Liam Purdy crossed the finish line at The Armory and raised his right forefinger in the air, as in No. 1.
Indeed he was in more ways than one.
The North Rockland senior won the 1,000 meters Wednesday at the Section 1 qualifier for the state and Federation meet March 1 at Cornell. And his time of 2 minutes, 25.80 seconds not only broke his own school record, the Rockland record and the meet record, but it was the fastest in the country this season and No. 3 in state history.
“That wasn’t even a thought so much in my head,” Purdy said. “Definitely just an outstanding thing to hear.”
Now he would love to hear the words “state champion.”
“I would absolutely love to be a state champion in the 1,000,” said Purdy, who also ran on the victorious 1,600 relay. “That would definitely be a dream come true for me.”
Brian Cook not only took the 3,200, but the Pearl River senior beat meet and school records, finishing in 9:05.14. It was also the top time in the state and No. 2 in the U.S. this season.
“It means a lot,” Cook said. “I was trying to run a fast time, sub-9:12.”
The Suffern girls 3,200 relay, anchored by Kamryn McIntosh, also ran a U.S. No. 2 time as well as the No. 4 time in Rockland history, crossing first at 9:10.14.
Ashley Wiggins won the 55 hurdles in 8.21. So the New Rochelle senior can try to defend her state and Federation titles.
“It is a sense of pressure, but I take pressure in a good way,” Wiggins said.
The Huguenots are the defending state champs in the 800 relay. They ran only two of their regular girls and still set a meet record at 1:42.29.
New Rochelle’s Nijera Manuel and Monae Cooper went 1-2 in the shot put to qualify, along with Hampton-bound Taniya Mitchell of Mount Vernon in third. North Rockland’s Eric Favors took the boys shot at 59 feet, 11½ inches and is hopeful of top six, saying, “That’s my goal, to be on the podium.”
Rai Benjamin of Mount Vernon set a meet record by claiming the 300 in 34.06. Michael Martello of Somers set a school record by winning the pole vault at 13-6.
Spring Valley’s Justin Sapini qualified in the triple jump (win), the 55 (second) and the 800 relay (win). Ramapo’s Kaylyn Gordon swept the long and triple jumps, so she will compete in her first state meet.
“I’m really happy to see my progress from the seventh grade to being a senior in high school,” Gordon said. “It’s a great feeling.”
Pearl River’s Kelly Hayes said: “I was just trying to get a spot.” And she did by winning the 1,500 with in a state-leading 4:37.33. Tappan Zee’s Erin Jaskot, the state runner-up in the 600 last winter, ran off with the 1,000 in a personal-best 2:56.50.
“I was taking a gamble going for the 1,000,” Jaskot said. “But looking at the field that was going to be at states, I felt like I have a good shot against them.”
Luke Gavigan, Saturday’s Millrose mile winner, should have a good shot in the 1,600. The TZ junior won in 4:18.65.
“I’m a little tired still, but I think it was fine,” Gavigan said. “I wasn’t looking for time as much as to just qualify for states.”