Maybe it was originally her mom’s dream, her mom’s pursuit, this elite running.
But Kamryn McIntosh, who this winter ran faster than any girl in the country has ever run a 600-meter race, makes it clear track is her own passion.
The Suffern sophomore is coming off a winter indoor season in which she won the state 600 championship, won the New Balance Nationals 400-meter title and won nationals gold as part of Suffern’s distance medley relay squad.
With McIntosh, this year’s Journal News Rockland County indoor girls track and field athlete of the year, there’s never been a question about talent and dedication. But Suffern assistant coach Jeff Dempsey has witnessed a confidence-born attitude change.
“The difference between last year and this year is she embraced the challenge,” he said. “She wanted bigger races and to mix it up with bigger names.”
Running was once an antidote for McIntosh’s boundless energy. She asked to join a summer kids’ track program in about fourth grade.
“I wanted to get my energy out,” McIntosh recalled. “From there, I wanted to do more running and have fun with my friends running. Now with high school and running, it’s developed more to, ‘What would I do without running?’ I don’t feel like the same person if I’m not running.”
That doesn’t seem like a huge concern, since the Suffern sophomore runs fall cross-country, indoor track in the winter and spring outdoor track.
Things are missed, including time with friends outside track and with sister Alexia, 8, and brother Chase, 5. But she accepts the tradeoff.
“I do have to give up a lot but track is something that makes me happy,” McIntosh said.
There’s ample reason for the 15-year-old to be happy.
Despite having had what she describes as “horrible form,” slouched over with very small strides,” McIntosh’s success started early. She won the Section 1 freshman/sophomore indoor 1,500 race as a seventh grader.
“I remember that day like it was yesterday,” she said, “because it was the beginning of my running and my future,” McIntosh said.
A bright future got much brighter when she crossed the finish in the Section 1 Class AA championships 600 race in a national-record 1:28.78 this year. The record, coming after she’d run the distance just a few times, was from “out of the blue,” she said.
“I was always thinking that someone like me could not run those times. When they announced it, I was blown away,” said McIntosh, who hacked five-plus seconds off her previous best at the distance.
“It was all very exciting,” she said of the aftermath. “Family members, friends, even teachers, were congratulating me. … And everyone was sharing my joy with me. It just made me happy that everyone else was happy I’m doing well.”
Among those most excited was her mother, Susan McIntosh, a former all-county Suffern runner.
“She’s really, really happy,” McIntosh said, explaining her mother derives as much joy from her success as she would if it were her own.
“I run with the legs she gave me and do what she wanted to do herself. She definitely motivates me,” McIntosh said.
That doesn’t mean her mom doesn’t still run sometimes.
In fact, McIntosh, who lists family as another thing that makes her happy, has had some informal races against her mother and her dad, Shane Starr.
“It’s always fun racing with my mom and my dad,” she said.
But do they really run hard and try to win?
“Well, yeah,” McIntosh said with a smile. “They try.”
The rest of The Journal News/Lohud all-county team:
55 — Imani Solan, Sr., Suffern
55 hurdles — Kyra Greenbaum, So., Suffern
300 — Imani Solan, Sr., Suffern
1,500 — Katelyn Tuohy, 7th grade, North Rockland
1,500 race walk — Maria Garcia, Jr., North Rockland
3,000 — Rachel Ludwikowski, So., Suffern
4X200 relay — Suffern (Iman Solan, Sr., Kyra Greenbaum, So., Nicole Becker, Jr., Renee Liporace, Sr., Terisha Theodore, Sr.)
4X400 relay — Suffern (Imani Solan, Sr.; Kyra Greenbaum, So.; Nicole Becker, Jr., Renee Liporace, Sr., Kamryn McIntosh, So.)
4X800 relay — Suffern (Anna Breton, Sr., Elina Breton, Sr., Kamryn McIntosh, So.; Mary Hennelly, 7th grade; Rachel Ludwikowski, So.)
High jump — Britany Marash, Sr., Nanuet
Long jump — Nicole Didrill, Jr., North Rockland
Triple jump — Anika Dwyer, Jr., North Rockland
Pole vault — Kerry Qualter, So., Clarkstown South
Shot put — Julia Wojciechowski, Sr., North Rockland
Weight throw — Briana Montgomery, So., Suffern
At large — Kassidy Ayres, Sr., Tappan Zee, Mary Hennelly, 7th grade, Suffern
Coach of the year — Brian Diglio, North Rockland
55 — Ariana Marsland,, 7th grade, Nyack
55 hurdles — Louise Jones, Fr., Nyack
1,500 race walk — Brenna Farrell, Sr., Clarkstown South
3,000 — Ailish Durcan, So., Pearl River
4X200 relay — North Rockland (Nicole Dodrill, Jr.; Akemi Dwyer, Jr.; Anika Dwyer, Jr., Camille Cameron, Jr.)
4X400 relay — North Rockland (Emma Lauredent, Jr.; Arianna Marino, Jr.; Amber Lubaszka, Sr.; Sydney March, Jr.)
4X800 relay — North Rockland (Sydney March, Jr.; Katelyn Tuohy, 7th grade; Alexis Harris, So.; Claire Tantillo, Jr.)
High jump — Sandra Wilson, Sr., Pearl River
Long jump — Madison Jackson, Fr., Tappan Zee
Triple jump — Liana Najaroen, Jr., Clarkstown North
Pole vault — Allison Stern, Sr., Pearl River
Shot put — Kiandra Antenor, Sr., Suffern
Weight throw — Nastisia Mason, Sr., North Rockland
55 hurdles — Kaitlyn Lavan, Sr., Pearl River. 1,500 race walk — Abby Fitzgerald, Sr., Nanuet; Kiera Mathews, Jr., Pearl River; Amanda Stallone, Sr., Nanuet; Anyssa Evelyn, Sr., North Rockland. 4X200 — Spring Valley (Gesnide Pierre, Jr.,; Kellaine Messidor, Jr.,; Nallah Sutherland, So.; Yhakerra Millings, So.). 4 X 400 relay —Pearl River (Allison Moroney, Jr.; Kaitlyn Lavan, Sr.; Lauren O’Brien, Jr.; Sandra Wilson, Sr.); 4 X 800 — Oliva Gray, Fr.; Brooke Madry, Sr.; Kristen Carbone, Jr.; Olivia Nikac, So.). High jump — Marissa Mileski, Jr., North Rockland. Pole vault — Claire Brennan, Jr., Pearl River; Allison Moroney, Jr., Pearl River; Sarah Zazyczny, Sr., Tappan Zee. Shot put — Helen Joyner, Jr., Tappen Zee. Weight throw — Audrianna Evelyn, Jr., North Rockland
55 meters — Nicole Dodrill, Jr., North Rockland; Jhada Francis, Fr., Ossining; Imani Solan, Sr., Suffern. 55 hurdles — Rachel Darius, Fr., New Rochelle; Kyra Greenbaum, So., Suffern; Victoria Jones-Alleyene, Jr., New Rochelle. 300 — Kiana Lee, Sr., Irvington; Imani Solan, Sr., Suffern; Khiara Young, So.; John Jay-East Fishkill. 600 — Kamryn McIntosh, So., Suffern; Chelsea Ogindo, Jr., Peekskill; Shari Rauls, Jr., Mamaroneck. 1,000 —Anna Flynn, Jr., Ursuline; Kamryn McIntosh, So., Suffern; Kaitlin Ryan, So., Bronxville. 1,500 — Anna Flynn, Jr., Ursuline; Kaitlin Ryan, So., Bronxville; Katelyn Tuohy, 7th grade, North Rockland. 1,5000 race walk — Brenna Farrell, Sr.; Clarkstown South; Abby Fitzgerald, Sr., Nanuet; Marcia Garcia, Jr.; North Rockland. 3,000 — Bella Burda, Sr., Arlington; Anna Flynn, Jr., Ursuline; Rachel Ludwikowski, So., Suffern; High jump — Paige Baisley, Jr., Beacon; Jaynie Criscione, Sr., Brewster; Kene Odenigbo, Sr., Ursuline. Long jump — Jaynie Criscione, Sr., Brewster; Menjia Luo, Sr., Harrison; Hailey Thornton, Jr..,Scarsdale. Triple jump — Anika Dwyer, Jr., North Rockland; Victoria Jones-Alleyne, Jr., New Rochelle; Maggie O’Keefe, Sr., Scarsdale. Pole vault — Maddy Luksha, So., Ursuline; Vivian Mroz, Sr., Bronxville; Margaux Neborak, Sr., Somers. Shot put — Monae Cooper, Jr., New Rochelle; Margaret Groton, So., Somers; Nijera Manuel, Sr., New Rochelle. Weight throw — Sochima Bishop, Sr., New Rochelle; Monae Cooper, Jr., New Rochelle; Jessica Jeffrey,Jr., New Rochelle.