Leading off today: Kaeli Thompson
had already been able to call herself the best in the country by virtue of winning the girls pole vault at the high school indoor nationals, but the Warwick senior didn't have a state title under belt until Friday.
The Duke recruit cleared 13 feet at Middleton High School to capture the Division I crown on the first day of th NYSPHSAA championships.
"I've wanted a state title for so long and it's been the one thing I haven't been able to grab," she said.
And it turned out that she wasn't even the only champion in the family. Warwick's girls 1,600-meter relay clocked a 3:52.73, aided by Kaeli's sophomore sister Kristin, to also take home a championship.
Kaeli Thompson's victory was one of the highlights of the day's field events. On the track, Corning's Lindsey Butler garnered plenty attention for taking down a 35-year-old Section 4 girls record. The senior, a state champ in March in the indoor 600, won the Division I 800 meters in 2:06.88 to erase the mark of 2:08.83 by Ithaca's Dana Kelly in 1984.
She had placed second at the 2018 state meet by 3/10ths of a second to Rush-Henrietta's Haley Riorden, who placed sixth Friday.
"It was just a really exciting moment," said Butler, who's headed to Virginia Tech in the fall. "When I was in the 600 in indoor, I wasn't sure if I won and I knew I won this time -- and it was such a good feeling."
Said coach Joe Melanson: "She got after it out of the gate this race and she knows what it's like to close. After last year, I couldn't be happier for her. I took her loss hard last year."
Also on the track, North Rockland junior Katelyn Tuohy continued her domination of the distances with a victory in the 3,000 meters in 9:21.9, the second-fastest time in the nation this spring. The repeat victory came by a comfortable 15 seconds over Saratoga's Kelsey Chmiel.
Tuohy's outdoor season has been low-key in part due to a combination of weather, allergies and a heavy academic load. She told The Journal News she doesn't feel like she's peaking for next weekend's outdoor nationals, but that doesn't pose a concern in the bigger picture.
"I kind of need a down year if I want to accomplish what I want next year," she said, pointing to making the Olympic Trials.
Tennessee-bound Vanessa Watson of Spencerport repeated i the Division I intermediate hurdles in :59.12.
Oh so close: Ramapo senior Anthony Harrison throw probably wasn't quite long enough to break the state record for the discus established in 1991, but a late foul flag made it a moot point.
Harrison, who's been flirting with the record of 202-9 all season, had already wrapped up the Division I championship with a 197-7 effort before he uncorked what appeared to be an even better throw.
But after he threw the discus and legally stayed in the circle, an official spotted Harrison's toe over the line as he looked to see how far the disc had flown.
While no measurement was taken, an official told coach Jason Zweig the throw as in the 199-foot range.
Harrison, who placed second in the shop put, gets one more crack at the discus Saturday in the Federation division.
"I'm coming back with a vengeance, Harrison vowed. "That state record is mine. ... I can't go out like this. I'll be ready and more prepared.