Dryden middle distance ace Rachel Hutchinson has had little competition at 1,000 meters this indoor track season, but she figures to get all she wants Saturday in Cornell University’s Barton Hall.
“She’s actually looking forward to it,” Purple Lions coach Lee Stuttle said Friday, on the eve of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Indoor Track & Field Championships. “It’s been frustrating — even at the invitational meets we’ve gone to, there’s really been no one to push her. She’s been winning by six or seven seconds every meet, but now she’ll have the experience of runners around her who can go just as far as she can. She’s excited.”
Saturday’s action starts at 9 a.m. with the boys championships. The arena will be cleared at the conclusion and the girls meet will start at 2. Opening ceremonies are scheduled to start 15 minutes before both meets.
Hutchinson, a senior, set the Dryden school record last weekend in the Section 4 state qualifier at Cornell. Hutchinson won the 1,000 in 2 minutes, 57.32 seconds, eclipsing her own mark of 2:58.79 set this season. She finished more than eight seconds ahead of Marathon’s Elizabeth Jewiss (3:05.68), who will also compete Saturday.
Hutchinson is seeded 11th in the 1,000, nearly four seconds behind junior Leah Triller of Holy Names (Section 2). The next four seeds include a sophomore, two freshmen and an eighth-grader.
Stuttle is bringing three other Dryden athletes to the meet: freshman Abbey Yatsko is competing in both the 55-meter dash (seeded 30th, 7.55 seconds) and the 300 (14th, 41.53); sophomore Mackenzie Todd is competing in the long jump (16th, 17 feet, 3/4 inches); and senior Will Holt will compete in the boys 55-meter hurdles (26th, 8.01).
Stuttle, who has coached track at Dryden since 1991 and ran for the Purple Lions from 1978-82 under coach Don Smith, said he is hopeful that Hutchinson and Yatsko will contend for medals (top-six finish).
“I just hope everything falls into place correctly and we have some PR’s (personal records),” he said. “And Abbey and Rachel both have a chance for a medal, I believe. It used to be that the goal was just to get to states — but now, we want to get there and really compete.”
Lansing’s Ben Eisenhut qualified in the boys 1,000 and is seeded 24th out of 31 competitors. Trumansburg’s Tyler Sutherland qualified in the 3,200 meters with a 9:41.48, which puts him 26th of 34 runners.
Lansing also qualified three pole vaulters. For the girls, Hayley Wigsten qualified with a height of 9 feet and is the 26th seed; the Bobcats swept the boys competition at the qualifier, with Dylan Bland clearing 13 feet and Max Jordan going 12-6. They are seeded 19th and 25th, respectively.