* William Floyd's Zariel Macchia navigates past the bridge at the Manhattan College XC Invitational on Saturday
Photo Credit: Derick Dingle/MileSplit
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BRONX, N.Y. -- Three times is usually the charm, but for Zariel Macchia, there's something about the number four.
On Saturday, the William Floyd (NY) sophomore finally earned her first Manhattan College XC Invitational win after finishing second in various races over the last three seasons.
This time, there was little debate.
The Long Islander was unquestionably the best runner on the day at Van Cortlandt Park, breaking away from the pack shortly after the bridge as she put 18 seconds on her competition and finished the Eastern States girls championship in a winning time of 14:10.30, a top 20 performance on the 4K course all-time.
"I'm really happy that I was able to win today," Macchia said. "Some of my favorite races have been on Van Cortlandt. The running joke is that my favorite races are when I finish second, because that seems to be what I always do here."
The performance also marked yet another improvement on her past efforts on the course, four in all dating back to her eighth-grade year in 2019. Macchia's progression has been a steady rise into the upper-elite, from 15:14.90 (2019) to 14:33.60 (2021) to 14:24.20 (2022) all the way to Saturday's effort.
With one more year left of high school, Macchia will still get one more crack at breaking 14 next year and entering into the elusive club of sub-14 runners on the course.
Of course, Saturday presented some challenges. Persistent rain and cold weather and mud made the day a true XC kind-of-day, but that in itself wasn't anything Macchia minded.
"I think a challenging course is the best course," she said. "It was muddier today, which added to that even more. Me and my coaches like to say, 'It's like a rollercoaster, you go up and down,' and it's so much fun to run."
Meanwhile, true to form, Tatnall's dominance reigned.
The quick-to-power Delaware squad posted a robust 26 points across a 37-second spread, averaging a blitzing 14:44 on the course. That average was a full 36 seconds faster than next-best Champlain Valley (VT), which impressed with a 15:20 average.
But this year has been a whirlwind dance into the elite for Tatnall, who saw three transfers enter the mix from Pennsylvania and Minnesota.
On Saturday, sophomore Abby Downin, junior Katie Payne and junior Ruby Schwelm led the way, placing second, third and fifth.
Payne returned after finishing third in the Letter E race last year. All three girls broken the 15-minute barrier, while senior Carlita Kaliher, who won the E race a year ago, was eighth in 14:57.90.
Sarah Lawson was fourth overall in 14:32.80.
EASTERN STATES GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP
|1||Zariel Macchia||11||William Floyd||14:10.30|
|6||Phoebe Benun||11||Santa Monica (SS)||14:47.00||5|
|7||Sophia Holgado||12||Padua Academy||14:47.60||6|
|9||Aoife Shovlin||11||Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School||14:59.00||8|
|10||Alice Kredell||11||Champlain Valley Union High School||15:03.90||9|
|1||Tatnall||26||1+2+4+7+12 (71+74)||0:37 1-5 Split | 14:44 Avg|
|2||Champlain Valley Union High School||72||9+11+15+17+20 (49+52)||0:34 1-5 Split | 15:20 Avg|
|3||Shenendehowa||144||10+21+23+44+46 (47+64)||1:24 1-5 Split | 15:53 Avg|
|4||Padua Academy||146||6+18+26+39+57 (62)||2:08 1-5 Split | 15:54 Avg|
|5||Sayville||162||13+22+27+33+67 (69+77)||2:05 1-5 Split | 16:01 Avg|
SOPHIA MCINNES WINS LETTER C RACE, CLAIMING SECOND MANHATTAN WIN