Look who’s back in the pentathlon

Emily Ianno of Mattituck, shown competing in the 100-meter hurdles on the first day of the pentathlon, expressed doubts about her ability to return to the state meet.

BOHEMIA — So, after all the hedging and uncertainty, guess who is back, competing in the pentathlon?

In her defense, Emily Ianno had admitted earlier this season that she would probably end up in the pentathlon once again, although one of the pentathlon events, the 800 meters, is certainly not one of the Mattituck High School senior’s favorites.

But following her first day of competition in the Suffolk County Division Championships on Monday at Connetquot High School, a sense of uncertainty remained with Ianno. This time, that sense of unease in her voice related to her ability to return to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships, which will be held June 11 and 12 at Vestal High School.

Last year Ianno set a school record in the pentathlon with 2,194 points in the state qualifying meet. Then she finished 29th overall in the state meet with 2,144 points.

With three of the pentathlon’s five events completed in the divisional meet on Monday, Ianno had looked to be in good shape as she pursues the Division III title. She recorded personal-best performances as she took first in both the 100-meter hurdles in 17.22 seconds and the shot put at 29 feet 1 3/4 inches. But it was the high jump that Ianno didn’t feel too good about. She cleared 4-4 — four inches under her personal best — to finish in a tie for fourth place with Port Jefferson senior Amber Bruckner.

“I did absolutely terrible,” Ianno said. “I don’t remember the last time I did 4-4.”

The final two events of the pentathlon, the 800 and the long jump, are scheduled for Wednesday. The 800, Mattituck Coach Jean Mahoney said, is the event Ianno “hates the most.” It was the 800 that had Ianno questioning earlier this season whether she would compete in the pentathlon this season.

The first day of the meet was fairly slow, with finals contested in only five events. Two Mattituck seniors, Chelsea Ficner and Hanora Gralton, posted 10th-place finishes in field events. Ficner hit 32-3 1/4 in the triple jump and Gralton threw the discus 78-2.

For Ianno, the numbers suggested she had a good day, but the look on her face said otherwise. Afterward, she was asked about her chances of going to the state meet again.

“I’m really uncertain, which is really weird because the past two years I really haven’t had that much competition in my division for the pentathlon,” Ianno said. “The girls this year are so much better.”

“I don’t know,” she said. “We have to see.”

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