Zariel Macchia continues to leave her mark in girls cross country. This past weekend, the talented freshman finished second overall (first in NY) with a time of 17:42.7 in the female division 5K at the 2021 Eastbay Cross Country Regional Championships held at the Bronx’s famed Van Cortlandt Park, a regional race featuring the best runners from 11 northeast states plus Washington DC. This performance, the fastest 5K ever run by a girl from Suffolk County on this course according to her head coach John Ryan, has qualified Zariel for the Eastbay National Cross Country Championships on Dec. 11 in San Diego, CA, a competition of the best high school cross country athletes from across the nation.
After a ninth-place finish in the NYSPHSAA Class A Championships two weeks ago, Zariel improved her time by 33 seconds to capture second place and a ticket to San Diego. Zariel also beat out the current state federation champion, Karrie Baloga of Cornwall (currently ranked 10th in the nation), by 10.5 seconds. A top 15 finish in the Eastbay Nationals will result in All-American honors for Zariel; and, if she is a top finisher among New York runners, she will be a lead contender for the New York State Runner of the Year award.
Despite being only a freshman, Zariel already owns an incredible list of accomplishments, including winning the Suffolk County Class A girls cross country championship two years in a row (8th and 9th grade); winning the Suffolk County Division Championship in the 5K two years in a row (8th and 9th grade); placing second in the Eastern States Championship Race at the Manhattan College High School Invitational; and winning the annual Smith Point Bridge 5K Run for Literacy race two years in a row (7th and 9th grade—no race in eighth grade due to the pandemic). She was also named last season’s Suffolk County Female Runner of the Year.
Zariel has numerous first-place finishes in her career including, St. Anthony’s Invitational (2400 m); Bob Pratt Invitational (2500 m); Suffolk Freshman/Sophomore Invitational (2.5 mile); Section XI Championships (5000 m); Section XI Division Championships (5000 m); Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational (5000 m); Long Island Meet of Champions (800 m); Suffolk County Sectional Champs (1500 m); Section XI Division I Girls (1500 m); Port Jeff Steeplefest (1500 m); Suffolk County Sectional Champs (3000 m); Section XI Division I Girls (3000 m); Westhampton Beach Invitational (3000 m); Port Jeff Steeplefest (2000 m); Adidas Indoor Nationals (One Mile); Section XI Division Championships (2.5 mile); Section XI Championships (2.5 mile); The Armory Frosh/Novice Meet (800 m); Ocean Breeze High School Invitational (One Mile); Suffolk Coaches Invitational (One Mile); Jim Smith Invitational (2400 m); Suffolk Freshman/Sophomore Invitational (4500 m).
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