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NYPHSAA New York State Meet

Fri.-Sat., June 13-14, 2008 - University of Buffalo, Buffalo NY

DyeStat onsite with John Nepolitan

Final events worth the wait after big storm

Day 1 Story and pix by John Nepolitan

TJ and LJ winner Jen Clayton
The warm weather and stiff winds early in the day may have affected the results of the day’s events, but following a 90 minute delay as a storm blew through, the humidity dropped and the winds stopped and the last few events were worth the wait.

Early in the afternoon, the Divison 1 ( large school) 800s pushed up the excitement level. First the girls took to the track in what may have been the deepest, most talented field in the meet. State leader Charlene Lipsey of Hempstead took the field through an opening lap of 63, but the winds would take its toll and slow the front runner down over the final 200 as the field started to close in. Lipsey would hold on for the win, crossing the line in 2:12.25 with All American Sarah McCurdy(BayShore) in 2nd 2:13.11 with two sophomores Elily Menges(Garden City) and Michelle Riley(Saratoga) in 3rd and 4th, both timed in 2:13.77.

The boys’ finish was just as exciting, but this time the early leader could not hold on. Peekskill’s Lawrence Campbell jumped to the front and built up a sizeable lead, but with 300 to go Shenendehowa’s Zac Suriano, who has suffered through a series of injuries in 2008, took off after the early leader. Up the final straight Suriano led 3 runners in chasing Campbell, but Suriano would be the only one to get by and he did it on the last step to record the 1:54.52 – 1:54.59 win.

Suffern’s Jenn Clayton may have been the busiest girl of the day, first getting 2nd in the triple jump with a 37’ 11-1/2 leap to finish behind Sametra Kelly of Edison Tech, who spanned 38’ 7-3/4”. While jumping in the final, Kelly landed oddly and appeared to hurt her hamstring and is questionable for tomorrow’s Federation final, opening the door for Clatyon to take 3 golds on the weekend. While competing in the triple jump, Clayton had to step away to run a qualifying race in the 200, where her 25.18 would make her the 4th fastest time behind the 24.76 by Boys and Girls High’s Nadonnia Rodriques.

Right before the storms delayed the meet, Clayton would anchor Suffern, the indoor 4 x 200 state champs, to the Division 1 4 x 100 final with a .01 win over Boys and Girls 47.78-47.79. After the weather dela,y Clayton closed out her day with a 19’ 1-1/2” win in the long jump. Recent long jump state record setter Whitney Fountain (Columbus) was not in the field as she had passed up the qualifying PSAL meet to jump at the Jr Olympic Qualifier held the same day. At that competition it has been reported that Fountain leaped 20’ 11-1/4” with Clayton, whose Section 1 meet was the week before, jumping 20’ 4-1/2”. Tomorrow will be no less busy for Clayton as she has the Federation Championship in both jumps, the 4 x 100 and Division and hopefully Federation final in the 200.

Newburgh's 4x4 rang up the day's fastest time
Following the meet’s 90 minute weather break only 3 events were left on the track – the boys 4 x 400, the girls 3000 and boys 3200. In the fast section of the Division 1 relay, Troy Faulkner gave Curtis a huge lead half way through the race, but Newburgh was not done and began the chase. By the anchor leg Newburgh had the lead and was safely away from Ramapo. Running hard all the way Newburgh would cross the line 1st in 3:15.55 to Ramapo’s 3:18.44.

The final two distance races of the night were worth the wait – the wind had stopped and it had even cooled off a bit. As a result the racing was hot. In the girls 3000, an opening 1600 of 5:08 would find all the pre race favorites right there. Then Burnt Hill’s Sam Roecker would start forcing the pace which would string the field out. By the time the lap counter said 1 to go, (8:29), it was down to Roecker and defending champ and Footlocker Finalist Emily Lipari(Rosyln). Lipari went right to work and surged hard to gain daylight on Roecker. A 68 final lap would seal the win for Lipari who crossed 1st in 9:37.53 with Roecker in 2nd in 9:42.16 and Saratoga’s Hannah Davidson in 3rd in 9:49.21. In all 6 runners would break 10:00.

Coming into the State meet there was talk of the boys 3200 going under 9:00, but the opening 4 laps of 4:38 made it look out of the question. Two more 70-second laps did little to improve the pace. Coming up to 2 laps to go, NY cross country champ Pat Dupont (Fairport) started to apply pressure which right away broke the pack up. Over that last lap and a half, Dupont and Lee Berube
Pat DuPont wins the 3200
(Ticonderoga) would exchange the lead over and over again. With just 200 to go Berube jumped to the front and looked like a winner as Dupont had nothing to answer with. But then coming onto the final straight the Syracuse-bound Dupont would give it one last try and slowly get to Berube’s shoulder then past and to the line 1st in 9:07.56 to Berube’s 9:08.37.

While the racing was going on in the stadium after the storm, outside the boys pole vault had started back up again. By the end, state leader Brian McGovern(Mt St Michaels), who had missed the indoor championship with
Victorious vaulter Brian McGovern
appendicitis, would clear 16’ then have 3 good attempts at breaking the 16’ 5” state record. The girls vault, held earlier, was not as clear-cut for the medals as 3 girls cleared 12’ with Michelle Quimby (Shenendehowa) getting the win.

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