Joe Carr thought it was going to be his day, one the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake senior had been building toward for years.
He was prepared to run fast. He was focused and fit, and ready to add to his list of school records at the late-April Luciano Invitational at Hudson Falls.
Carr came oh, so close.
“It was fun getting a PR at Luciano, but at the same time, it was disappointing not getting the record,” Carr said of his bid. “When I run the 200, it’s the only thing on my mind.”
Carr ran a 21.97, just missing the Burnt Hills mark of 21.96 set by his father, Wes, also a Burnt Hills sprinter, in 1978.
“At the Luciano, I thought I was going to get it. I liked my chances,” the younger Carr said. “Having another opportunity, it’s exciting.”
That opportunity will come today at the 72nd William F. Eddy Jr. Memorial Track and Field Meet at Schenectady High School, where the 17-year-old will be the No. 1 seed.
The Schenectady PBA-sponsored event, which draws top talent from all corners of the state, begins at 9 a.m.
“Until Luciano, my dad didn’t show any emotion,” said Carr. “I know he wants me to get it.”
Carr has been chasing down school records since last spring, when he popped a 10.8 in the 100. He lowered that to 10.6 at the recent Colonie Relays, and this past winter set BH-BL indoor standards in the 55 (6.57), 300 (35.11) and 400 (50.97). Carr was also a member of BH-BL’s record-setting 800 relay (1:34.39).
“He’s got our 100 record, and he’s a hundredth of a second off our 200 record,” said Burnt Hills head track coach Chip Button. “He’s set records indoors. He’s had a great career already, but he’s always been a little under the radar. There’s so much talent in this area, he got somewhat lost.
“This year, he’s showing what’s there.”
Burnt Hills sprint coach Dennis Harrington believes more could come today. Carr’s 21.97 entry is a full second faster than he ran a year ago at the Eddy Meet, when he missed the final by one spot.
“I think it’s going to be a great day for him,” said Harrington. “All he’s looking for are good, clean opportunities so he can take a crack at it.”
Carr false-started in the 200 prelims at the Queensbury Invitational last Saturday and was denied a spot in the final, which Jeff Hrebenach of Saratoga Springs won in 22.93.
“So far this season, it’s been my favorite event to run. I was hoping to do well there,” Carr said. “I was thinking too much.”
Today will be unique for Carr in that the 200 will be his only event. It’s also the one event he’s decided for certain to run at the state meet qualifier.
“He’s a four-event guy every week,” Harrington said of the 6-foot-1, 178-pound senior. “He’ll run the 100, 200, four-by-one and often the four-by-four on top of it. I’ll ask him how his legs feel, and he’ll tell me they feel great. He’s a real workhorse.”
Carr is seeded ahead of Matt White of Amsterdam (22.10), the Uniondale tandem of Derrick Ingram (22.19) and William Stanbeck (22.20), and Malik Murray (22.25), an emerging first-year runner from Schenectady.
“It would be great to do it there,” Button said of the BH-BL 200
record. “There’s only a semifinal and a final, and that helps out.”
This is only the fourth year that the 200 is being run at the Eddy Meet (more sprint relays were held in the past instead), and the meet record of 22.02, set last year by Chris Miller of Averill Park, is within Carr’s grasp.
Carr ran a wind-aided 21.5 200 in a home Suburban Council meet with Saratoga and Guilderland a few days before his effort at the Luciano Invitational.
“I’d like to get it FAT,” Carr said. “The Eddy Meet is my next shot.”
“The hand time, that doesn’t count,” said Harrington. “Those were the first words out of Joe’s mouth. They want to look across the dinner table and say, ‘You got me,’ with no gray area.”
Carr is the only Section II boy with a top running seed, while
Isaiah Turek of Ichabod Crane (high jump, 6-6) and Franklin Abban of Shaker (triple jump, 46-8) are leading field entrants with pole vaulters Justin Bopp of Colonie, Dan Radke of Christian Brothers Academy, Vincent Saccocio of Voorheesville and Phil Charbonneau of Shenendehowa (13-6). Saccocio won last year at 13-0.
Two-time 800 champion Giancarlo Sainato of Colonie (1:55.0) is seeded fifth. Shaker (3:22.68) is the top 1,600 relay seed.
The boys’ 800 features one of the heavy-hitters from outside of Section II, ZaVon Watkins of Liverpool, who has run a 1:49.9 and set the state indoor record of 1:50.11. One of the oldest Eddy Meet records on the books, the 1:50.6 run by Mark Belger of Mepham in 1974, could be in jeopardy.
Another potential record-breaker is Dan Lennon of Peru, who is entered at 9:02.0 in the 3,200.
On the girls’ side, Natasia Brown of Albany is the top seed in the 100 (11.90) and a member of the Lady Falcon’s No. 1 400 relay (48.40). Kyle Plante of Colonie is top seed in the 200 (24.30) and a member of the Garnet Raiders’ 1,600 relay (3:54.80), but could face an even bigger race in the 400, where she will be chasing Jessica Gelibert (55.68) of Bay Shore. Plante won the 400 and keyed a victorious 1,600 relay last year.
Caysie Capano of Troy is the No. 1 seed in the shot put (38-11) and discus (130-7). Section II’s other top or co-top seeds are Leah Triller of Holy Names (800, 2:12.00), defending champion Molly Shapiro of Emma Willard (triple jump, 39-81⁄4) Keelin Hollowood of Saratoga Springs (3,000, 9:52.25), Emily VanDenburgh of Shaker (long jump, 19-1), Emma Willard’s Keishorea Armstrong (high jump, 5-6) and 2011 runner-up Kara Snyder of Colonie (pole vault, 11-7).
Gelibert is the No. 1 seed and defending champ in the 100 hurdles (14.30) and 400 hurdles (60.68).