Schalmont track and field’s Flowers ready for 800 meters in states

Schalmont's Carter Flowers competes in the 800-meter run at Shenendehowa High School Thursday.

Schalmont's Carter Flowers competes in the 800-meter run at Shenendehowa High School Thursday.

CLIFTON PARK — Carter Flowers’ work was done when he ran around the Shenendehowa track one time before stepping off mid-race at Thursday’s Section 2 state meet qualifier.

His next full 800 will come next week at Middletown, when the Schalmont 10th-grader strives to become a New York state running champion.

“I can be a state champion as a sophomore, and that would be something,” Flowers said after his lone event on a steamy 90-plus degree afternoon. “I’ve got a chance.”

While winning wasn’t the objective Thursday for Schalmont’s newest budding star, it was beforehand at a bunch of big events, including the May 20 Eddy Meet at Schenectady, when he clocked a second-place finish, but a school-record 1:55.48 in the 800.

That time beat the Schalmont-best of 1:55.91 run in by Francisco Beltran, who, with his twin brother Antonio, anchored the high school’s distance running team several years ago like sisters Julia and Kerry Flower had prior.

“The week before, I was point nine off the school record,” the 16-year-old Flowers said. “I was running and thinking I’d be around 1:57, and I saw 1:55.” 

That time bettered the state meet Division 2 super standard (1:55.63), which meant Flowers could do anything he wanted in his race Thursday as long as he started. When he stepped off the track, the only Division 2 runner in the field held a slight lead over the remaining group of Division 1 competitors.

“I wanted to be in first at 400, and I wanted to run fast,” Flowers said. “This was a good prep for the 4-by-4 relay that we’re running Friday. I think we have a chance to win.”

“I was looking for 55,” Schalmont distance coach Rich Kranick said of Flowers’ time for 400 meters. “I had him at 53.6 when he dropped out.”

Flowers won the 800 (2:01.92) and the 1,600 (4:26.35) and finished off Schalmont’s triumphant 1,600 relay (3:34.27) with a late surge at last week’s Section 2 Group 3 championship meet. Broadalbin-Perth was second (3:34.57) in that back-and-forth relay. 

“I saw the BP kid fading,” Flowers said. “I got him right at the line.”

“He reads body language,” Kranick said. “This is a kid who is race savvy. He has race instincts. He does what he says he’s going to do. He works really hard at it.”

Entering the meet, Flowers’ 1:55.48 in the 800 was No. 4 overall among New York runners and No. 2 on the Division 2 list.

“A 1:53 would be great for me. As low as I can get,” Flowers said in anticipation of the state meet. “I hope to beat 1:50 by my senior year.”

Kranick said he is anxious to see what his newest distance standout will do against some of the state’s best next week.

“If he’s there at the fourth turn, he’ll be there at the end,” Kranick said.

Ryan Hesler of Niskayuna won the D1 800 (1:53.98) and Jack Sweeney of Ichabod Crane won the D2 800 (2:01.60).


Taconic Hills multi-event star Neil Howard picked up wins in the D2 pole vault (14-0) and 400 hurdles (54.80), and will go after another victory in the 110 hurdles Friday.

Howard leads the state with a 53.73 he clocked in the 400 hurdles last month at the Loucks Games.

“My big goal for the season is to beat 53 in the 400 hurdles,” the junior said between events Thursday.

Howard won the D2 state title in the 400 hurdles last year and was first in the Federation long jump.


Shenendehowa’s Braiden Pulver won the D1 shot put (51-1½) and placed second in the discus (143-7). Cobleskill-Richmondville weights specialist Thomas McConnelee won the D2 discus (153-2) and was second in the shot put (48-2½).


Division 1

400 – Gordon (Col), 49.22; 800 – Hesler (Nisk), 1:53.89; 3,200 – Chittur (Alb), 9:31.51; 400 hurdles – Alston (Shak), 54.92; High jump – Buskey (Col), 6-6; Long jump – Oblisk (Alb) 21-7; Triple jump – Holder (Colum), 43-11.75; Shot put – Pulver (Shen), 51-1.50; Discus – Ball (Qby), 156-1; Pole vault – Decker (Shen), 13-0. 

Division 2

400 – VanAlstine (B-P), 48.91; 800 – Sweeney (IC), 2:01.60; 3,200 – Christian (IC), 9:40.91; 400 hurdles – Howard (TH), 54.80; High jump – Fitzsimmons (MH), 6-2; Long jump – Hanna (Cor/HL), 21-8.75; Triple jump – Williams (Coh), 44-10.50; Shot put – Aguiar (Lans), 48-4.50; Discus – McConnelee (C-R), 153-2; Pole vault – Howard (TH), 14-0.


Division 1

400 – Barnhart (Gld), 57.85; 3,000 – Higgins (Shak), 10:16.87; 400 hurdles – Wicks (AP), 1:02.48.

Division 2

400 – Melanson (IC), 57.81; 3,000 – Squires (HV), 10:54.49; 400 hurdles – Stark (Schuy), 1:05.31.

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