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Girls Track and Field: Mattituck races to its first league title in 16 years

Mattituck track athlete Megan Dinizio 050916

After all the raw days of cold, rain and wind this spring, nice weather finally made a belated appearance for the Mattituck High School girls track and field team on Monday. It has been a while. Then again, the Tuckers had waited for something even longer: a league championship.

On the day when the sun smiled down on the Mattituck track, the Tuckers claimed their sixth league title and first since 2000 with a 107-39 defeat of Greenport/Southold in the final dual meet of the season for both teams. The result leaves Mattituck and Bishop McGann-Mercy tied for first place with 4-0-1 records. It is the fifth league crown in six years for Mercy, which tied Mattituck, 73-73, earlier this season.

“First time in forever,” Mattituck junior Melanie Pfennig said when told that it had been 16 years (the same as her age) since the Tuckers were last league champs. “That’s crazy.”

As was the workload Pfennig carried on Monday. Really, though, it was nothing unusual for her. She ran a total of 6,100 meters of competitive racing. Not only did Pfennig grab first place in the 1,500 meters (5 minutes 2.9 seconds), 800 (2:30.4) and 3,000 (11:42), but she also anchored the victorious 4×800 relay team. That team, which included Sascha Rosin, Katie Stumpf and Payton Maddaloni, was clocked in 11:15.4.

“Melanie never surprises me,” Mattituck coach Chris Robinson said. “If you told me anything other than that, I wouldn’t have believed you. She comes out here and she’s a workhorse.”

Megan Dinizio and Sam Husak were both double winners for Mattituck. Dinizio dashed to victories in the 100 (13.3) and 200 (27.9). Husak claimed first in the high jump (4 feet 6 inches) and pole vault (6-0).

The Tuckers saw Alya Ayoub equal her personal record in the long jump with a winning distance of 16-2 1/4.

Mattituck is well-rounded. “We have strong girls on every place on the track,” said Robinson.

It showed. The long list of Mattituck winners included Jordyn Maichin (30-3 1/4 in the triple jump), Christina Hatzinikoloau (17.8 in the 100-meter high hurdles), Dawn Rochon (1:07.7 in the 400), Rosin (1:18.3 in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles), Julia Vasile-Cozzo (9:54 in the 1,500 walk), Miranda Sannino (65-7 in the discus) and Charley Claudio (26-5 in the shot put).

“It’s been 16 years since we’ve seen results like this,” said Pfennig.

Greenport (2-3, 2-3) picked up wins in two relays. The 4×100 team of Kyla Smiley, Marie Mullen, Jillian Golden and Marina DeLuca equaled their season-best time of 54.6 seconds. The 4×400 foursome of Hayley Brigham, Madeline Malinowski, Emilys Villareal and Smiley turned in a winning time of 4:40.3.

Smiley, one of the Clippers’ four seniors, had quite a day in her final dual meet. She also set personal records in the 100 (second in 13.5) and 200 (second in 28.3).

“I thought Kyla came though,” said Greenport coach Mike Gunther.

Smiley, clutching roses that were presented to the seniors, said: “It was a really good day today. I was really nervous. I heard good things about Mattituck, that they were a really good team. My performance today, I was kind of proud of myself because I was able to keep up.”

After a day of testing in school and then the track meet, the Tuckers might have been drained, but they were happy.

Ayoub said, “I think it’s really accomplishing because Rob told us in the beginning of the season how much he cares and how much he really wants us to put another banner up there, and now that we finally did, it’s very fulfilling.”

The way Robinson saw it, it was “just a perfect ending.”

Sixteen years in the making.

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 Photo caption: Mattituck’s Megan Dinizio and Greenport/Southold’s Kyla Smiley racing side by side in the 100 meters. (Credit: Garret Meade)

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