Cross-Country Runner Marquez Finishes Second in County

Cross-Country Runner Marquez Finishes Second in County thumbnail142821
Cross-Country Runner Marquez Finishes Second in County 2 thumbnail142822

High school sophomore cross-country runner Gianna Marquez finished second in the Suffolk County championships at the Section XI State Qualifier Meet, held Nov. 8 at Sunken Meadow State Park, earning Deer Park its first-ever berth in the state championship race.

Coming into the county race ranked 11th overall and seventh in Class A, Marquez shocked the field of county competitors when she finished with a time of 19:46.64 on the dreaded “Cardiac Course” at Sunken Meadow. She ran a personal best by over 25 seconds, taking down perennial powerhouses.

“I knew going into the race that Gianna had been at her best and was strong and mentally ready,” said Coach James Petti. “She’d been running somewhat conservative the entire season to avoid burnout. We unleashed her last week at the division race, where she placed in the top three. She felt she could have gone faster, so our plan for this race was to have her just go out with the front of the pack and don’t let them get too far ahead. It turned out that she led that pack and proved to be the stronger runner. This is exciting for Deer Park and our cross-country program.”

Deer Park’s girls cross-country squad ran a school record average of 21:21 and placed eighth overall in the county, the team’s highest ever finish. Kylie Kuhn ran 21:04, Arianna Araujo ran 21:39, eighth grader Kaliyah Hull ran 21:51 and freshman Natalia Lee ran 22:29.

At the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s 2019 cross-country championships, held on Nov. 16 at Plattsburgh State University, Marquez finished 67th out of 107.