day, the best day she’s ever had in her track and field career.”

Cobis likes to compare Pittman to the Road Runner cartoon character, and it’s easy to see why. She seemingly brings tireless energy to the track. So, heading into her final event of the day, the relay, did Pittman have enough energy left in her?

“No, not really,” she said. “I do what I have to do for my team.”

And Pittman did a lot.

Cobis said Pittman is learning how to handle multiple events at a meet. “I think today was her best example of that,” he said. “She wasn’t a hundred-percent confident, knowing that she was running two individual events and a relay. ‘Coach, don’t put me in the 300.’ The first thing I said after the 300 race was, ‘Are you glad I put you in the 300?’ ”

She sure was. That’s because Pittman blazed to the finish line first in 43.91 seconds. Connetquot senior Marina Skelly was second in 44.08.

Pittman said she found the waiting game for the race to begin “nerve-racking.” At the finish, she said she told herself, “I did it!”

Earlier, Pittman raced in second in the 55 in a personal-record 7.70 seconds, behind Copiague senior Akajia Atkins (7.40). Pittman said, “I saw girls in front of me and in my side views and I was like, ‘I got to go.’ ”

Riverhead was missing one of its 4×200 runners, Delu Rizzo (flu). Kristina Deravenier filled in for her, joining Emma Panciocco, Eve Pittman and Miasha Pittman. That foursome clocked 1:52.50, which was second to Connetquot’s 1:50.18.

“It’s like a big deal and stuff because it’s showing we’re a good team,” said Panciocco.

Riverhead sophomore Christina Yakaboski didn’t have a bad day herself, taking third in the 1,500 in 4:58.52. She followed Bay Shore sophomore Roshni Singh (4:53.02) and Smithtown East junior Gabby Schneider (4:54.87).

“I wanted to stay with Singh as long as possible and maybe have an opportunity to pass her at the end,” Yakaboski said. “I definitely look up to her because she definitely improved a lot and now that’s somewhere where I want to be.”

Similar to the 4×200 team, Riverhead’s 4×800 team was missing a regular to illness in Emma Conroy. No matter. Olivia Pizzuto handled the anchor leg after Yakaboski, Laryssa Olsen and Madison Stromski, capping a fourth-place finish in 10:34.95.

“Even with a couple of really quality individuals out, we still had a good performance,” said Cobis, whose team took fifth with 36 points. Bay Shore was the champion with 116.

Cobis was gratified to see Miasha Pittman have a big day. He said, “It’s been a pleasure to see her mature because she’s always had the talent, and she’s now being more confident and working harder with that talent, and she’s having results because of it.”

Kneski second in 300. Olivia Kneski downstarted in the 300-meter final of the League V Championships in Brentwood Sunday, but her performance brought her spirits up.

The Bishop McGann-Mercy senior took second place in 44.02 seconds, taking a half-second off her previous best time. Shelter Island senior Lindsey Gallagher won in 43.97.

“I just got outkicked in the end,” Kneski said. “I have a tendency not to finish all the way.”

Mercy coach Brian Manghan said Kneski “did great. The girl that took it has more experience than she does.”

Kneski, who was seeded third, doesn’t typically start 300 races from the down position, so that was a different approach for her. “I think that might have helped a little bit,” she said.

Kneski seems to be enjoying her first indoor track season. “I’m still like kind of getting used to how things go and it’s a smaller track than outdoor, so it takes some getting used to, but it’s a good experience,” she said. “I’m having fun.”

Mercy’s 4×400 relay team finished fifth in 5:05.16.

Two Mercy girls posted sixth-place finishes — sophomore Deanna Kelly in the 55 (8.29) and eighth-grader Rose Hayes in the 1,500 (5:21.07).

“I wish I would have done a little better, but it’s good,” Kelly said. “I’m a little tired today. I didn’t know I would make it to the finals.”

Mercy took seventh in the League V team scoring with 14 points. Mount Sinai was first with 131.

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Photo caption: Riverhead sophomore Miasha Pittman won the League II title in the 300 meters Sunday at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)