Suffern High School Class of 1981
At the beginning of the 1978 outdoor season, Suffern girls’ coach Tom McTaggart had a talent-laden squad. Among those climbing up the depth chart was a freshman basketball player by the name of Lintz Rivera. She showed promise in all the speed and power events, and earned a varsity letter. However, McTaggart recalls, “She was socially hyperactive” and had not yet matured enough to focus on developing that talent.
Recalling his strategy of dealing with the fiery freshman, McTaggart said, “I tried to make sure that she could see that achieving at a higher level would be a lot of fun and that she was knocking on the door of excellence already. My feeling was that she needed to be a silly freshman before she became a serious athlete. Her latent talent was there, along with an unbridled enthusiasm that just needed to be channeled in a proper direction.”
As a sophomore athlete she matured and channeled her enthusiasm. In doing so, she began to indelibly etch her name in the history of Rockland County track and field.
Reflecting today on Lintz’s strengths, McTaggart said the following: “Lintz was incredible in three categories – her enthusiasm, her work ethic, and her sportsmanship. She absolutely relished every competitive experience as something that was emotionally thrilling and highly satisfying. Win or lose – and she hated losing – she loved what she did and wanted more of it. She wanted nothing but excellence. Her attitude rubbed off on the rest of the team and she became a leadership force from her sophomore year on.”
Forgoing basketball to join Coach Joe Biddy’s indoor team, Lintz became an immediate force to build a team around. She won County titles at 300 yards and the long jump. Outdoors, she became the workhorse of the Suffern sprint corps, volun- teering to perform difficult triple-event performances in invitational competitions. That year she won her first 400- meter County championship in an historic fashion, leading a 1-2-3 sweep by Suffern athletes who all broke the 60-second barrier in that race. Two weeks later she anchored the Mounties to their first-ever State championship in the mile relay, defeating previously unbeaten Brooklyn Tech and setting a meet and Rockland record of 3:55.3 in the trial heats. It was the first time a Rockland team had ever broken the four-minute barrier. For the next two years, with Lintz’s help, it became a Mountie habit. She also led off the 440-yard relay to a third-place medal just minutes before the mile relay final.
In 1980, her junior year, she became one of the elite athletes on the East Coast. Indoors, she won County titles at 300 yards and in the 880 relay. In the Section 9 meet she won four gold medals at 60 yards, 300 yards, 600 yards and the 880 relay. Knowing she was in great shape, she qualified for the States in the 300-meter dash. Running well through all the rounds, she won the State championship in 40.1 seconds, setting a national best by a high school athlete that season. She was ranked fifth nationally in the event by Track & Field News. Outdoors, she continued demonstrating her prowess at races from 100 meters through 800 meters, again winning the Rockland 400 title, as well as the Section 9 championship. At the States at SUNY Brockport, she finished third in the 400 and led off the 4×100 relay that placed third.
Her senior year was just as spectacular. Indoors, she qualified for States at 300 meters, but suffered a bitter disappointment by finishing second in a hard-fought race. Later that day she retrieved a sense of accomplishment as she helped Suffern to its first indoor 4×400 relay State championship. In the outdoor season, she established a Rockland County record of 55.3 seconds in the 400-meter dash while winning the Loucks Games. At the States at Cornell, while battling some muscle soreness, she came up second in the 400 meters, losing by one one-hundredth of a second in 55.82 seconds. However, as in the indoor meet, she was able to anchor her 4×400 relay team to another New York State championship in that event.
“In all the years that I have coached indoor track, I have never seen an individual who had the ability to intimidate the opposition by her mere presence,” said Biddy, Lintz’s indoor track coach. “She won major titles at 55 meters, 300 yards, 300 meters, 600 yards, 600 meters and the long jump. She was the most dominant sprinter-middle distance runner of her era.”
To this day, she appears on top-10 performance lists at Suffern in the following events: 55 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters (indoor and outdoor), 400 meters (indoor and outdoor), 300 yards, 300 meters, 600 yards and 600 meters. She also has an 800-meter time of 2:24.9 to her credit as well. When she graduated she had amassed 12 State championship medals – 6 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze. She set eight school records, eight County records, and two State records during her years at Suffern. In addition she helped lead her team to four Rockland County and four Section 9 championships (indoor and outdoor) in that era.
Lintz went on to compete at St. John’s University and Penn State University. At age 34, she won medals in the Empire State Games, breaking 60 seconds for 400 meters. She worked as an assistant coach at North Rockland High School and Wagner College as well. She credited the late Bob Murphy, the long- time North Rockland throws coach and a Wagner alumnus, with helping her obtain a graduate assistant’s position at Wagner, where she earned her master’s degree in elementary education. She received her undergraduate degree, a BS in business, from Marymount College.
Lintz moved to New Orleans in 1999 and has been an elemen- tary school teacher for the past 16 years, currently employed as a second grade teacher at Green Park Elementary School. Her husband of six years, Terry Adams, is a toxicology research pathologist who earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Tuskegee University and a PhD from Michigan State.
Suffern’s long-playing record of success in track and field, including a pair of titles at the 2015 national indoor championships, has Lintz beaming with pride. “It’s wonderful to see the new generation continue the tradition,” she said. “I guess I passed the baton to future generations, and they heard the call.”