Quinn, Caraciolo star at UTL Invitational
Like everyone else at Massapequa for the Under the Lights Invitational, Stephanie Quinn had no idea if she had won.
A three-way battle in the 400 hurdles between the Northport senior, Olicia Williams of St. Anthony's, and Destiny McElroy of Riverhead came down to a last-second lean. As the officials huddled at the starting line to name a winner, all Quinn could do was wait.
"It was really nerve-racking to have to wait," Quinn said. "It was definitely one of my closest races ever."
The wait was well worth it, though, as Quinn held all three off to win the 400 hurdles Friday at the Massapequa Under the Lights Invitational. Quinn clocked a 66.8, just .2 seconds ahead of Williams. McElroy took third in 67.9 seconds.
Quinn got out to a fast start as she kept pace with McElroy through the first 200 meters. But Williams kept it close at the end as she recovered from an early stumble at the first hurdle to kick back into the lead crowd.
"I knew Williams runs a really fast 400, so I had a feeling it would be a good race," Quinn said. "I just wanted to get out hard, attack the hurdles, and finish strong."
Williams caught up to Quinn with less than 50 meters left, but Quinn was able to keep her at bay with a well-timed lean at the line.
"After that last hurdle, it just came down to who could finish the strongest," Quinn said. "It was nice to know that I had that little bit extra left in me."
Earlier in the meet -- when the sun was still out -- an under-the-weather Joe Caraciolo fought off a 101-degree fever to win the long jump (22-7 1/2). Alex Williams of Wyandanch took second (20-1 1/4).
From the start, it was clear that it wouldn't be easy for Caraciolo, who won the indoor state and Federation long jump titles in March (22-6). The Massapequa senior fouled his first two tries before jumping his winning mark on the third of four attempts in front of a crowd of blue- and gold-clad fans.
"I had my friends and family here," he said. "I wanted to jump well at my home meet."
Caraciolo was hoping to top his Long Island-best mark of 23-4, but said he couldn't complain about how his evening went.
"Being sick definitely didn't make things any easier," Caraciolo said. "But jumping 22-7 1/2 like this is just awesome."