If you close your eyes, it’s hard to tell when Steve Crouse is flying past you.
With other triple jumpers, there’s a hard, uneven “slap-SLAP” to their footfall.
Crouse, though, is light on his feet, and his steps have such a balanced cadence that you’re not sure he’s even touching the ground.
The best jumpers in the state — and the country, for that matter — are hearing the Colonie senior’s footsteps coming up behind them, at least in a metaphorical sense.
Crouse didn’t jump very far in winning the Section II state meet qualifier at SEFCU Arena on Saturday, but his coach, John Ashley, promised that Crouse would hit 50 feet by the end of the season, and in so doing, would put himself in position to be a state champ and win the National Scholastic Indoor Championships at the New York Armory. The Section II indoor
record is 48-10 by Albany’s Quentin Armstrong in 1994.
“Everything’s going according to plan, now the state championship’s in the way. It’s the last thing I have to check off,” Crouse said after jumping 45 feet twice and calling it a day. “We’ll back off on the weights, and I could easily do that [50 feet] before nationals.”
Crouse easily won the Eastern States Championships at the Armory on Tuesday with a jump of 48-91⁄4. On Thursday, he had a hard workout in the weight room, which lowered expectations for Saturday’s meet.
He wasn’t really threatened by runner-up DaQuan Coleman of Schenectady (44-1⁄4), but it marked the first time this winter that Crouse hasn’t won a meet by at least two feet. Under the circumstances, Crouse and Ashley weren’t disturbed by the short jumps, especially since Crouse will start to see some big-time jumpers in the coming weeks.
“I knew I was going to be
really tired going into this,” the 2007 Federation outdoor state champion said. “I didn’t think I was going to do this bad, but I qualified and I’m looking forward to next week, so I’ll look past this week. I try as hard as I can every single meet, but this is definitely going to force me to perform good, or I will lose.”
Colonie’s other dominating performance came from senior Jim Kehrer, who won the 55 high hurdles in 7.65, and he and Crouse teamed with Matt June and Drew Rivera to win the 800 relay.
The Garnet Raiders scratched out of the 1,600 relay after winning the 3,200 with Derrick Ingleston, Brian Treadway, Tyler Stewart and Nick Santos, which left the 1,600 as a duel between Shaker and Shenendehowa, which the Blue Bison’s Devon Sedgwick, Matt Dustin, Kevin Conti and Matt Conti won in 3:36.54, less than half a second ahead of the Plainsmen.
Another close race came in the 1,600 meters, as Shen’s Brian Trainer (4:29.14) edged Niskayuna’s Louis Serafini (4:29.48).
Section II Class AA cross country champion Demetri Goutos of Saratoga Springs had no such difficulty in winning the 3,200 (9:32.39) by more than eight seconds over Shen’s Dan Harris, who beat Goutos at sectionals last week.
“I was disappointed last week in my race, so I decided to try and take it right from the beginning and see if I can get some space in the first mile,” Goutos said. “I’ve been looking forward to the state meet all year. I’ve never been there before, so it looks like it should be a fun race.”
Greenwich senior Caitlin Lane made a late move to get past Saratoga senior Hannah Davidson in the girls’ 1,500, finishing in 4:35.60 to Davidson’s 4:38.21.
“When I passed her, even if she passed me back, I was happy to qualify, because I’ve had a little bit of a rough patch the past two weeks,” Lane said. “It’s just the winter, it’s been really hard to train for all of the New Yorkers. I’ve been doing 100-meter strides in the hallways, and the past four days I’ve been on the treadmill.”
Lane, who finished behind
Davidson at the Millrose Games high school mile at Madison Square Garden, had a choice between running in the 1,000, 1,500 and 3,000, and decided to go for the 1,500 about an hour before the race.
“I know I can run a decent 3,000, but I’ve always loved the 1,500, it’s my last race here and my last indoor state meet, so I might as well run the fifteen because it’s my
favorite,” she said.
Although Holy Names’ 3,200 relay didn’t run fast, it was a big morning for the school, which had two double winners in Klarissa Ricks and Theresa Kennedy.
Ricks (7.12) held off Saratoga’s Madalayne Smith (7.15) in the 55 and rolled in the long jump at 17-3, and Kennedy doubled in the high jump (5-6) and triple jump (35-81⁄4).
“Theresa set a PR in both events,” Holy Names coach Carlo Cherubino said. “Her biggest thing is she’s not really confident in the high jump. Today, she did 5-6, so hopefully, that’s a confidence-booster.”
Holy Names’ Lauren Isabelle, Claire Hardwick, Lauren Recchia and Jordan White, who posted a 9:10 at the New Balance Invitational in New York in early February, ran 9:32.80 on Saturday.
They’ll need to find another performance like their New Balance race to win a state title next weekend at Cornell University, Cherubino said.
“I’m hoping to be in the mix,” he said. “That’s all we can ask is to be in the mix for the championship, but not if we run like today.
“Suffern ran 9:09 at their qualifier, Cardozo ran 9:07 at the same meet we ran. This is like a dirt track compared to the Armory, so you can’t go by that.”
White also coasted in the 1,000 in 3:03.93, eight seconds off her PR.
The complexion of the girls’ distance races was altered by the absence of Jillian King, the Georgetown-bound senior from Scotia-Glenville. She broke her leg skiing at Gore Mountain last week and will be out for 4-6 weeks.
The good news for King, who watched the meet on crutches, was that she has a cracked fibula, the non-weight-bearing bone in her lower leg. The injury doesn’t require a cast, and coach Jim Krogh said he expects King will get a medical waiver in the spring that will allow her to compete in the postseason championships without having to run in the required number of regular-season meets.
One of the most dramatic races of the day was Niskayuna’s victory in the 1,600 relay.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Kendra Adams made a determined move on the Silver Warriors’ Alicia D’Alessandro on the final turn, but D’Alessandro was able to hold on as Niskayuna (1:52.64) won by
12-hundredths of a second.
Also running legs for Niskayuna were Caitlyn Mills, Mary Corey and Samantha Legere.
Adams was second to Diana Hummel in the 300 final a few events prior to the relay.
Burnt Hills’ Meaghan Gregory (10:03.60) and Molly Pezzulo (10:15.04) went 1-2 in the 3,000.
55 — Connor Reilly (Niskayuna), 6.76; Eric Marciano (Ballston Spa), 6.82; Nicolai Howlett (Schenectady), 6.83.
300 — Patrell Brown (Shenendehowa), 37.53; Chris Fagan (Albany), 37.83; x-Kewsi Burgess (Albany), 37.96.
600 — Ryan Jones (Shenendehowa), 1:24.28; Nick Santos (Colonie), 1:25.19; x-Zach Williams (Cobleskill-Richmondville), 1:28.99.
1,000 — Tyler Stewart (Colonie), 2:35.25; Zac Suriano (Shenendehowa), 2:37.44; x-Alney Tobias (Lansingburgh), 2:37.80.
1,600 — Brian Trainor (Shenendehowa), 4:29.14; Louis Serafini (Niskayuna), 4:29.48; x-Otis Ubriaco (BH-BL), 4:30.80.
3,200 — Demetri Goutos (Saratoga), 9:32.39; Dan Harris (Shenendehowa), 9:40.51; Scott Maughan (BH-BL), 9:43.67.
55 HH — Jim Kehrer (Colonie), 7.65; Shane Wagner (Schuylerville), 7.93; DaQuan Coleman (Schenectady), 7.94.
800 relay — Colonie (Steve Crouse, Matt June, Drew Rivera, Jim Kehrer), 1:35.84; Schenectady, 1:40.06.
1,600 relay — Shaker (Devon Sedgwick, Matt Dustin, Kevin Conti, Matt Conti), 3:36.54; Shenendehowa, 3:37.02; Gloversville, 3:56.57.
3,200 relay — Colonie (Derrick Ingleston, Brian Treadway, Tyler Stewart, Nick Santos), 8:24.85; Scotia-Glenville, 8:32.18;
Long jump — Chris Fagan (Albany), 22-1⁄2;
Prince Abban (Shaker), 20-71⁄2; Cameron Benidt (Saratoga), 20-7.
Triple jump — Steve Crouse (Colonie), 45-91⁄2; DaQuan Coleman (Schenectady),
44-1⁄4; Prince Abban (Shaker), 42-8.
High jump — Sam Smith (Bethlehem), 6-4; Greg Kehrer (Colonie), 5-8; Matt Strait (Ballston Spa), 5-8.
Pole vault — Jake Platel (Bethlehem), 13-0;
Chris Cozzens (Shenendehowa), 12-6; Jeff Reinker (Shenendehowa), 12-6.
Shot put — James Schwendtner (Shenendehowa), 50-81⁄2; Evan Palmer (Shenendehowa), 50-2; Chris Gregory (Shenendehowa), 50-2.
Weight throw (invitational) — James Schwendtner (Shenendehowa), 60-61⁄2; Tyler Prendergast (Shenendehowa), 52-101⁄4; Evan Palmer (Shenendehowa), 51-6.
55 — Klarissa Ricks (Holy Names), 7.12; Madalayne Smith (Saratoga), 7.15; Alicia D’Alessandro (Niskayuna), 7.73.
300 — Diana Hummel (Shaker), 42.43; Kendra Adams (BH-BL), 43.52; x-Liz Schwenker (Guilderland), 43.54.
600 — Leah Wightman (Chatham), 1:38.94; Nayamka Roberts-Smith (Colonie), 1:41.25; x-Meredith Cully (Shenendehowa), 1:42.16.
1,000 — Jordan White (Holy Names), 3:03.93; Rachael Cyrus (BH-BL), 3:05.40; x-Roxanne Henningson (Greenwich), 3:06.59.
1,500 — Caitlin Lane (Greenwich), 4:35.60; Hannah Davidson (Saratoga), 4:38.21; Sam Roecker (BH-BL), 4:42.86; x-Cara Janeczko (Shenendehowa), 4:47.0.
3,000 — Meaghan Gregory (BH-BL), 10:03.60; Molly Pezzulo (BH-BL), 10:15.04; Morgan Roche (Shenendehowa), 10:18.63.
55 HH — Madalayne Smith (Saratoga), 8.29; Kyle Plante (Colonie), 8.81; Kelsey Hanson (Shenendehowa), 8.84
800 relay — Niskayuna (Caitlyn Mills, Mary Corey, Samantha Legere, Alicia D’Alessandro), 1:52.64; BH-BL, 1:52.76; Saratoga, 1:53.58.
1,600 relay — Colonie (Kristina Lenge, Kyle Plante, Corrine Serrano, Nayamka Roberts-Smith), 4:13.36; Guilderland, 4:21.58; Columbia, 4:32.58.
3,200 relay — Holy Names (Lauren Isabelle, Claire Hardwick, Lauren Recchia, Jordan White), 9:32.80; Shenendehowa, 9:51.74; Saratoga, 10:08.66.
3,000 racewalk — Justine Schulerud (Ichabod Crane), 8:38.54; Melissa Ashley (Shaker), 9:20.51.
Long jump — Klarissa Ricks (Holy Names), 17-3; Morgan Wheeler (Averill Park), 16-111⁄2; Nadina Turner (Colonie),
Triple jump — Theresa Kennedy (Holy Names), 35-81⁄4; Nadina Turner (Colonie), 34-43⁄4; Jackie St. John (Shaker), 33-51⁄4.;
High jump — Theresa Kennedy (Holy Names), 5-6; Morgan Wheeler (Averill Park), 5-2; Sarah Palmer (Schuylerville), 5-2.
Pole vault — Michelle Quimby (Shenendehowa), 11-3; Illissa DiNuzzo (Shenendehowa), 9-0; Patty Horan (Niskayuna), 9-0.
Shot put — Kirstyn Newkirk (Fonda-Fultonville), 37-93⁄4; Haley Franco (Saratoga), 35-111⁄2; Emily Vogel (Averill Park), 33-61⁄2.
x-Qualified for intersectional relay.
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