The Saratoga Springs girls’ track team showed off its depth at the New York State Showcase Thursday when four of its runners placed first in the distance medley relay, and four more took the second spot.
Juniors MacKenzie Hart, Isabelle Shields and Ella Kurto and freshman Emily Bush won the 4,000-meter DMR championship race in 11:46.88, which put them at No. 1 on the national leaderboard for this spring season.
“They have been working very well together, and they were excited to get to run in a meet,” Saratoga co-coach Linda Kranick said.
Competing as the Kinetic Running Club, the foursome turned in the eighth-fastest performance for a the Section II DMR team, and they were about 10 seconds off the all-time area-best of 11:36.81 that a Saratoga foursome including Hannah Davidson turned in at the 2008 outdoor nationals.
Hart ran a 3:34.479 over 1,200 meters to begin Thursday’s victorious effort on the Rondout Valley High School track.
“MacKenzie is a very talented girl who is being recruited by a number of Division I programs. She won the 800 at the Group 1 meet last week,” Kranick said. “She built up a lead, and the other girls kept building from there.”
Shields went 58.580 in the 400-meter leg, Kurto turned in a 2:17.112 for 800 meters, and Bush anchored with a 4:56.704 in the 1,600 leg.
“They ran very well,” Kranick said of Kinetic’s first major out-of-area competition since the February indoor nationals in Virginia Beach, Virginia. “They were happy.”
Kinetic freshmen Anya Belisle (1,200, 3:43.459) and Genevieve Duchaussee (400, 1:01.258), sophomore Sheridan Wheeler (800, 2:24.781) and ninth-grader Alycia Hart (1,600, 5:06.960) placed second in Thursday’s DMR in 12:16.46. Shenendehowa Track Club finished fourth in the DMR in 12:58.98.
“I am very pleased with the depth we have in distance,” Kranick said.
Kinetic will be sending a DMR team to the outdoor nationals (June 30-July 3) at the University of Oregon.
“We’ll have all eight of them back,” Kranick said of her cast of runners. “We are looking forward to having a good 21-22 school year not just on the track, but in the classroom, too. I know the kids missed that.”
MacKenzie Hart, Kurto, Wheeler and Bush scored points when Kinetic XC won the national cross country championship for the second time in December of the 2019-20 school year.