By Frank Rizzo
SYRACUSE March 13, 2001 Not the best of weekends for Tri-Valley freshman running standout Heather Iatauro, but she did come away with an All-American distinction after running on back to back days.
Iatauro was in Syracuse on Saturday to run the 3000 meters in the New York State Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Carrier Dome.
The following day she was at the 168th Street Armory in New York City for the New Balance National Scholastic Indoor Meet.
After qualifying for the state meet in both the 1500 and the 3000, Iatauro opted to run in the longer event and placed eighth with a 10:37.52 well off her 10:20.1 personal best, run the week before at the qualifier.
Michelle Wale of Pine Bush, as expected, copped the state title with a 10:07.77.
Heather did not have a good performance, admitted her father/coach Joe Iatauro. The pace was fast at the beginning and she did not have a good pace.
The longtime coach noted that The Carrier Dome does not have a great track, its not the place to set lifetime marks.
Ironically, Heathers qualifying time of 4:49.0 would have placed her no worse than fourth in the state 1500. Theresa Fath of Bellport, Long Island, was the champ with a 4:43.48.
At the Nationals, Heather easily won her heat in the mile with a time of 5:11.2 (her season and lifetime best: 5:06.70), good for sixth overall. The top six earn All-American honors.
Winning the faster heat was Jackie Ziegel of Utah with a 5:00.21.
Had [Heather] been in the fast heat she might have done better, Joe Iatauro said. She won her heat by about 30 meters.
The only other state meet qualifier from Sullivan County was Steve Creek of Tri-Valley, in the 3200. Creek qualified with a 9:57.5 and came in 18th at Syracuse with a 10:06.2. The winner was Jesse Contario of Newark with a 9:28.30.