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Greenwich NY girls take down 4x1500m mark

Friday, December 22, 2006 The New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory -- New York, New York

Report, photos from John Nepolitan

The 4 x 1500 meter relay is a seldom-run event; in fact the last time the race was run may have been when the national record was set back in 1984. But Maria Regina NY’s old mark of 19:58.58 was shattered Friday night at the Jim Mitchell Games at The Armory as Greenwich (NY) and Bronxville (NY) slugged it out lap after lap to push each other under the old standard. The record was in under serious attack from the first leg, but the final outcome of the race would not be decided until the final 150 meters with Caitlin Lane of Greenwich pulling away from Bronxville’s Tori Flannery to give the upstate New York team a 19:16.43 to 19:19.80 victory.

Lead off leg:

Right off the starting line, Bronxville and Greenwich jumped to the front of the field and a classic head-to-head battle was on. Lap after lap, Henrietta Miess (Bronxville) would lead Brittney Lane (Greenwich) away from the field as the two would run in together until the final 2 laps. Miess then gained a slight advantage, giving Bronxville a 3 second lead at the 1st hand-off. A sub 5:00 clocking for both runners put the teams under national record pace.

Henrietta Miess (Bronxville) 4:53.5
Brittney Lane (Greenwich) 4:56.8

Henrietta Miess BV leads Brittany Lane GW, then hands off to Emma Clarke as Lane's teammate Chelsea Borbolla waits.

2nd leg

Grabbing the stick and getting out fast, Emma Clarke (Bronxville) looked to keep the record attempt rolling. While starting 3.3 seconds behind, Chelsea Borbolla (Greenwich) was not in a panic and would slowly close in on the lead. With 3 laps to go on the leg the two teams were even, but by the end of the leg Borbolla turned a 3-second deficit into a slight lead as both teams were well under record pace. While the record was almost assured, the battle for 1st was still in question.

Chelsea Borbolla(Greenwich) 4:46.4 (9:43.2)
Emma Clarke(Bronxville) 4:50.4 (9:43.9)

Emma Clarke BV holds a big lead early, but then Chelsea Borbolla GV catches her.


Borbolla hands off first to Emily Fung GV to finish the 2nd leg, while Caitlin Hudson waits for Clarke.


3rd leg

Grabbing the stick and going out hard, Emily Fung (Greenwich) pushed the pace, putting pressure on Caitlin Hudson (Bronxville). Hudson, like Borbolla on the leg before, slowly cut into Fung’s lead and once again the lead switched at the exchange, with Bronxville now having a slight advantage.

Caitlin Hudson(Bronxville) 4:54.6 (14:38.5)
Emily Fung(Greenwich) 4:57.2 (14:40.4)

Fung leads Hudson early, but it's Tory Flannery BV who gets the anchor baton first while Caitlin Lane waits.

Anchor leg

The 2-second lead that Bronxville carried into the last leg was quickly erased as Caitlin Lane (Greenwich) stormed through her opening 200 meters in just over 30 seconds. The make-up of the race had now changed from an all out record attack to a match race between two of New York’s best runners. Fresh off her mile victory on this track at the Bishop Loughlin Games, Lane jumped to the lead and tried to do what she did less than one week ago, pull away from her pursuers. Lap after lap, Lane pushed the pace, but right on her was Tori Flannery (Bronxville), just getting pulled along.

Many times in relay races where the intent coming in is to run fast, there’s a point where the goal changes from fast times to just winning, and the pace can lag. That point never happened as Lane and Flannery were simply racing flat out. Coming up to the final three laps, Flannery made her bid for the win and the record with a strong move past Lane, who looked to be suffering from her fast opening lap.

Settling in, Lane rested for one final push, but the pace would not slow as the two runners continued to lap other teams. Finally, with 150 meters to go, Lane swung out and launched her final attack, reaching the front for good with just 120 meters to go. Running hard around the final turn and up the final straight, Lane stopped the clock at a new National Record of 19:16.43, with Flannery also charging all the way through the line also under the old mark with a 19:19.80 clocking.

Caitlin Lane 4:36.0 19:16.43 NATIONAL RECORD
Tori Flannery 4:41.3 19:19.80

Flannery shadows, then draws even with Lane, but Lane would outkick her (see photo on main page).

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