NEW YORK – Hilary Rizzo had plenty of reason to be excited heading into the ninth annual Jim Mitchell Invitational at the Armory on Saturday.
Before the meet, the Bronxville senior had learned she had been accepted into Georgetown.
Maybe it was from the excitement of that news, or running in a meet named after her coach, but Rizzo came in second in the girls 1,000-meter run in 3 minutes, 1.75 seconds, by far the best time of her career.
“It was a really good race for Hilary,” said Mitchell, a legendary coach who has been at Bronxville since 1978. “That was her best by about eight seconds.”
Another Bronxville runner, Kaitlin Ryan, took first place in the event with a time of 2:56.00.
It was another strong showing from the junior, who finished second in the event at the state meet last year.
“We’ve been training well,” Mitchell said. “They try to do well, there’s no question about that. They probably feel a little extra pressure.”
Briarcliff’s Caroline Pennacchio took third place in the event in 3:02.11.
The meet, which had schools from all over New York state participate, had two records broken. In the boys 1,000, Colonie’s Jake Johnson set a meet mark with a time of 2:29.65, while in the boys 4 x 200 relay, Newburgh Free Academy’s A team of Blaine Billings, Jahnique Dessaline, Stephon Scott and Bobby Williams set the meet record with a total time of 1:30.25.
In the 300, Newburgh Free Academy’s Dessaline finished with the top boys time of 35.00. Somers’ Alex Worsley (36.33) and Bronxville’s Nick Sutherland (37.02) came third and fourth.
The girls 300 was won by another Newburgh Free Academy runner, Juantas Cumberbatch, in 41.85. The highest Section 1 finisher was Tuckahoe’s Mia Yancy (43.35), who came in second.
Other standouts from Section 1 included New Rochelle’s Vic Jones-Allyene, who won the girls triple jump with a distance of 36 feet, 3.5 inches; Scarsdale’s Kendall Bensche, who won the girls high jump at 5-2; and Scarsdale’s Jilly Mehlman, who won the 600 in 1:39.81.
The meet, which usually also features schools from Connecticut and New Jersey, lacked participation from those states this year because the seasons for those states don’t start until next week. Despite that, Mitchell was happy for more than just his team’s performance.
“You get to see your friends,” he said. “That’s what’s fun.”