Diane O’Donnell, who coaches East Hampton High School’s girls track team, expects to take Ashley West, a versatile junior runner, and Lena Vergnes, a sophomore racewalker who is closing in on Kathy Piacentine’s record in that event, to the state qualifier meet that’s to be held tomorrow and Saturday at Port Jefferson High School.
“Lena was our sole scorer in the division meet,” O’Donnell reported Friday, “placing fourth over all in 7:45.09.”
O’Donnell added that she thought Vergnes would break Piacentine’s school record of 7:34 in the 1,500-meter event next season.
West placed ninth in the division meet in the 800 in a personal best 2:24.73, bettering the school record she set earlier this season “by 100ths of a second.”
West also ran in the division 200, finishing third in her heat, in a personal best 26.77, but did not make the final.
“She’s very serious about running,” O’Donnell said of West, who replaced Saiorse McKeon as the anchor of East Hampton’s 4-by-100 relay team in the division meet.
Asked why West hadn’t run the 400 this season, O’Donnell said, “I think it was because she wanted to break Danielle Ficeto’s record in the 800. . . . She’s a long-distance runner who likes the sprints, but she’s not a true sprinter. She’s more of a builder, a closer.”
East Hampton’s coach added that “her best chance to get to the states will be in cross-country. She’s so strong. The track races are too short for her.”
West, in the 800, Vergnes, in the racewalk, Saiorse McKeon, in the shot-put, and Hannah Jacobs, in the discus, have been named to the all-league team, O’Donnell said.