By Janee Law
Cold Spring Harbor senior track star Daniela LoCastro finished her successful winter season as the nation’s 13th-ranked runner in the girls 5000-meter run.
During the 2016 New Balance Nationals Indoor championship in Manhattan last weekend, LoCastro finished the race in 17:26.26, beating her own personal best time by 52 seconds.
“I was incredibly excited about the outcome of the race,” said LoCastro, who lives in Lloyd Harbor. “My goal was to run somewhere in the 17:30s, so to break 17:30 was a huge deal for me.”
For the 5000-meter race, athletes run around the indoor track 25 times. The length of the race plays to LoCastro’s strength, said coach Nick Aurigemma.
“For Daniela, the longer the race the better,” Aurigemma said. “She’s not actually the fastest kid on the track, but she’s one who can consistently just repeat the same lap speed over and over again.”
LoCastro also competed in the New York State championship at upstate Cornell University on March 5, finishing in second place in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:09.46.
He continued, “She’s such a hard worker. She never really strays from her training, so we don’t really have to focus on one meet we focus on it as a whole. She’s ready to go all the time.”
Having earned the No. 13 spot in the nation, LoCastro improved on her junior year standing when she finished in the No. 15 spot.
For LoCastro, this showed her that she “was stronger and fitter than I thought I was and that all the months of hard training really paid off. I couldn't have asked for a better way to cap off my indoor season.”
LoCastro, who also competes on Cold Spring Harbor’s spring track and cross-country teams, is now gearing up for the 2016 spring season. In 2015, she earned All-County in cross-country, by winning the 5k event in 18:22. She finished 19th overall at last year’s state championship meet.