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Thursday, May 25, 2018: Chmiel wins duel against Reale in Section 2

   Leading off today: The of the most accomplished distance runners in the state went head-to-head on Wednesday and the contest was every bit as competitive as you would expect.

   The Section 2 showdown was between junior Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga and Wisconsin-bound senior Hannah Reale of Shenendehowa for the Group I title in the 1,500 meters.

   Reale took the lead at the outset of the bell lap before Chmiel answered the challenge with 200 to go in the race. In the end, Reale's kick on the homestretch regained the lead until Chmiel made a successful push in the final 30 meters to win in 4:29.80. Reale was clocked in 4:30.01.

   "I knew there was some great competition in the race so I was really excited to get out there and race against them," Chmiel said. "I knew it was going to be hard to get the lead back. It was a fun race. I love competing against Hannah, it is always a lot of fun."

   Chmiel returned later in the meet to win the 3,000 title and Reale triumphed in the 800.

   "I knew today was going to be a hard battle from each of us and kudos to her," Reale said. "I'm so happy that we were finally able to race each other. The last 100 (meters) was a battle and she got me at the line."

   Tough way to lose: A freak play in the bottom of the fifth inning carried Yorktown to a 4-1 victory over Suffern in the Section 1 Class AA softball semifinals.

   With Angie Serrano trying to advance to third base on a ball in the dirt, Suffern catcher Erika Witt's throw ricocheted off batter Erin Gray's helmet and flew out of play over the Yorktown dugout. That brought Serrano home with the go-ahead run. Courtney Cardea singled one batter later, then Brianna Buck followed with a two-run home run.


   The sequence came after Suffern center fielder Jenna O'Reilly had tied the game with a solo home run to left in the top of the fifth.

   Hat trick not enough: Unatego sophomore Caden Clow hit three solo home runs, but it wasn't enough to keep Elmira


Heights Edison from scoring a 7-6 win the Section 4 Class C baseball semifinals.

   Clow swatted his first home run in the first inning as Unatego jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

   Post-game mishap: We knew boys lacrosse is a physical sport, but now we know that even the celebrations can be hazardous.

   St. Joe's player Casey Kelly sustained a cut on top of his head in the celebration following the Marauders' 9-4 victory over Nichols in the Monsignor Martin Association final.

   Coach Peter Hudecki said it apparently happened as teammates were jumping up and down with the championship plaque and that Kelly received five staples to close the wound while at the hospital.

   Proactive approach: Kudos to Briarcliff Superintendent James Kaishian, who shifted the conversation into a positive direction in the aftermath of the flyover farce.

   After the episode Monday, when someone paid for a plane to circle a Section 1 baseball tournament game pulling a banner that called for the firing of two coaches, Kaishian one-upped the dissenter(s).

   The Journal News confirmed it was Kaishian who was behind the sign that flew at Wednesday's semifinal -- "Let's Go Briarcliff."

   In addition, Kaishian has been tweeting a series of positive messages as he seeks to put the focus back where it belongs, namely the baseball team being one win away from a sectional title.

   All-state update: We finally have a firm date for the release of the all-state team in girls basketball. We'll be announcing the selections May 31.

   Coming up: I've stumbled across a couple of good reads this week but I ran out of time today. I'll hopefully be able to highlight them in the next couple of days.

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