More importantly, as far as a high school girls track and field team is concerned, speed wins.
Mattituck has speed, especially in the form of sprinters Meg Dinizio and Bella Masotti, and the wins continue to pile up.
“They might be … the two fastest people in the school, boys and girls,” coach Chris Robinson said. “They’re great. I’m lucky to have both of them.”
With those two on the track, Mattituck’s chances of securing a third straight league championship — and eighth overall — look better with every passing meet.
Dinizio and Masotti each took a pair of firsts in individual events and joined forces on a triumphant relay team as first-place Mattituck ran through its third opponent in as many Suffolk County League VIII dual meets Friday, 97-44 over visiting Babylon. In its previous meets, Mattituck beat Greenport/Southold, 81-53, and Bishop McGann-Mercy, 99-28.
Halfway through its league season, Mattituck (3-0, 3-0) has three dual meets remaining, including a showdown at home against second-place Port Jefferson (3-1, 3-1) on April 30. The Tuckers are 18-1-1 over the past three years, their last loss coming on April 13, 2015, to Mercy. Since a tie with Mercy in 2016, Mattituck has won 12 straight dual meets.
“We definitely want it again,” Masotti said of the league title. “We don’t want to tie [for first place]. We don’t want to not get it.”
Dinizio and Masotti have surely done their part in this latest run for glory.
Dinizio, one of the young team’s six seniors, showed her versatility Friday, racing to victory in the 100 meters in 12.8 seconds before taking on the 3,000 and winning that race, too, in 13:27.3.
“I wouldn’t do it again, but I did enjoy running the 3,000,” she said. “It was an experience. I never really get to do that, so it was a good chance to show that cross-country side of me that I can run more than just a sprint.”
Masotti did her thing, too. The freshman grabbed first in the 400 in 55.2 and the 200 in 27.5.
Then both capped off their afternoon by joining Nikki Searles and Miranda Annunziata on a winning 4 x 100 relay team that clocked 52.69.
“I’m not really surprised that we’re winning, that we’re doing as well as we are,” Dinizio said. “Last year we were very strong in certain areas … I think this year we’re more well-rounded. We have good people everywhere.”
That includes Jordan Osler, an athletic sophomore who can handle any field event thrown at her. She set a personal record with a winning triple jump of 31 feet, 6 1/2 inches. Her long jump of 14-0 brought her first place in that event as well.
“She’s been great,” Robinson said. “She could be a potential pentathlete. She’s strong. She’s always in the weight room.”
Winning performances were also turned in by Katie Parks in the 100-meter high hurdles (17.1), Searles in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles (1:21.7), Anna Burns in the high jump (tied for first at 4-2) and Sarah Santacroce in the discus (89-10).
Annunziata was second in the 100 (13.5), 200 (28.6) and long jump (13-4 1/4). Mattituck also received runner-up finishes from Amber Rochon in the triple jump (30-3 1/2), Searles in the 100 high hurdles (17.7), Julia Klibisz in the 400 (1:10.3), Shelby Dufton in the 1,500 walk (11:05) and Alley Peters in the discus (62-0).
Mattituck swept the top three places and points in the triple jump, 100 high hurdles and long jump.
“It’s probably our best team performance, team effort of the season,” Robinson said. “We’re going to hopefully keep growing and keep getting better, but this was a good one.”
With two good ones in Dinizio and Masotti leading the way.
“They love running,” Robinson said. “It’s something they’re passionate about, and to have that and the talent behind it is a good thing.”
Yes, speed is a good thing.
Photo caption: Mattituck senior Meg Dinizio led the way to the finish line in the 100-meter dash, winning in 12.8 seconds. (Credit: Bob Liepa)