Ashley Wiggins burst down her infield lane ahead of the rest on The Armory track in the final of the 55-meter hurdles. The only thing not running was the clock.
There was a miscommunication between the starter and the timing booth. The nation’s third-ranked hurdler from New Rochelle said, “I was very upset.”
But Wiggins’ win counted. There was plenty for the Huguenots to be happy about Saturday at Section 1’s Westchester County Championships. Coach Andy Capellan’s team earned a three-peat and its fourth title in five years, beating runner-up Bronxville 135.5 points to 52.75.
“It means a lot,” Wiggins said. “We all work very hard to continue this tradition that Coach Cap has built.”
There had been controversy on the boys’ side because loaded defending champ Iona Prep — and the other non-section parochial and private schools — couldn’t participate due to a missed deadline and the lack of a sponsor, according to Section 1.
Then Harrison thought it had won, a program first for indoor track and field, according to coach Dominic Zanot. But a recheck of the long jump results resulted in the Huskies’ dropping a point.
So they had to share the title with New Rochelle after a 61-61 tie. Each team won just one event.
“But that’s who we are as a team,” Zanot said. “We are a team of depth, and we try to cover every event and do the best we can in every event.”
Harrison senior captain Ben Adler, the runner-up in the 1,000, said: “I think the difference today was we went out there and we ran with heart. We stopped thinking about who we were as athletes and started thinking about the name on our chest.”
Wiggins said she ran 8.07 seconds based on a video — .04 off her season and personal best. The national co-leaders are at 7.97. Can the UConn-bound senior hit that?
“Of course I can,” Wiggins said. “I’m working very hard.”
Teammate Symone Darius has been running No. 1 in the country in the girls 300 at 38.07. The sophomore won Saturday at 38.54, the nation’s third-best time. She also took the 55 in 7.26 and anchored the winning 800 relay, helping to provide plenty of points.
“This is the second step in what we call the triple crown,” Capellan said of the League 2-B, county and Class AA meets. “Next week, we deal with Suffern and North Rockland and Arlington (in the sectional championship). We’ll see what happens there.”
Anna Flynn’s performance in the 3,000 came in at No. 7 in the nation this winter. The Ursuline sophomore broke 10 minutes for the first time, crossing at 9:57.81. With that time, she’s the No. 4 performer in county history.
“This season, I’ve been doing a little bit shorter distances,” Flynn said. “This is the first time I came back up (to a longer distance). I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I’m really happy with that.”
Mamaroneck sophomore Lauren Chapey claimed the 1,500 in a personal-best 4:40.56, becoming the No. 5 performer in county history.
“I was really hoping to get under that 4:40 mark, but it looked like some split seconds got in the way,” Chapey said. “Better luck next time.”
Maria Gorecki successfully defended her 1,500 race walk title, winning in 7:32.76. Her Somers teammate, Alex Shaw, was right behind her in second, finishing in a personal-best 7:36.76. Bronxville’s Kaitlin Ryan ran her fastest 1,000, 3:01.08, edging Fox Lane’s Alison Moky (3:01.86) and Mamaroneck’s Katie DeVore (3:01.9).
“It means so much because they’re all so good,” Ryan said. “Even if I didn’t win, racing against them is so nice.”
The Lakeland/Panas boys 800 relay, anchored by Josh Dacres, placed first at 1:34.01, and the Rebels’ 3,200 relay, anchored by Veeral Shah, arrived first at 8:15.42. Mount Vernon’s Rai Benjamin won the 300 in 34.3 and was the runner-up in the 55 and the 300. John Flannery, Bronxville’s Notre Dame-bound senior, ran an indoor-personal-best 4:18.65 to win the 1,600.
“This race was really to see where I was at fitness-wise,” Flannery said. “”I usually don’t run races from the front. But today I wanted to run a fast time and the way to do that was to go out hard and see what I had. I’m happy with it.”
New Rochelle’s Charles Wilson cleared 12 feet and took first in the pole vault. Harrison’s Brandon Merluccio threw a personal-best 45-5¼ for first in the shot put. But he reveled in the team standings.
“It’s a big accomplishment,” Merluccio said. “If I end up continuing in college, it’s a good thing to have on a sports résumé. I never really anticipated it, but it just feels good.”