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Monday, June 19, 2017: Tuohy, Watson complete impressive New York sweep

   Leading off today: North Rockland's Katelyn Tuohy ran 4:45.95 to win the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Track and Field girls mile Sunday in Greensboro, N.C., taking down another state freshman record in the process.

   Former Bronxville great Mary Cain had run 4:46.91 when she won New Balance Nationals in 2011.

   "I definitely look up to her. She's such an amazing runner," Tuohy told The Journal News. "Knowing I can hit her times gives me motivation."

   The race-time temperature was a sticky 88 degrees.

   "It was really humid. I was definitely not used to it," Tuohy said.

   Tuohy and Rush-Henrietta senior Sammy Watson who won the 800 with ease in 2:05.70, gave New York a weekend sweep of the girls races from 800 to 5,000 meters. Jessica Lawson (Corning) won the 5K on Friday, and Saturday's winners included North Rockland's Alexandra Harris in the steeplechase and Saratoga's Kelsey Chmiel in the two miles.

   In field events, Smithtown East senior Daniel Claxton captured the boys high jump at 7-0.25, with Jyles Etienne of Stony Brook fourth at 6-10.25. In the girls hammer throw, Shenendehowa senior Jillian Shippee threw 192-10 to win by more than 12 feet.

   In other action, Shoreham-Wading River (20:00.59), Shenendehowa and Corning gave New York a sweep of the top three spots in the girls four-mile relay.

   Sydney McLaughlin of Union Catholic in New Jersey, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, may have clinched national scholastic track athlete of the year honors with a scorching :54.22 in the 400 hurdles.

   Quick thought: I'll chalk it up to end-of-season fatigue (plus a lot of New York reporters are busy cranking out all-area teams), but I was surprised at how little attention Tuohy, Watson, Lawson, Chmiel and Harris got in local coverage and from the national media that covers high school sports.

   Soccer award: Grand Island star Madisyn Pezzino was named New York's girls soccer player of the year by Gatorade on Monday.

   The 5-foot-8 senior forward scored 73 goals and contributed 17 assists last fall in helping to lead the Vikings to the Section 6 Class A championship. She finished her career with a NYSPHSAA-record 251 goals.

   Pezzino will play for Florida State beginning this fall.

   Ex-Suffern AD dies: Lee Brentnall, a retired teacher, coach and athletic director at Suffern died Saturday at the age of 81.

   Brentnall, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in his early 50s, retired in 1990 to focus on his real estate business. He was a past president and member of the Suffern Rotary Club.

   Catching up: I somehow missed seeing this story when The Journal News reported it back in March, but I wanted to acknowledge it now to get it on the record as I start winding down near-daily blogging for the 2016-17 school year.

   In what may have been the finest moment of sportsmanship in high school sports all year, North Salem/John Jay skier John Emerson gave back his fifth-place medal in the boys downhill at the NYSPHSAA alpine skiing championships.

   While viewing video of his race shortly afterward, the sophomore competitor realized he had straddled a gate. It should have been enough to disqualify him, but the neither


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  • the gate judge nor anyone else had noticed.

       Emerson found a coach before the awards banquet that night to explain what he'd seen on video. They then went to meet supervisor Dennis O'Brien and Emerson DQ'd himself.

       O'Brien told the paper no one had done this in his 23 years at the state meet.

       "As a coach, I was proud of him. It was phenomenal," coach Tom Adamec said. "It was an act that was selfless, honest, compelled by integrity and most of all loyalty to oneself."

       Rather than waiting to decide winners following the meets conclusion, officials awarded Emerson one of two Section 1 sportsmanship sweatshirts on the spot. Competitors and spectators gave Emerson a standing ovation.

       "I'm definitely more happy than if I had been standing on the podium. It wouldn't have been fair," he said.

       Weekend reading: With St. John's among the latest to offer a basketball scholarship to him, The New York Post ventured outside its circulation area to do a feature on Glens Falls star Joe Girard III.

       The 6-foot-1 guard, who also quarterbacked the football team to a NYSPHSAA Class B championship last fall, is already well beyond 2,000 career points in basketball and could break Lance Stephenson's state record by the end of his junior season.

       His list of basketball offers already includes Brigham Young, George Washington, Penn State, Tulane and Washington. The BYU angle helped the paper anoint Girard as a worthy successor to all-time Glens Falls scorer Jimmer Fredette.

       "He's way ahead of what I was at his age," Fredette said. "He's scoring the basketball an amazing amount. He's going to kill my record."

       Said Andrew Slater, a recruiting analyst for "He's legitimately one of the best 3-point shooters in high school. The concerns (as a college point guard) had been his ability to defend and handle the ball well, but he's been working to ease those concerns."

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