Much like the Olympics, there are no do-overs in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships. When the time comes, an athlete must be ready to perform and live with the results, good, bad or indifferent.
“You go there and it’s the best of the best,” Mattituck girls track coach Chris Robinson said. “There’s little room for error. You got to have your best day, but that is what makes it great, the challenge of it, the pressure of it, the spotlight of it.”
Four Mattituck girls got to experience that challenge in the heat Friday at Union-Endicott High School, where the Tuckers were represented in three events.
It was a first-time experience for Alya Ayoub. The Mattituck senior’s final high school meet was her first state meet. She placed 11th among 18 Division 2 long jumpers with a distance of 16 feet, 3/4 inches.
“Where she came from a ninth-grader to all the way she is now is tremendous,” Robinson said of Ayoub, whose personal-best distance is 16-8 1/2. “She embraced it. She took it in and she enjoyed every moment of it.”
Mattituck’s Meg Dinizio is no stranger to the state meet. The junior sprinter made her third straight appearance in the big meet, finishing 19th in the 100 meters in 13.55 seconds. That time is off her personal record of 13.0.
“It wasn’t her best,” Robinson said. “A little off. The girl has been to the state meet three years in a row. She has become the top sprinter in our league the last three years. She’s like a veteran up there. She was able to help out the young girls and navigate their way through the process. She knows what it takes to get there.”
Ayoub and Dinizio were also both on Mattituck’s 4×100-meter relay team, along with eighth-grader Bella Masotti and senior Amy Macaluso. Robinson had high hopes for the relay team, which had turned in faster and faster times in recent meets. On Friday, though, the team did not finish the race because of a baton exchange outside of the handoff zone, said Robinson. “It’s unfortunate because I think our best chance to place and do well was in that event,” he said. “In meets and the state qualifier they just kept getting better and better. I think we were in a good position going into the third turn. It was a timing thing. They weren’t able to get the exchange inside the zone.”
Robinson said the experience of reaching the state meet was a big one for his athletes.
“I’m super proud to be a part of what these girls did,” he said. “To get to that point is such an achievement. These girls have slowly created a buzz about themselves and people are starting to look out for Mattituck.”