It was a mostly green-&-golden afternoon at the Parkhurst Invitational, in which Vestal swept boys and girls team championships Saturday and its high-flying, record-tying sophomore was best in show.
The Golden Bears’ girls claimed a third consecutive team title, their 71 points 10 better than runner-up Dryden and thanks in substantial part to a superlative day in the field by Kari Stromhaug.
The boys standings showed Vestal with 88 points, Ithaca 80 and Maine-Endwell 77, the latter total featuring erasure of a 36-year-old meet record in the high jump by senior Nick Vachon.
Most impressive singular-event showing on the track was turned in by Rachel Hutchinson of Dryden. She clocked 4 minutes, 39.04 seconds to win the 1,500-meter race going away. It was a personal best by a bunch and carved her out space among the all-time IAC elite.
Stromhaug had the stage to herself when, six hours-and-change into the meet and with other events long-since concluded, she cleared 12 feet, 1 inch in the pole vault to snatch a share of the Section 4 record. That was established three years ago by the Golden Bears’ Camille Ginyard.
She backed that victory with one in the triple jump on a personal-best 34-9 1/2 effort, and with 5-foot clearance as second-place high jumper.
Together, that made her an obvious choice as most outstanding female field-event performer.
Top female on the track was Dryden’s Abbey Yatsko, fastest in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and anchor of the 400 relay team. Most outstanding male on the track was Ithaca’s Bruce Greene, who matched Yatsko sprint-for-sprint-for-anchor.
But from a historical perspective, it was M-E’s Vachon making the day’s most significant splash — thus earning him recognition as top male in the field.
His top clearance in the high jump had been 6 feet, 4 inches, accomplished twice this spring. But Saturday he passed over 6-6 — a bar-wobbler to be sure but meet-record stuff nonetheless.
The previous standard, 6-5, was established in 1977 by Israel Howard of Elmira Free Academy.
“I’m not used to seeing a bar above my head in a high school meet,” said Mike Terboss, 6-foot-5 worth of U-E assistant coach.
The winning height enabled Vachon to supplant teammate Brenan Crowle as Maine-Endwell’s record-holder. Crowle cleared 6-5 last spring as part of his pentathlon grind.
“I was feeling pretty good. The weather was nice, I had my mark right, didn’t stutter at all,” said Vachon, who stands 6-3.
He didn’t miss clearing the bar until three unsuccessful goes at 6-7.
Crowle was front-and-center to root on his mate and to serve as photographer when Vachon posed post-competition standing before a bar positioned at 6-6 — a height that has him second-best at present among New York’s Division II participants.
“It certainly helps a lot,” Vachon said of his stable mate. “We try to better each other, it’s a nice, friendly competition. We like to see one another pass the records so we can go try to get ’em again.”
If not for Stromhaug — who might better get used to accepting this meet’s field-event award — Binghamton freshman Alexis Daniels may have gotten the call after sweeping the shot put and discus with throws of 34-10 and 111-5, respectively.
Do keep an eye on this youngster’s progress in upcoming weeks.
Union-Endicott senior Kathy Cadet captured a third consecutive 100 hurdles title (15.87), and was runner-up in the 400 hurdles (1:04.7) as well as the 200-meter dash — in which her 26.18 was 2-100ths back of Yatsko. That trifecta could safely be labeled the most successfully ambitious undertaking of the day, given precious little recovery time.