By Rob Potter
LONG ISLAND June 12, 2001 A win by Tri-Valleys Heather Iatauro in the inaugural steeplechase event highlighted a weekend of action for Sullivan County athletes at the New York State Public High School Championships in Uniondale, Long Island.
Iatauro, a freshman, finished the 2,000 steeplechase in 7:22.44 to place first among Class C/D finishers at the championships, which were held last Friday and Saturday. The event included runners from Classes A, B and C/D as well as athletes from New York City schools and private high schools. Iatauros time gave her a third place overall finish in the event.
Iatauro overcame a slow start en route to her top finish.
At the first water jump on the first lap, she landed with two feet in the water and stood still for a second, said T-V Coach, and Heathers father, Joe Iatauro. She was the last of the 21 girls running. That first lap was shaky, but from that point on she picked up her confidence and ran well.
I had never landed in the water like that before, Heather Iatauro said. I paused and stood there in the water for a second.
But she rebounded well enough to finish ahead of the other Class C/D competitors in the event. And surprisingly, Iatauros winning time was not her best ever. Earlier this year, she ran the 2,000 steeplechase in a time of 7:15.90 to set a freshman state record.
Ironically, Iatauros older brother, Joe, holds the boys freshman state record in the same event. Joes time was 6:24.2.
Heather Iatauro also finished fifth in the 1,500 event. Her time was 4:51.58.
Several other Tri-Valley athletes also performed well at state meet.
On the boys side, Zane Illing took eighth place in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:03.47. Illing also was a member of a pair of top-ten T-V relay teams.
The 1,600 relay team of Illing, Durk Pearston, Adrien Hobbs and Ryan Milk finished ninth in Class C/D with a time of 3:36.16. And the 3,200 relay team consisting of Seth Hodge, Steve Creek, Hobbs and Illing took seventh place honors by running a time of 8:31.99.
A pair of T-V girls relay teams also recorded top-ten finishes over the two-day meet. The 400 relay team of Kelsi Lockhart, Colleen Carey, Jen Gorman and Danielle Poley took tenth place with a time of 53.93. And the 1,600 relay team of Gorman, Heather Iatauro, Lockhart and Kristina Mootz finished eighth in that event with a time of 4:17.69.
Fallsburg, Monticello and Sullivan West each had one athlete participating in the state meet.
Fallsburgs Josh Moore took fourth place in the Class C/D shot put event. He put the shot a distance of 47-10.5.
Sandra Scholz of Sullivan West ran a time of 2:27.44 in the Class B 800. That gave her a tenth place finish.
Monticellos Katy Schlichtman finished third in the Class B 400 hurdles with a time of 1:04.65.
Schlichtman, a sophomore, also finished fourth in the Class B 100 hurdles. Her time in that event was 15.14.
Those were her best times this season, Monticello Coach Pete Wysochanski said.