Minutes before Olivia Misiukiewicz started the high jump competition at the Suffolk County League V girls track championships on Saturday, Southold/Greenport head coach Tim McArdle reminded the standout senior about her goal.

“Anything under 5-feet-3 inches is unacceptable today,” he said.

When Misiukiewicz cleared the bar at that height, she clinched first place in the league at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. An elated Misiukiewicz ran to McArdle, who gave her a victory hug.

“I was really nervous today,” Misiukiewicz said. “I had a lot of pressure on me to hit five-three, but I’m so happy about the outcome. I cleared five-three for the first time in the winter season.

“I need pressure. McArdle knows how to push me and what works for me. It is more motivating. I’m really happy he’s here and helping me out through everything.”

With one challenge out of the way, Misiukiewicz faced another, this time a personal one. She attempted three jumps at 5-feet-4-inches which would have qualified her for the New Balance Nationals in Boston in March. On her second attempt, she came within a quarter of an inch of clearing the bar.

“I thought I made it over and then I looked and [the bar] just fell over,” she said. “Mentally I know that I can clear five four.”

Misiukiewicz will have several other opportunities to qualify, including the county championships (Feb. 4) and state qualifiers (Feb. 13), both at SCCC, and the state meet at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island (March 2).

In the long jump, Southold senior Cameron Stanton had already qualified for the nationals, thanks to her 18-feet-1-inch leap at the Section XI Girls Crossover B meet on Dec. 9. But that didn’t mean the senior wouldn’t try surpassing her milestone. Her jump of 17-feet-7.5-inches clinched the league crown, by nearly a foot and a half compared to her closest rival, Mount Sinai’s Kelly Hughes (15-feet-10.5-inches).

Athletes were allowed to wear spikes at the event for the first time.

“I’m just trying to get used to them, see how they move,” she said Stanton, who committed line fouls on her first and third tries. “For my first time wearing them, this is really a good jump for me.”

And 18-feet and beyond still could be in Stanton’s future. “She’s such a student of the game and such a great athlete,” said boys track coach Joe Corrado, who also coaches the long jumpers. “I expect her to set a PR [personal record] every week. I’m optimistic that 18-1 is definitely doable more than once.”

Stanton’s younger sister, freshman, Devin, finished fifth with a jump of 15-feet-2.5-inches.

Before talking to her coaches, Cameron Stanton walked across the venue to give support to junior teammate Ashley Bifulco before her final attempt. Bifulco finished 10th at 14-feet-6.75-inches.

“She’s been long jumping for a good amount of time and recently she’s been finding more success. At the beginning of last winter season, she broke her ankle,” Stanton said. “This is her comeback season and she’s doing so well. She got a PR.  I’m so proud of her.”

Cameron Stanton took on some of the county’s top hurdlers at Saturday’s league finals. (Robert O’Rourk photo)

In a confrontation some of the fastest 55-meter-high hurdlers in the county, Stanton took third (9.14 seconds) behind Hampton Bays’ Emma Halsey (8.81) and Bayport-Blue Point’s Caitlin Style (8.96). Mattituck junior Casey Szczotka was fifth (9.42).

Junior Jaclyn Martoccia was fourth in the 1,500-meter race walk (9:17.67).

“So proud of them,” McArdle said of his team, which finished sixth overall (32 points). “They all worked really hard. This is the culmination. You see all the hard work has paid off. So, kudos to the girls.”

Several Mattituck athletes recorded personal records. Senior Alyvia Apparu took third in the 50-meter dash (7.66 seconds) and in 300 meters (43.19). In the triple jump, senior Carolyn Conroy (32-feet-11.25-inches) and freshman Ever Meyer (32-7.5) finished fourth and fifth in the event, respectively. Conroy also was fourth in the high jump (4-6).

“We did great,” said Mattituck head coach Mike Robinson, whose squad took ninth overall (23.5). “We don’t have that many girls that are competing but the ones who do did a great job, from our seniors down to the younger athletes.”

The quartet of Szczotka, sophomore Page Kellershon, junior Rhianna Lutz and Apparu finished first in the 4 x 200-meter relay but were disqualified for interference.

“Which is still, in my opinion, debatable and appealable,” Robinson said. “I don’t know what I’m going do about it. We would have been number one. We would have won the league championship in the 4 x 200. A little frustrated by that.” 

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