In brilliant displays just minutes apart, seniors Kyle Plante of Colonie and Joe Carr of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake turned in the fastest 200-meter efforts ever seen in Section II.
Plante lowered her own area mark with a 23.98 sprint as part of a big Saturday for the William F. Eddy Jr. Memorial Track Meet’s top athlete award winner, and soon after, Carr took down the school record his father had owned, and then some, with a sizzling 21.33.
In warm, sunny conditions suited best for sprinters, fast-rising Izaiah Brown of Amsterdam popped a 47.80 for the state freshman record at Schenectady High School’s Larry Mulvaney Field, and Uniondale swept the team titles.
The Shaker girls gave Section II its first track win in the meet-starting sprint medley relay, and Plante anchored the last local victory with a remarkable 52.6 split to finish off Colonie’s 1,600 relay.
“Not this good,” said Plante, when asked if she was surprised with her anchor performance. “When I went into the relay, I had already run a lot, and I thought 55. To pull out a 52 . . . Wow.”
Plante set a meet record and defended her 400 title with a 54.43, which is just off the 54.32 she ran in the postseason as a junior, and made history later on with her 23.98 in the 200. The South Florida-bound star had run Section II’s previous best time in the event as a sophomore at the Eddy Meet, clocking a 24.25 in a preliminary heat.
“I felt really good. I was very focused. I had a positive mindset,” she said. “I was thinking get out of the blocks well, which I did, and drive it.”
“She’s been running like that since her freshman year,” Carr said of Plante. “I think it’s a great thing that we both did it.”
Plante wasn’t through, however, making up about three seconds against Bayshore and Uniondale to get Colonie home in the 1,600 relay in 3:53.05. Kirsten Kaminski, Alicia Bousa and Mikeisha Kelly each clocked a split of 59 and change, leading up to Plante’s electrifying comeback which gave the Garnet Raiders a repeat triumph in the event over Bay Shore and Uniondale.
“It was determination,” said Plante,who was selected the outstanding female performer by participating coaches before getting the first Fleet Feet and New Balance Athlete of the Meet trophy. “I’m still processing it through my head. I feel great.”
Carr took a grand leap forward after placing ninth at last year’s Eddy Meet in 22.97 and failing to make the final 200 run.
“I was expecting to get to the final in seventh or eighth,” said the Oneonta-bound sprinter. “To do it this year, and seeing how I did last year, it’s amazing.”
Carr led right from the start and gathered steam on the straightaway to better the all-time area best which was shared by Art Allen of Mont Pleasant (21.3, 1980), Josh Jenkins of Catskill (21.3, 2003) and Andre Davis of Niskayuna (21.54, 1997). Derrick Ingram of Uniondale placed second to Carr in 21.77.
“I was not expecting a time that fast, but I pushed it as hard as I could. I just wanted to get out fast and in the last 100, go for it,” Carr said. “That time is mind-blowing.”
“I’ve seen him run a lot, and the first 100 was tremendous,” said Burnt Hills head coach Chip Button. “I expected the other guys to be right there, and he had three, four steps on them.”
Carr’s previous best was a 21.97 FAT at the Luciano Invitational last month. With that effort, Carr just missed the Burnt Hills record of 21.96 his father Wes had run in 1978, a record he’d been aiming for all spring.
“This isn’t it for Joe. He’s got sectionals Thursday and then the state qualifier. He’s got it [school record] out of the way now, and he can concentrate on improving more,” said Button. “I don’t think that’s the best of Joe.”
“He’s an awesome runner,” Plante said of Carr. “If I was a guy, I’d look up to him.”
Brown shook off Tresean Goodwin of Uniondale in the 400, with his winning 47.80 second best in the nation this season for a freshmen and No. 3 all-time in Section II behind past standouts Dave Byrd of Christian Brothers Academy (47.51, 1994) and Tracy Baskin of Albany (47.4, 1983).
“The guy was near me most of the race. My coaches and teammates yelled at me to go, and that fired me up,” said the 15-year-old Brown, the meet’s outstanding male award winner. “In the last 100, I had to move. I had to step up my game.”
Schalmont sophomore Devon Willis won the triple jump on his last attempt, going 46-13⁄4, before watching Albany Academy ace Jelani Currie finish up with a 45-111⁄4.
“That last one, I dug down, relaxed and thought about what I had to do, and let it all loose,” said Willis, a member of the Gazette All-Area football team. “I had half an inch left on the board. Other than that, my phases were good.”
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons junior Jason Lange won the 3,200 in 9:22.07 after placing fourth last year in 9:49.76.
“I went out a little fast, and it didn’t work out well,” said Lange of his 2011 effort. “I paced myself better this time. I was going for 70s [each lap] with the idea of running a 9:20.”
Lange prevailed in a race where five of the first six were underclassmen.
“I was feeling better than I have been. I’ve been hurting lately,” said Lange.
Keilan McMillan-Moss of Schenectady won the high jump (6-4), Jeff Hrebenach of Saratoga Springs won the 100 (11.16), Jim Sreck of Shaker was the surprise winner of the pole vault at 14-0 long after most athletes had left, and Austin Lane of Greenwich took the mile (4:19.42) over Mekeel Christian Academy’s Jake Urys.
Giancarlo Sainato’s bid for a third straight 800 title ended when the Colonie senior lost the lead on the backstretch of the second lap, and he held on for third. The Georgetown recruit has been nagged by a hip injury since late in the indoor season, and aggravated a hamstring at Thursday’s Suburban Council championship meet.
“Honestly, I didn’t think my hamstring would hold, but I wanted to start,” said Sainato, who finished in 1:54.69; he won last year in 1:52.90. “If it was any other race, I probably would have sat down.”
Sainato has only been racing for three weeks, making his season debut at Colonie Relays where he helped his team win the sprint medley relay.
“If I was 100 percent, I would have taken it out a lot harder,” he said. “I would liked to have won my third in a row.”
Holy Names sophomore Leah Triller (2:10.96) held off Kaminski, one of Colonie’s rising freshmen, in the girls’ 800 with a personal best time and the area’s best for this season, 2:10.96.
“I started out nervous because I knew who was in the race. A lot of people there had run fast times,” said Triller. “I decided to try my best, and I got aggressive. My plan was to follow who ever went out first and after 200, go for it.”
Holy Names junior Catherine Maloy won the 1,500 in an area-best 4:37.84, beating the 4:37.98 Saratoga 11th-grader Keelin Hollowood ran in a morning section before heading off to prepare for her school prom.
“She didn’t want to know [Hollowood’s] time,” said Holy Names coach Carlo Cherubino. “I yelled at her with 300 to go because she was behind.”
Shaker posted the state’s best sprint medley relay time this season with its 4:02.54. Emily VanDenburgh (200, 25.9), Kristen Hayes (200, 25.7), Kayleigh Lavender (400, 57.9) and eighth-grader Maryanna Lansing (800, 2:12.7) coupled for the win in the Eddy Meet’s new event, with Lavender and Lansing running personal bests.
“We broke our school record by six seconds. We’re first in the state,” said VanDenburgh, a senior. “It’s so exciting. It was a great team effort.”
The win gave Shaker an automatic entry to the June 14-16 New Balance Nationals in North Carolina, courtesy of Fleet Feet and New Balance.
“It’s not often you get a foursome like that,” said Shaker coach Marbry Gansle.
Megan Szpak (10:07.35) and Taylor Driscoll (10:12.50) of Saratoga went one-two in the 3,000, Molly Shapiro of Emma Willard win the triple jump (37-5), Colonie’s Kara Snyder won the pole vault (11-3), Courtney Avery of Troy won the high jump (5-6), and schoolmate Caysie Capano prevailed in the discus (131-1) and shot put (36-9).