Two members of Deer Park High School’s varsity girls track team had an outstanding day at the county championships on June 17.
Gianna Marquez became Deer Park’s first track and field county champion since 2016 when she won the 2,000-meter steeplechase. She is the first-ever athlete to win this event in Deer Park history, and ended the season ranked first in the county.
“In a shortened year filled with so much uncertainty, Gianna never faltered and never gave up,” coach Jim Petti said. “She understood that time was precious because of the pandemic and COVID-19 precautions, and she knew how important it was for her to have a fulfilling junior year. She also finished in the top 5 in the county in the 400-meter hurdles and anchored our All-League 4x800 meter team with a time of 2:19, which showed her range as a track athlete. She made a statement this year that she will be coming back her senior year as the athlete to watch. She motivated her teammates so much so that we had an unprecedented showing in almost all events this year. She deserves the recognition. We can’t wait to see what her senior year brings.”
Meanwhile, sophomore Ava Capone finished fourth in the county in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4:52, setting a personal record and securing her place as Deer Park’s first 1,500-meter All-County athlete since 2010.
“Ava and Gianna go hand in hand when it comes to work ethic,” Petti said. “Ava drives Gianna to be her best and vice-versa. Ava is a huge reason for our team’s success this season, more for her tireless effort than just racking up wins and points. She’ll return as a junior next year as one of the top distance runners in Suffolk and the state.”