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Sunday, March 5, 2017: Recapping Saturday's indoor track and boys swimming

   Leading off today: South Shore sprinter Ramone Newland celebrated the inaugural appearance of the state indoor track championships at Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island by tripling in Saturday's finals.

   The senior won the boys 55-meter dash in 6.40 seconds, the 300 in :34.06 and as past of the 800 relay at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Federation championships in the state-of-the-art facility. He held off Noah Williams of McQuaid (:06.451) and Michael Miller Jr. of Christopher Columbus (:06.455) in a blistering short sprint that saw five runners break :06.50.

   There was also a sweep in the girls sprints, where St. Anthony's senior Halle Hazzard posted times of :06.86 and a crushing :38.67 to triumph.

   Hazzard's win in the 55 avenged a loss in the 2016 final to Lanae-Tava Thomas -- after having led in the qualifying and semifinal rounds.

   "This is my last-ever " she told Newsday. "I was really happy I hit 6.8. That's been my goal since I've started running this. ... The 55 is a hard race to get a hang of because it's such a short race. Getting my state title today means that I know how to run this event."

   Thomas, though, couldn't have been unhappy with her day. The junior's leap of 20-7 won the long jump by 20.25 inches. She won the title a year ago with a 19-4.75 jump.

   Saratoga distance ace Kelsey Chmiel, coming off a superb cross country season in the fall, took the business of breaking records to the extreme. She broke the national sophomore class record for the indoor 3,000 by running 9:26.28. The prior record of 9:29.0 by Debbie Quatier had stood since 1974.

   Chmiel, who also holds the national freshman mark of 9:41.73 at that distance, won by more than 27 seconds over runner-up Amanda Vestri of Webster Thomas.

   "She wanted to win, she took it out from the start and was just determined," Saratoga co-coach Linda Kranick told The Daily Gazette. "It was an exciting race to watch, because she took off and didn't look back."

   The other girls distance race was a classic nail-biter in which Corning senior Jessica Lawson (4:25.66), who had a limited indoor season due to a foot injury, won the lean at the tape over North Rockland freshman Katelyn Tuohy (4:25.86).

   "I'm so happy, especially because of this season I've had with my injury," Lawson told The Leader. "To come back and win a state title, I'm very happy with my performance today. I didn't feel too great during the beginning of the race, but I was able to turn it on at the end. I was shooting for the Section 4 Record (4:22), but 4:25 is a personal record for me."

   Hawks teammate Kevin Moshier defending his championship in the boys 1,600, finishing in 4:13.79 to drop more than six seconds off his winning performance as a junior.

   "It feels pretty good to know that last year wasn't a fluke and that I am the best in the state," Moshier said. "The race played out perfectly with what I wanted to do. I wanted to be as close to first with 300 meters to go, then that's when I wanted to take the lead and it worked out."

   Other notes from the meet:

    •Shenendehowa senior Jillian Shippee cruised to a double in the girls weight events with marks of 43-10.25 in the shot put and 60-2.50 in the weight throw. A year ago, Shippee was third in the shot and fouled out in weight throw qualifying.

    •He couldn't match his 7-foot jump from the regular season, but Daniel Claxton of Smithtown East repeated in the high jump at 6-11 after the rest of the field went out at 6-5.

    •Erica Ellis of Gates Chili defended in the pole vault. The sophomore cleared 13 feet to defeat Commack senior Amanda McNelis (12-3).

    •Sachem East senior Lauren Harris defended her racewalk championship in 6:27.05.

   More state meet results: There are links to the full track results as well as a variety of other sports at the top of the right-hand column.

   More track: You hay have noticed Rush-Henrietta senior did not come within a country mile of defending her titles in the 600 and 1,000 meters at Ocean Breeze. That's because she was several thousand miles away and setting her third national high school record.

   Competing Saturday at the USATF Indoor Championships at altitude in Albuquerque, N.M., she ran 2:43.18 in the 1,000 meters to better Sarah Bowman's mark of 2:43.4 from 2005. Watson could have taken the mark even lower but finished her winning Heat 2 performance by peering back at the field to verify she was safely ahead and slowing near the tape.

   Watson posted the day's fifth-best time and will run in Sunday evening's final. Former Long Island star Charlene Lipsey won Heat 1 in 2:41.86.

   HHH's Park three-peats in pool: Half Hollow Hills senior Alex Park completed his three-peat in the 200-yard individual medley at the NYSPHSAA and Federation championships at the Nassau Aquatic Center.

   Park quickly broke away from the field to clock a winning time of 1:50.28 seconds, beating Shoreham-Wading River's Jason Louser (1:51.17).

   "It's such a blessing, honestly," Park said. "It's kind of indescribable, but overall I've had everyone behind me helping me along the way so it's just been an amazing high school career for me. I'm just so happy I could end it like this."

   Park's effort in his fifth varsity season helped the Half Hollow Hills combined district team to its second straight top finish in team scoring. Park, Daniel Lee, Ethan Tack and Dylan Chan won the NYSPSHAA 200 medley relay championship (second overall to St. Anthony's) and the Federation 200 freestyle relay.

   "We knew everyone was going to be gunning for us as defending champions and it's just great to be able to defend our title," Lee said.

   St. Anthony's broke the Federation record in the 200 medley relay with the team of Conor Rutigliano, Michael Chang, Andrew Stange and Justin Meyn in 1:33.32. Stange returned to the pool minutes later to win the 200 freestyle in 1:38.21 and later placed second in the 100 freestyle.

   Horace Greeley's Tyler Hill defended his Federation title in the 100 backstroke and scored a double. Hill lowered his Section 1 record in the 100 backstroke in 49.01 seconds and won the 100 freestyle in :44.53 for another sectional all-time best.

   "This was very unexpected," Hill told The Journal News. "I thought I had no chance (in the freestyle) but once I hit the water, I felt like fire."

   More to come: This is the first of three (or maybe four) blogs to come today. I'll be back later to catch up on sectional basketball; state hockey, cheerleading and bowling; plus whatever else has turned up so far this weekend.

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