Nick Santos is on a record chase.
The middle distance runner from Colonie High School set one at Thursday’s Schenectady Invitational Track Meet, nearly eclipsed another and, down the road, will go after the big prize.
“Last year, I started running some good times, and I started looking at records,” Santos, a University at Albany-bound senior, said after winning the 800-meter run. “That’s when I started to set goals for different things.”
Santos took down Jim Trembley’s school 800 record (1:54.5 in 2000) with his 1:53.37, which represented the 13th fastest time on the all-time Section II list. He just missed the meet record of 1:53.31 set by Guilderland ace Brian Rhodes-Devey a year ago.
“He likes to go from start to finish. He has one gear,” Colonie coach Mike Palmer said of Santos, who is both an individual event standout and key participant on Colonie’s successful relays. “He just goes after it. He’s tough. He’s a tough runner.”
Santos ran with a two-fold purpose in giving Colonie one of its three victories, with Jim Kehrer taking the 110 high hurdles and Greg Kehrer winning the high jump.
“I ran for a win, and for time,” Santos said after collecting his breath, and after holding off schoolmate Tyler Stewart and Shenendehowa’s Ryan Jones. “I knew if a ran the first 400 under 54, I could hold it, and I was told I ran a 52 split. I told my coach not to tell me if I was over 54.”
Santos popped a 1:51.7 800 split as part of Colonie’s sprint medley relay at the Arcadia Invitational earlier this season. The Section II record for the open is 1:51.51, set by Shaker’s John Maloy in 2006.
“My goal for the end of the year is to get the Section II record,” Santos said. “I think I can cut those times down.”
“We go until the 19th of June. It’s a long season,” said Palmer. “We’ve got time to lower those numbers.”
Shenendehowa put up the largest team number, scoring 1131⁄2 points, to win the championship for the second year in a row, and for the fifth time since 2002. Shaker was second with 97 points to third-place Colonie’s 87.
“This was unexpected,” said Shenendehowa coach Don Paretta. “We didn’t enter to win. We didn’t stack our lineup, and neither did Colonie. They had Santos and Stewart run one event each, and we did the same with [Zac] Suriano and Jones.”
Some of Section II’s brightest stars were still on display, though, with Kehrer clocking a 14.84 to defend his meet 110 hurdle championship. The University of Connecticut-bound Kehrer edged Schenectady’s Daquan Coleman, who gave the host school its lone triumph in the triple jump
“I’m happy with where I am in the 110s at this point,” said Kehrer, who had a 14.69 in the heats. “If you go 14.60, it will place you anywhere, and I’m looking to knock that down even more. Somewhere in the 14.30 range.”
Kehrer wasn’t as happy after the 400 hurdles, where Albany Academy’s Riker Wikoff surged for a victory in 55.22. Kehrer ran second in 56.64.
“After thinking about it, losing stinks, but in a way, it might be a good thing. It gets me motivated,” Kehrer said. “If I get beat by a kid, and I see him again, I’m not going to let him beat me again.”
While Kahrer was denied a
double, Kareem Morris of Albany got his and then some, winning the 100 (11.38) and 200 (22.87) while also running a leg on the Falcons’ triumphant 400 relay (44.21).
Christopher Fagan of Albany turned in an area-best for the season in winning the long jump
(22-93⁄4), and Matt Flint of Queensbury had another area season-best in winning the 3,200 (9:22.95) beating out Shaker standout R.J. Sniffen.
Matt Conti of Shaker won the 400 (50.87) and finished off the Blue Bison’s victorious 1,600 relay (3:28.84). Albany, with Morris and Fagan running legs, placed second (3:28.98) in one of the meet’s best finishes.
Shenendehowa won the 3,200 relay (8:03.24) to start the running events, and also got a first from Brian Trainor in the 1,600 (4:26.68). The Plainsmen scored big in the weight events, with Evan Palmer and Chris Gregory taking first
(47-11) and third in the shot put, and Jim Schwendtner and Palmer finishing second and third in the discus behind Fonda-Fultonville’s Shane Smith (152-10).
“We put together a pretty good one-two punch in the weights,” Paretta said. “That got us over the top.”
Greg Kehrer went 5-10 to win the high jump, and Nick Gerardi of Queensbury won the pole vault (13-0).
Shane Wagner of Schuylerville tied a Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Invitational record with a 14.8 in the 110 hurdles, and also won the 400 hurdles (57.2) and the pole vault (12-6).
Sam Guba and Josh Venuti led the host school with victories 100 (11.5) and 200 (24.3), respectively, while also running legs on the Spartans’ first-place 400 relay (46.7) and 1,600 relay (3:42.9). Burnt Hills swept the relays, and won eight events in all.
Dan Ladd of Schuylerville
doubled in the shot put (43-113⁄4) and discus (119-2).
More from The Daily Gazette: