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Westchester County Indoor 2010 Summary

Posted Monday, February 01, 2010 by Perry King
Eagles Smash School Record on Way to Open Medal at County Meet

The Westchester County Meet on Sunday, January 31 at the Armory turned out to be all that it was expected to be. Great duels, spectacular performances, and many personal bests (PBs) were featured from athletes getting an opportunity to focus mainly on one event. With one weekend left in the season for most of the Eagles, the chances for one more great effort look good.

In some ways the County meet was just like deja vu all over again for the Eagles. Like last year the girls scored 9 points in Class C with exactly the same places, and the boys' 11 points was close to last year's 15 points with a locked-away and unavailable pair of shoes being the main difference. The team placements of 5th for the girls and 6th for the boys were also pretty much the same as last year if you factor in the addition of four bigger teams to the Class C group for this year.

The big difference for the Eagles in 2010 was that they broke into the Open competition scoring on both the girls and boys sides with a record-crushing 5th place medal performance by the girls 4x800 team and a 6th place medal by Pat Wortner in the 3200. Three other athletes were knocking on the door with 7th places plus one with a 9th place. Along with the great news that at least 7 PBs were set by the Eagles, the day was one for highlights.

The overall competition on the boys' side as usual was a battle between the big New Rochelle and Mt. Vernon schools, and Huguenots won the contest by 92-83.5 score though both teams finished in a 36-36 tie for the Class A title and Harrison won the B title over Somers 38-34. Though Woodlands finished ahead of Bronxville in the Open scoring, they finished behind the Broncos in the Class C scoring by 31-26. On the girls side, New Rochelle again won the Open title 91.3-72 over a fired up Ursuline team that was showing its solidarity with the excluded Iona Prep team. The Class A title was won by the Huguenots 42-33 over Ursuline and the B title went to the Somers girls by 49-28 over Harrison. In a dramatic face-off, the Woodlands sprinters and jumpers edged Bronxville 43-42 for the C title, though again the order was switched from the Open scoring where the overall 4th place Broncos far outscored the class champion.

The meet's top athlete on the boys side was Arthur Whyte of Scarsdale who easily outdistanced the competition to win the 55m hurdles, long jump, and triple jump. Other great  performances on the day included Yorktown's Manu Kumar's close victory in the 3200m and then coming back for a bronze in the 1600m and a silver in the 4x800 relay; Lakeland/Panas's Jorge Garcia lopping 11 seconds off his best to surprise Julian Saliani of Irvington in the 1600m; Lincoln/Gorton's Kem Ogbuagu defending his claim to the County's fastest guy title in the 55m; New Rochelle's Joe Shinn pole-vaulting to a 1st place and then 2nd in the high jump; Mt. Vernon's Kaydon Davis winning toss in the shot put that was 4 feet farther than the next best throw; and Mt. Vernon's comfortable double in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays.

The girls had a pair of double winners as speedsters with hops Christina Hamilton of New Rochelle and Nicole Cummings of Peekskill did the job. Hamilton won the 55m and long jump, while Cummings took the 55m hurdles and the triple jump. Other top athletes included Lakeland/Panas's Brie Roller who won the 600m and later took a 2nd in the 300m; Mt. Vernon's Deajah Stevens who held off Roller to win the 300m and finished 2nd to her in the 600m; Bronxville's Henrietta Miers who finished a busy weekend by running away from another Class C athlete, JFK's Jessica Kendzor, in the 1000m to finish .5 seconds off her last year's best; Pelham's Nicki Nesi who fell just short of a tough double as she won the 3000m and then engaged Mamaroneck's Gina Talt in a spectacular duel in the 1500m before taking the silver; local girl Megan Talay of Irvington who won the high jump on fewer misses; and Lakeland/Panas's Carissa Leonardi who won the pole vault with a spectacular 11-0 height that only Joe Shinn on the guy's side topped.

The top performance for the Eagles came late in the day and was slathered with heaps of drama. The Eagles' girls' last real chance for an Open medal came in the 4x800 girls relay, in which the Eagles entered the action ranked 13th (corrected placement) in the county. The race started with the top four squads going right to the front and the regional powerhouse Bronxville squad (with 3 of 4 regulars as Miers got a rest) soon pulling away from New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon, and Ursuline to win by 21 seconds. The Eagles first three legs of Sarah King, Joanne Mumbey, and Shanna Yue kept it close to the 5th-7th teams with times far better than anything the Eagles had done before. But as Lauren Hanley received the baton for the 4th leg the Eagles were still in 8th place, three spots out of a medal and two out of a place. Hanley quickly deep-sixed the suspense (losing dramatic style points in the process) as she sped by the Lakeland/Panas anchor on her first lap and then took out the Somers and Rye finishers at the beginning of her 3rd lap. Hanley's final surge plunged the Eagle's final time in 5th down to 10:34.5, more than 41 seconds below the previous record they set three weeks ago in the League meet. The time may also better the outdoor record that Hanley and King helped set back in 2007 when they were a freshman and 7th grader running with Paulina Nunez and Grace (someone's big sis) Epstein. The Eagles's time earned them a 2nd place in Class C behind Bronxville. They are now ranked 8th among all teams in Westchester and 9th among all NYS Class C teams.

Many other Eagles ran well, picking up two Class C championships along with the PBs and big efforts. Class C winners included Sofia Maluf in the 1500 Racewalk and Pat Wortner in the 3200m. Maluf like Hanley vacuumed all the drama out of her effort to win a consecutive crown as she strode to a 7th place overall with a PB time of 8:45, slicing 1.2 seconds off her time at the 2009 Sectionals and finishing 9 seconds ahead of her nearest Class C competitor. Pat Wortner also defended his Class C title and this time grabbed the Eagles' first individual Open medal in many years when he finished 6th in a time of 10:06, a shade off his PB of 10:03.4. Wortner ran with 4th place finisher Jaan Grondahl of Eastchester for most of the race and almost caught a fading Max Robinson of Rye for an Open medal.

As usual, Wortner's chief Class C competition in the 3200m came from brother Brendan, another one of the Eagles' 7th place finishers who blasted home strong to obliterate his PB by 14 seconds with a 10:08.8 to capture the Class C silver. On the girls side of the action, Sarah King ran to a season's best 11:08 in the 3000m to take 7th overall and 3rd in Class C behind Mary Cain of Bronxville and Libby Lazare of Pleasantville. Other Eagles in action in the longest race included George Epstein, whose 10:45.3 lopped 19 seconds off his PB in the 3200m and a 4th place behind the Broncos' John Flannery's 3rd place. 7th grader Grant Sheely jumped in with the giants and ran to a PB of 12:22.7. Rebecca Wiersma also leaped into the fray with a 13:13.7 in the 3000m.

Seniors Lauren Hanley and Ramson Ragin just missed out on individual medals. Hanley pared another 3 seconds off her PB in the 1000m to take an overall 9th in 3:12.2, but with three of the top four finishes being winner Henrietta Miers of Bronxville, Jessica Kendzor of JFK, and Amelia Phillips of Bronxville, Hanley was in 4th in Class C. Ragin had an issue with his shoes that left him with a bit of handicap in his jumps. His 18-3.75 leap in the long jump got him 18th overall and 4th in Class C, and his 38-3 distance in the triple jump was 19th and again 4th in Class C.

The final points for the Eagles came from the 4x800 guys relay team who ran to 13th overall and 2nd in Class C behind Bronxville with a 9:19.2 as an expected close 4-way battle in Class C never developed. The relay squad was composed of Pat Wortner, Tommy Ruff, George Epstein, and Brendan Wortner and finished about 14 seconds off their Kickoff meet time.

Results for the shorter races are not complete, so not all the Eagles' results may have been recorded. On the boys side, James Majeau set a PB of 3:05.4 in the 1000m to finish 41st and Mark Sudak ran a 5:46.5 in the 1600m. For the girls, twins Stevie Lane and Sarah Koenigsberg clocked 8.5 in the 55m to share 69th, while Kim Anker ran a 9.28 and Krishna Pandya ran a 9.44. Liz Quintero ran a 3:56.8 in the 1000m and Mary Constant got a 6:09.6 in the 1500m. Shanna Yue drove her PB down by more than 11 seconds in the 1500m as she finished at 5:36.7 for 28th overall and 7th in Class C. A quartet of Eagles did the long jump, with slightly separated twins Lane and Koenigsberg leaping to 13-2 and 13-1.5 for 30th and 32nd, Kim Anker going to 12-1, and Krishna Pandya doing a 10-6.5. The final Eagles event of the night was the girls 4x200, where Lane, Anker and Koenigsberg teamed with Mizuki Yamamoto to run a 2:04.96 for 22nd overall and 7th in Class C.

One more event remains as the Class C Sectional Meet is held at a super time on Sunday, February 7th, from 6:00-9:00 when much of the rest of the country will have their eyes glued to TV watching the new batch of commercials. Whether participation at the meet will be lighter than usual remains to be seen.

(Note: there were many cameras in action on Sunday and athletes would certainly appreciate it if more photos were uploaded to the County Meet Indoors 2010 album. All my videos from the second half of the meet had a weird fuzziness problem, so if you have some good shots especially of the 1500m/1600m and relays, load them up.)

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