Kelly Hayes raced for 3,000 meters in a class of her own at the Class B championships Wednesday on The Armory track, three-peating by 36 seconds and change, a run good for a meet-record and personal-best time of 9 minutes, 58.3 seconds.
It was just one high point in the meet for the Pearl River senior, who’s familiar with the term, having just committed to Division I High Point of North Carolina.
“I had some other offers and I kind of looked around,” Hayes said. “But in the end, I just really thought I should be there. They’re trying to pull their program up, so I definitely want to be a part of that.”
She has done her share to keep the Pearl River program up these last three years. This time, her 3,000 time made her No. 4 in Rockland history and the No. 9 performer in section history. She also three-peated in the 1,500, finishing in 5:02.04. And she anchored the winning 1,600 relay.
Kayla Clohessy (long jump), Kiera Mathews (1,500 race walk) and Sandra Wilson (600) also won individual events, and the Pirates claimed their eighth straight indoor sectional title and the program’s 27th championship out of the last 30 tries in the winter.
“I knew were a big favorite coming in,” coach Dan Doherty said. “A couple of kids had some real good meets, Kelly Hayes, Sandra Wilson, Kayla Clohessy. We got off to a great start. We scored 49 points in the first two events, the walk and the 3,000.”
The Pearl River boys made it a championship sweep, beating out Harrison 104-79 to three-peat.
“My immediate reaction is relief right now,” coach Gilby Hawkins said. “I’ve definitely been anticipating the meet and pumping the guys up, talking about it since last week. With all this snow, it’s kind of been a disaster getting practices in. But they came together today. We had a very, very good day.”
Brian Cook was seeing triple, as in a triple crown in the 3,200 for the second straight winter, adding the sectional crown to his League 4-B and Rockland titles. The senior crossed at 9:54.94, leading a parade of Pirates. Ben McDermott and then Brandon Ilie were behind him.
“Coming back in, I really wanted to defend my title,” said Cook, who also defended his title in the 1,600, finishing in 4:30.35. “We were just running for the win. We went out pretty slow. Then I picked it up a little bit. I was trying to pull my teammates to a good time and help them run fast so we could go 1-2-3 in the event, which we did.”
Hawkins said: “I think that momentum means a lot.”
He had words of praise for the senior Ilie about the meet and the winter, saying, “He’s really had a phenomenal season.” Besides Ilie and Cook, Hawkins was also especially high on the efforts in this meet of junior Ethan Dowie, who was second in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump, sophomore Luqman Issah, who tied his personal best by soaring 6 feet, 2 inches to place second in the high jump, and sophomore Aidan Miller in the pole vault.
Miller cleared a personal-best 12 feet, 6 inches to win his first sectional title. The Pirates’ Liam McGarry went 12 feet to place second.
“I went on a bigger pole,” Miller said. “I made a lot of corrections on my runway, which was good. And I finished the jump. I went straight up more.
“I was expecting to (win). We were hoping to go 1-2. I didn’t really care which one of us won.”
Patrick Watts won his first sectional title. The Pleasantville junior sped to a 600 victory in 1:24.57.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Watts said. “I never really felt this before. It’s cool, overwhelming, I guess.”
Martin O’Connell was off his top time by a little more than two seconds in the 1,000, but the Eastchester junior took that title at 2:24.76.
“I came to win,” O’Connell said. “Obviously with the field, it was hard to run a fast time.”
Eastchester’s Rachel Berk repeated in the 55. Hen Hud’s Rasheedah Shardow repeated in the 55 hurdles.
“It feels great,” Shardow said. “I had a hard season. I knew I had to come out here and run well.”
Chelsea Ogindo ran the 1,000 in this meet here last year and finished as the runner-up to Nanuet senior Megan Young. This time, the Peekskill sophomore ran off with the crown, finishing in 2:59.51, missing her personal best by 11 hundredths of a second. But first place was the primary goal.
“So it feels great that I accomplished my goal,” Ogindo said. “I hoped to have run a 2:58, but under the circumstances, where I didn’t have too many people to push me, I’m proud that I was able to run 2:59 by myself.”