Area athletes earn four state track titles

Area athletes earn four state track titles

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Area athletes earn four state track titles

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ITHACA

Briyah Brown stepped up onto the highest medal stand, the queen of the shot put in the state and Federation. Then Ashley Wiggins burst across the finish line first and burst into tears of joy. The queen of the 55-meter hurdles took her place on that stand, too.

Soon Wiggins was back up there again with Symone Darius, Rasheeda Bull and Alicia Donaldson, their 800 relay having finished fastest among the public schools and second in the Federation.

All hail the New Rochelle girls, the winners of three crowns at the New York State Indoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at Cornell.

“This was a great day,” coach Andy Capellan said.

The Bronxville girls 3,200 relay of Courtney Campbell, Hilary Rizzo, Kaitlin Ryan and Meredith Rizzo left with state and Federation titles, too. As Meredith Rizzo put it, “We just all worked so hard. It really paid off.”

Brown’s first throw paid off with first place — 44 feet, one-quarter inch.

“I felt a lot of pressure to win because of my performance last year,” said the senior, the reigning Federation outdoor champ. “And also being seeded first, you know that everybody’s gunning to win. So it’s kind of hard. … But I knew I could do it.”

Wiggins won in a personal-best 8.07 seconds.

“I started hurdles in my eighth-grade spring year,” the junior said. “I wasn’t that good. Being under (Capellan’s) training and following everything he’s given me — I’m so happy.”

The Suffern girls 1,600 relay finished second. So did Tappan Zee junior Erin Jaskot in the 600, up from third in the NYSPHSAA and fourth overall last winter.

“I’m happy that I could make a step up,” Jaskot said. “It would’ve been nice to win, but I’m still really happy with second.”

After the top two were disqualified in the 1,500 race walk, Somers’ Maria Gorecki moved up to NYSPHSAA runner-up and third overall. Pearl River’s Meghan Keetley also moved up to collect medals, placing fifth among the NYSPHSAA walkers and sixth in the Federation.

“I was going out there hoping to have fun and hopefully get top six,” Gorecki said.

Mamaroneck’s Katie DeVore ran the 1,000 and got No. 4 in the NYSPHSAA and in the Federation. Pretty nice results for a freshman.

“I’m honored,” DeVore said. “Racing with these girls, I read articles on them all the time. And to have beaten some of them, I’m just shocked.”

Will Pope took Federation runner-up in the shot put, throwing 55-1 3/4 after being bedridden with the flu from last Sunday to Thursday.

“With the situation, I’m happy with second,” the Iona Prep senior said.

Jon Alkins lost the lead off the final turn of the 300 and arrived third overall at 34.69. The Eastchester senior came here to win.

“That was my goal from the beginning, to be state champ,” Alkins said. “But, of course, there are going to be other people who are better than you. … I tried the best that I could. Third in the state, that’s not bad at all.”

White Plains senior Thomas Johnson didn’t repeat as the state and Federation champ in the triple jump, coming in fifth in the NYSPHSAA and sixth overall at 45-11 3/4.

“I didn’t come out hungry enough this year,” Johnson said. “I was a little too relaxed. Jumping, I wasn’t feeling it. I mean, every other meet, I was feeling it, but then this meet, I was trying too hard. I was thinking about repeating too much. I feel like it messed me up mentally.”

Justin Alleyne, New Rochelle’s basketball player turned runner, placed No. 4 in the NYSPHSAA and No. 5 in the Federation in the 600. The senior said: “It’s so amazing. A year ago, who knew I would’ve ran track?”

Scarsdale senior Patrick Clarke finished fourth in the 55 hurdles at 7.66, then said, “I feel great. I wish I had a better time, but I made it.”

Eric Holt placed fifth in the NYSPHSAA and sixth overall in the 1,000. The Carmel senior ran 2:31.51.

“I was really disappointed,” Holt said. “I was trying to kick and I wasn’t generating any speed.”

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