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Sunday, March 4, 2018: R-H's Thomas dominates at state track meet

   Leading off today: Rush-Henrietta senior Lanae-Tava Thomas scored an impressive triple to lead the parade of winners at the state indoor track and field championships Saturday at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex on Staten Island.

   Thomas, who'll attend Southern Cal in the fall, set a met record with a time of :06.86 in the 55 meters. She also won the 300 meters in :38.63 and the long jump in 20-4, ripping off the day's top five leaps.

   The title in the 55 was the third in her career. Thomas is also a two-time long jump champ.

   Thomas largely salvaged the day for Section 5, which had numerous athletes unable to attend in the aftermath of the storm that battered much of the state beginning Thursday night.

   Opting not to hit the road during the worst of the storm Friday morning, the Section 5 contingent left on buses before 6 a.m. Saturday but did not arrive until approximately 3:40 p.m. for a meet that started at 1 p.m., the Democrat and Chronicle reported.

   Thomas was among the Rochester-area athletes who traveled separately to the meet.

   Section 10's buses aborted their trip and returned home without reaching the meet.

   More girls highlights: Saratoga junior Kelsey Chmiel set a meet record of 9:27.88 to capture the championship in the 3,000 meters, beating runner-up Brooke Rauber of Tully by more than 16 seconds.

   The previous meet mark of 9:29.85 was set by Kaitlyn Neal of Fayetteville-Manlius in 2016.

   In fact, meet marks all the way down to the 600 also tumbled.

   Spencerport junior Vanessa Watson won the 600 in 1:30.09, knocking half a second off the mark established by current Texas A&M star freshman Sammy Watson two seasons ago. Paris Peoples of Cardozo in the PSAL placed second in 1:30.59, matching Sammy Watson's old mark.

   In the 1,000, Lily Flynn took down the 1996 record by Tamieka Grizzle by winning is a dazzling 2:45.83. Runner-up Katherine Lee also eclipsed the old mark with a time of 2:46.91.

   The Ursuline junior dropped more than four seconds off her previous PR. "I'm really happy," she said. "It was great competition."

   In the 1,500, North Rockland's Katelyn Tuohy broke a Mary Cain meet record and set the state sophomore record by winning in 4:23.38.

   In a scorching 800 relay, William Floyd (1:41.49) edged Christopher Columbus (1:41.59), with both beating the meet record.

   The other meet record to fall was in the pole vault, where Averill Park's Alana Carroll shook off a misses on her first attempts at 12-0 and 13-0 to clear 13-6, an inch better than the mark of Lancaster's Mary Saxer in 2005.

   Monster leap for Willis: Cicero-North Syracuse junior Jeremiah Willis swept the boys' horizontal jumps with marks of 23-04 in the long jump and 49-5.75 in the triple -- the latter good for a Section 3 record.

   Willis was also fourth (and second among NYSPHSAA competitors) in the Federation 55 meters, posting a time of :06.46.

   Northport senior Isaiah Claiborne won the 1,000 meters in a meet-record 2:26.95, sling-shooting out of third place on the bell lap.

   "I knew if they put a gap on me (on the back straightaway), I wouldn't be able to catch up," Claiborne said. "Once they passed me, I knew I had to catch up to them again and pass them. I knew Ben Bulkeley was behind me and he had a fast kick, so I had to make sure I got a gap on him."

   Fairport's Bulkeley was second in 2:27.60.


   Claiborne's twin brother Elijah came within a photo finish of pulling off an all-in-the-family double. He clocked 4:15.548 in the 1,600 to take second place behind Schenectady's Maazin Ahmed (4:15.543).

   In another finish too close to sort out via the naked eye, Michael Mullally of Sullivan West won the 55 hurdles over Midwood's Tai Brown, :07.374 to 07:.380.

   Meet records fell in all three school relays -- Cornwall with a 1:29.50 in the 800, Newburgh Free Academy with a

3:20.10 in the 1,600 and St. Anthony's in the 3,200. The Friars' 7:50.52 crushed the old record of 7:50.52.

   The other meet record came in the weight throw, with Greenwich's Michael Gabriel triumphing in 69-6.75.

   Full track results: You can get all the times heights and distances for the boys and girls portions of the meet at Ocean Breeze.

   Big day for swimmer Babyak: New Rochelle-Bronxville's Andrew Babyak won twice individually and two more times on relays in the NYSPHSAA swimming championships at the Nassau Aquatics Center.

   The Michigan-bound senior and teammates Finn Seibold, Michael Lawson and Tim Cushman won 400 freestyle relay with a time of 3:06.61, setting a NYSPHSAA record. The same quartet won the 200 free relay in 1:25.15.

   Individually, Babyak won the 200 free (1:39.07) and 500 free (4:28.26).

   "It honestly couldn't have gone better my senior year," he said. "This is definitely my favorite meet I've ever competed at. The atmosphere is like nothing else between all of the different schools and all the fans that come to watch."

   L.I. swimmers thrive: The home-island advantage worked out quite well for three individuals in particular at the Nassau Aquatic Center.

   South Side-Lynbrook's Tim Marski, Chaminade's Christian Sztolcman and Shoreham-Wading River's Jason Louser scored two individual victories apiece to share swimmer of the meet honors at the state championships.

   Sztolcman won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles in automatic All-America times of :44.62 and 1:37.21. He was third in the 200 a season ago.

   "It's a whole different story standing on No. 3 and then on No. 1," he told Newsday. "It's just a feeling you can't even explain and it's a moment I'll remember forever."

   Louser won the 200 individual medley in 1:48.20, easily outpacing the field. The successful defense of his title in the 100 breaststroke (:55.07) over Hauppauge's Jack Casey (:55.19) was much closer.

   "When I touched, I didn't even know if I got first," her said. "I had to check the scoreboard and once I saw the No. 1, I was just ecstatic."

   Marski's one any only varsity season ended on a successful note. Exclusively a club swimmer until his senior season, he triumphed in automatic All-America times of :20.53 in the 50 freestyle and :48.53 in the 100 butterfly.

   "I realized that all my friends that I usually compete with outside of school, on my club teams, they're all doing it," Marski said. "So I was like 'Oh, it's going to be like that?' I just love racing these guys."

   More swimming results: The full meet agate is available in our reference section.

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