Capital Region

Trail, Brown among hall of fame honorees

Third class includes athletes, coaches
Amsterdam graduate Izaiah Brown is headed to the Greater Capital District Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.
Amsterdam graduate Izaiah Brown is headed to the Greater Capital District Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.

Categories: Sports

Ray Trail, a distance running star at Mont Pleasant more than 80 years ago, and Izaiah Brown, an Amsterdam sprinter chosen in his first year of eligibility,  will be among the 2020 inductees into the Greater Capital District Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.
The third class for induction will also include distance standouts Krissy Haacke and Katie Twarog Moulton, middle distance Olympian Ysanne Wlliams, sprinter/hurdlers Jeff York and Madalayne Smith, pole vaulter Jared O’Connor, and coaches Roberto Vives, Dave Petersen and Frank Myers.
The induction dinner and ceremony are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Albany Marriott on Wolf Road, but ticket sales will be announced later, pending advice from the CDC and state health department.
Trail was previously inducted into the Schenectady City School District Athletic Hall of Fame. He was a full-blooded Mohawk Indian who lived near the Canadian border before landing in Schenectady, and was already a running legend in the North Country as he hitch-hiked his way to win races in AAU meets throughout the region, and even gained a reputation by racing against harness horses in county fairs.
As part of his near-perfect cross country record, Trail scored consecutive victories at the American Interscholastic Championships in New Jersey in 1935 and 1936, setting a meet record the first year. In his only year of eligibility on the track,he broke two world interscholastic mile records, indoors (4:24.8) and outdoors (4:24.4), and lowered the latter mark to 4:22.3. No Schenectady athlete would run a faster mile for 74 years.

Brown set a state freshman class record in the 400-meter dash in 2012 and continued to excel, racking up six state titles and setting all-time Section II bests of 46.40 in the 400, 21.10 in the 200 and 3:17.01 in the 1,600 relay. He was voted the outstanding performer in four straight Eddy Meets, and in between set an area record of 47.32 for the 400 while placing second in the indoor nationals.

Brown also had a strong career at Rutgers University, winning the 400 at the Big Ten Indoor Championship meet four straight years and adding an outdoor title. He left Rutgers with six school records and lowered his personal bests to 10.49 in the 100, 20.68 in the 200 and 45.27 in the 400.

Here’s a brief look at some careers highlights of the newest class to be enshrined in the Greater Capital Region Track, Field, and Cross Country Hall of Fame

Jeoffrey York (Troy ‘89, University at Albany ‘96)
● Holds Troy HS records for indoor (50 and 55 meters) and outdoor hurdles 110 meters). 1989 NYSPHSAA Indoor Hurdle Champion.
● Five-time NCAA Champion, 55 hurdles, 110 hurdles, 4 X 400 relay at the University at Albany. Holds school records for the 55- and 110-meter hurdles. Was chosen University Male Athlete of the Year 1994-95. Semifinalist, 110 meter hurdles 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials. Established all-time NCAA D-III fastest 110 Meter hurdles 13.56. Post Collegiate 13.28.
● USTFCCCA Region III Junior College Coach of the Year, 2019, Hudson Valley Community College.


Ysanne Williams (Albany ’98, UCLA ’03)
● Competed for Jamaica in the 800 in 2008 Olympic Games. Lowered her PR to 2:02.28 the year before. Won the Pan American Junior championship and U.S. Junior Championships in the 800 in 1999.
● Won five state championships while competing for Albany High School (400 twice, 600 twice and 800). Still sits in the top 10 in nine events, indoors and out, on all-time Section 2 lists.
● A five-time All-American at UCLA, she ran the leadoff leg on the 4×400 relay team that finished third in the 2001 NCAA championships and had numerous other placings in NCAA and Pac-10 championship meets.


Roberto Vives (Cardinal Hayes ’73, Seton Hall ’78)
● Director of the University at Albany’s Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country programs, 1985 to present (35 years). Served as National
Coach for Team USA, 2015 and Puerto Rico, 2016 to present.
● Thirty-three America East Conference Men’s and 24 Women’s Team Championships. Men’s IC4A Indoor champions 2009, 2010 and 2017. Outdoor IC4A champions 2009. Women’s ECAC champions, Indoor 2017, Outdoor 2018 and 2019.
● Eight-time USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year, 11-time Collegiate Track Conference Coach of the Year, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, University at Albany, 1994.


Ray Trail (Mont Pleasant ’35-’36, Syracuse)
● Before arriving at Mont Pleasant after living along the Canadian border, he had already gained a reputation as a runner who hitch-hiked his way to AAU races all over the region, almost always winning.
● He had two spectacular cross country seasons, culminating with a course record at the American Interscholastic Championships in Newark, N.J., and a repeat as national champion in 1936.

● He set two world interscholastic mile records, 4:24.8 indoors and 4:24.4 outdoors, and he lowered that to 4:22.3. No Schenectady high school athlete would run a faster mile for the next 74 years.

Madalayne Smith (Saratoga ’10, Connecticut ’14)
● New York State Indoor Track Champion in both the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles 2009 and 2010.
● New York State and Federation Champion in the 100 hurdles three consecutive years, 2008-10. Section II record holder in 100 hurdles, 13.78.
● At Connecticut, highlights included fourth place in Big East Conference outdoor championships junior year, first in New England Indoor Championships 60 hurdles with a meet record.


Dave Petersen (Johnstown ’65, Wisconsin ’69)
● Established all-time area best of 14.3 in the 120-yard high hurdles and finished second in the state meet for the Sir Bills. Earned a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin.
● Veteran coach of nearly 50 years, he started the boys’ and girls’ track programs at Fonda-Fultonville. They combined for 36 Section II championships and 46 Tri-Valley League titles under his leadership and compiled an aggregate dual meet record of 483-23.
● Has been the Section II boys’ outdoor track coordinator since 1981 and was an inaugural class inductee of the Fonda-Fultonville Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jared O’Connor (Shenendehowa ’04, University of Washington ’09)
● New York State indoor track champion in pole vault in 2004 with state-record 15-10. Was selected as “Athlete of the Meet.”
● His performance of 15-10 was the Section II indoor record for 15 years, and currently ranks third all-time on the leaderboard.
● Finished second in the 2008 NCAA Division I Championships with a jump of 17-4.5. Achieved a personal best of 17-6.


Katie Twarog Moulton (South Colonie ’01, Providence ’05)
● Won the Class A state individual cross country championship in 1998 and led the Raiders to state and Federation team titles the following year, when they were ranked third in the nation.
● Five-time All-American in indoor track, winning the state indoor 1,500 title in 2000 and twice participating in state championship 4×800 relay teams. Outdoors, she took a state 3,000 title in 2000 and led Colonie to two 4×800 relay crowns.
● Earned a full scholarship to Providence College, where she helped the Friars finish third in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Frank Myers (Colonie ’63, Albany State University ’68)
● Coached all levels of boys and girls track and cross country at Colonie High School uninterrupted for 51 years, amassing a total of 353 dual meet and 82 invitational meet victories
● Led 1986 and 1999 girls’ cross country teams to state championships, and has coached numerous individual and relay state champions
● Charter member of the Capital District Track Officials (47 years), longest-tenured President of the Tri-Country Indoor Track league (19 years), created and directed Colonie Tuesday night Community track meets, 51 years.



Krissy Haacke (Shaker ’93, Providence ’97)
● Finished in the top 10, Class “A” state championship cross country meet 1989-1992. Federation Meet champion in 1990.
● Won the scholastic division of the Fifth Avenue Mile in 1990, 4:55.71. Placed second in that race at 4:54.47 the following year.
● Numerous placings in conference championships while at Providence College. A member on the Friar’s 1995 National Championship team.

Izaiah Brown (Amsterdam ’15, Rutgers ’19)
● Set a state freshman record for 400 meters in the Eddy Meet, won three straight state titles in the 400, one in the 4×400 relay and set all-time Section II bests of 46.40 in the 400, 21.10 in the 200 and 3:17.01 in the 4×400 relay (45.11 anchor split).
● Holder of 10 Amsterdam school records, he won two indoor state 300 titles and was runner-up in the indoor nationals 400 with an all-time area record of 47.32. His 34.30 in the 300 ranks second.
● Posted four indoor victories in the 400 and one outdoors for Rutgers in Big Ten championship meets. Set Rutgers school records in four indoor events and two outdoor, lowering his PRs to 45.27 in the 400, 20.68 in the 200 and 10.49 in the 100.

Reach Jim Schiltz at [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

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