ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck pentathlon athlete Shannon Dwyer competing in the 100-meter high hurdles on Friday.
SECTION XI INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP STATE QUALIFIER
Delina Auciello is headed upstate and while she is up there, she will undoubtedly enjoy a piece of cake.
Auciello and another Bishop McGann-Mercy junior, Danisha Carter, both qualified on Friday for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls track and field championships. The timing is interesting, with the state meet to be held June 7 and 8 at Middletown High School. June 8 will be Auciello’s 17th birthday.
“That’s why I really wanted to go,” she said. “Yeah, it’s a birthday present.”
Auciello was ninth over all and the top Division II finisher in the 3,000 meters with a time of 10 minutes 58.39 seconds on Friday in the Section XI individual championship state qualifier at Port Jefferson High School. It was only her third time running the 3,000 competitively, and she was emotional following her race.
“I’m going to cry,” she said, but she successfully held back tears during an interview.
Auciello went to the state meet when she was a freshman as an alternate on a 4×400-meter relay team.
Cater punched her ticket to the state meet in both the 100- and 200-meter events by virtue of her performances on Friday. She clocked times of 13.03 seconds, bringing her 12th over all in the 100 preliminaries, and 26.22, good for seventh over all in the 200, but also qualifying her for Saturday’s finals in that event.
“We made it, yes,” Carter said. “I’m really, really excited, and it’s totally unbelievable.”
Carter said she was so amped up about the state qualifier that she “could not go to sleep last night at all. I was so pressured. I really, really wanted to do so good.”
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Carter did well in the 200. She said it’s her favorite and best event. “That’s my race,” she said.
Earlier this season, Carter broke the school record in the 200 with a time of 26.20, which is just 2/100ths of a second off the time she recorded on Friday.
Now the two Monarchs will get to run on an even bigger stage.
“That’s all we wanted from the beginning of the year,” Carter said. “It’s what we’ve been looking forward to.”
If nothing else, it should make for a memorable birthday for Auciello.
TRACK NOTES Riverhead junior Kyra Braunskill took sixth place in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet 6 1/2 inches, a personal record.
The second and final day of the state qualifying meet will be tomorrow.