All at once, Zariel Macchia’s Saturday afternoon was a possible state championship preview, another big-time showcase race, and the start to a world-wide running week. And, like she usually does, the Floyd sophomore put down an impressive performance. And, like she usually is, she wasn’t completely over the moon about it.
She’ll leave the marveling to others. The way Macchia sees it, she always has more work to do. This time, however, the work she’s already put in landed her near the top of one of the more prestigious mile fields in the country.
Macchia placed second in 4 minutes, 47 seconds flat in the Nike girl’s high school Invitational Mile at the 115th Millrose Games at the Armory in Manhattan. Cicero-North Syracuse’s Kate Putman, who will likely join Macchia in a crowded field at next month’s state championships, won in 4:45.35.
Macchia led a tight pack past the half-mile mark before Putman surged into first with two-and-a half laps left. Macchia kicked on the final lap to secure her second-place position.
“I wasn’t really planning to lead early, but I ended up getting a fast start just because I didn’t want to get boxed in,” Macchia said. “At that point, the best strategy was to just stay in the front.”
Macchia continued: “In these shorter races, like the mile, I really just have to get comfortable with really starting to close from the 800 [meter mark]. I tried to put in a bit of a push from the 800, but it wasn’t as hard as I would have liked. Obviously, I had more left because, that last lap, I closed well. Getting comfortable with closing from farther out is a big thing.”
Macchia, who will run the 1,500 and 4X800 meter relay at Monday night’s Suffolk State Qualifier in Brentwood, will compete next Saturday at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia as part on the under-20 U.S. national team. She leaves on Tuesday.
“Overall, I’m happy with this race,” said Macchia. “I did want to go a bit faster today in preparation for the 4X8 and the under-20 worlds. But, leading it as far and I did and closing well, it was good.”
Hempstead’s Anissa Moore placed second in the Debevoise girls 600 in 1:31.25, the fastest time in the state this season, according to milesplit.com. Florida’s Michelle Smith won in 1:29.52.
Chaminade’s 4X800 team, composed of Reef Kirchner, Jack Higgins, Michael Touma and Patrick Mulryan, placed second in 7:50.39, besting their previous state-leading time of 7:51.92 run last weekend at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston. Pennsylvania’s Episcopal Academy won Saturday in 7:45.78.
Huntington’s Nikolai Seferian, Jahmar Francis, Matt Armstrong, and Kender Endouazin won the Long Island boys 4X400 meter relay in 3:25.7. Elmont’s Alice Valenzuela, Thalia Benoit, Stephney Pryce, and Makalya Noel won the LI girls 4X400 in wire-to-wire fashion, clocking a 4:01.91.
St. Anthony’s Lindsey Yakaboski, Maggie Kemper, Annalise Olsen, and Kayla DeSousa won the CHSAA 4X400 in 4:01.79.