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Sunday, June 12, 2017: Recapping the state track and field meet

   Leading off today: I literally did not know where to begin Sunday morning as I began pulling together highlights from the weekend's state track and field meet at Union-Endicott.

   Chalk it up to a mix of the combined NYSPHSAA/Federation format that is impossible for casual observers to decipher (and only moderately easily for those of us versed in the sport) and multiple exceptional performances by New York's elite scholastic performers.

   Where to start? Well, Rush-Henrietta junior Lanae-Tava Thomas is usually a safe bet.

   Thomas followed a strong Friday -- NYSPHSAA championships in the two sprints and the long jump -- with an even better Saturday, sweeping to Federation championships in the 100 meters (:11.89), the 200 (:24.26) and the long jump (20-7½). Her long jump was half an inch better than her Friday mark, which had tied a meet record set in 2009, and well over two feet ahead of the rest of the field.

   Her performance in the 200, running into a 7 mph headwind, set another meet record.

   Thomas said afterward that she will not run again this spring. After finally making it all the way back from various leg injuries that hindered her from the start of the indoor season, she's ready for a little time off before picking and choosing summer competitions.

   "It's time to take a break. This is it for junior year -- until the summer," Thomas told the Democrat and Chronicle. "Junior year is very stressful, both mentally and physically, so just to get through it is an accomplishment in itself."

   In other girls racing, North Rockland's Katelyn Tuohy lowered her own U.S. 2017 season best and nearly broke Mary Cain's freshman record.

   Tuohy, whose previous best was 4:25.11, ran away from the field to finish in 4:18.51. Cain had run 4:17.84 for Bronxville in 2011.

   Tuohy beat Corning senior Jessica Lawson (4:22.38 for a Section 4 record), who had scored a big win in the 3,000 on Friday.

   "I knew the field was amazing," Tuohy told The Journal News. "They're the best in the state and country."

   In relay action, West Babylon won the Federation girls 1,600 for the third straight year, posting a 3:44.60. Sophomore Nadja Ashley and seniors Dana Beggins, Paige Keefer and Brittany Korsah went unchallenged in both the NYSPHSAA Division I and Federation finals.

   "It's a great way to end off, but it's sad," Ashley told Newsday. "We'll miss them, and it's good to go out on a bang."

   In boys action, Cicero-North Syracuse sophomore Jeremiah Willis gave a hint of what's to come down the road by pulling a long jump/triple jump double of 23-1 and 46-5.25, respectively. His best efforts in each cam on his final attempts of the day.

   With a win already secured, Daniel Claxton of Smithtown East cleared 7 feet in the high jump on his third attempt before missing at 7-2, which would have set the meet record.

   After winning the NYSPHSAA Division 2 shot put championship with a PR of 57-10½ the previous day, Jack Zimmerman of Briarcliff found a whole new gear Saturday to win Federation honors by more than four feet with a sequence of 58-09.25, 59-4 and then 61-2.75.

   Zimmerman also PR'd in the Federation discus, throwing 165-3 for second place.

   On the track, Corning senior Kevin Moshier completed his distance double by winning the 1,600 in 4:12.81 after Friday's 9:11.34 in the 3,200.

   "Coming off the 3,200, I knew the 1,600 wasn't going to be easy; there were some guys who were fresh," Moshier said. "They had raced me and they had beaten me. If they


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  • had the right day, they could easily have smoked me, because I was drained from Friday night. The 1,600 scared me more than the 3,200."

       A few more notes that caught my eye:

        • Webster Thomas senior Amanda Vestri placed fourth in the 3,000 meters Friday, but in the process erased an all-time great's name from the Section 5 record book. Her 9:35.73 bettered the mark of Brighton's Stacy Prey (9:36.56) from 1985.

       "So I get to the finish line and I didn't even sit down," Vestri said. "I knew that I was tired, but I stood up, just held myself together. I went, snuck over to the clock. It said 9:35, and I just screamed. I fell on the ground. A couple of girls started coming over toward me, 'Are you OK?' They thought something was wrong with me."

        • Emily Lavarnway made up a ton of points in the final event to leapfrog to the top of the girls pentathlon standings. The South Seneca senior ran the 800 in 2:19.17 to finish with 3,363 points.

        • Newburgh senior Robert Walker broke the Section 9 record in the 400 hurdles for the second day in a row, snagging the Federation gold in :52.23. He had won the NYSPHSAA Division I race Friday with a :52.72.

       It turns out he wasn't really needed for the 1,600 relay, but Walker anchored the Newburgh quartet that blew everyone away with a 3:12.79 for a meet record, well ahead of Huntington (3:17.91).

       "I was expecting them to run 3:12 at nationals," NFA coach Malcolm Burks told The Times Herald-Record. "They arrived early."

        • We're setting up nicely for a potential run at the boys 800 meters record next spring. Junior Ben Bulkeley of Fairport won Friday in 1:50.96, with Guilderland sophomore Noah Tindale taking third in 1:52.90. Under the right conditions, the 1983 mark of 1:48.56 by Suffern's Jeff Van Wie just might tumble in 2018.

       Full results: Boys and girls agate from the meet has been added to our reference section.

       More Saturday recaps: Earlier blogs from Sunday recapped the day in lacrosse as well as baseball and softball.

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