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State track: Brown saves his best for last

State track: Brown saves his best for last

Wins 400, anchors 400 relay victory.

Amsterdam’s Izaiah Brown wanted to do something special in the 400-meter run Saturday at the New York State Track and Field Championships.

Special came later on.

“These kids out here, they’re good,” Brown said after winning the Federation 400 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. “If they were breathing down my neck it would have been better.”

Brown eased to that victory in 47.80, but felt the heat later on, and popped a 46.078 anchor leg to help the Running Rams take the Federation 1,600 relay in a dramatic close to the meet.

Brown was hoping to hit 46 in the open 400.

“With him, when he thinks the race is in jeopardy, that’s when he really goes,” said Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary. “He needs to have someone in front of him or on his shoulder.”

The competition that wasn’t there did not stop Brown from adding a second 400 Federation crown to his vast collection. On Friday he won his second straight Division 1 400 title in 47.57 to go along with the 300 state championship he brought home this past winter.

“I went out harder than usual to see if I could get under 47,” said Brown, who ran a Section II-record 47.20 at the 2013 state meet. “My body fell backward and I went into cruise mode.”

Brown couldn’t afford to cruise in the 1,600 relay. He took a handoff from Andrew Druziak and passed runners from North Rockland, Monroe-Woodbury, ENY Transit Tech and Warwick Valley to finish off the school-record effort, and the No. 2 performance on the all-time Section II list.

Colonie went 3:17.62 in the 1,600 relay during the 2006 season.

“He had his race, but his [Brown] big focus today was the was the four-by-four,” said Wilary. “We had a few handoff mistakes yesterday.”

Amsterdam placed fourth in the D1 1,600 relay Friday in 3:20.25. On Saturday, David Graveley went 48.269, Julian Gallup went 52.988 and Druziak went 50.530 before Brown’s finish. Brown anchored Friday’s relay in 46.231.

“I know I can run under 47 in the open 400 if I get a push,” said Brown.

Warwick was the 1,600 relay runner-up in 3:19.06.

Columbia junior Nastasja Johnston won the Federation long jump title on her first attempt, clearing 19-91⁄2, a day after winning the D1 crown with a 19-101⁄2. That effort ranks No. 2 on the all-time area list.

“I wanted to win Federation,” said Johnston, who attended her school prom Saturday night and returned to the state meet Sunday morning. “I set high standards for myself. I put it out there, and I did it.”

Johnston’s previous best before the state meet was 19-0.

“I fouled on my first jump,” Johnston said of Friday’s showing. “My dad told me I wasn’t up tall enough on my approach. I fixed that, but I never thought I’d do that. To go about a foot farther than I ever had, it’s amazing.”

Johnston went 19-71⁄4 and 18-111⁄4 on her second and third attempts Saturday before fouling. Runner-up McKayla Brooks went 19-41⁄2.

“I’m 90 percent positive she’s our first state champ since Holly Chase won the long jump in 1984,” said Columbia coach Doug Hadley.

“Last year the state meet wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be,” said Johnston, who placed 13th in D1 with a 16-21⁄4. “I wanted to change it.”

Grace Smith of Bethlehem won both the D1 and Federation high jump titles at 5-7.

Shawn Bleichert of Shenendehowa won the D1 110 hurdles in 14.45, and placed fourth in the Federation race that followed later in the meet.

Broadalbin-Perth Jake Coveney placed first in the D2 pentathlon, and third among all athletes, with 3,378 points.

Jeremy Spiezio of Greenwich won the D2 1,600, and was sixth overall, in 4:10.60. Spiezio also won the D2 3,200 Friday.

Jake Johnson of Colonie set a sophomore school record, beating one of Todd Orvis’ many marks, with a 4:16.06 in the 1,600. Johnson was 11th overall and eighth among D1 runners.

Ellery Bianco of Saratoga Springs was fourth in the Federation 100 hurdles in 61.66 after placing second in the D1 race Friday in 60.06.

“I had the mindset today that I could go under 60,” said the junior. “The false start really threw me. I was so ready to go. I heard the gun, then a second gun, and I knew it wasn’t me, but it took some of my focus away. Chalk it up to a learning experience.”

Leah Moran of Stillwater was third in the Federation triple jump at 38-9 after winning the D2 title Friday with a 38-101⁄4, which put the emerging sophomore at No. 4 on the all-time area list.

Fast-rising Schalmont sophomore Julia Flower went out hard in the second flight of the championship 1,500 and hung with Miller Place standout Tiana Guevara before fading in her first state meet opportunity.

“She came here to win. That was her goal. She came up short,” said Schalmont distance coach Rich Kranick. “She didn’t just want D2, and for the first three laps she was right on the money.”

Flower came in with a 4:32.09 seed, best among D2 runners and No. 2 overall behind Guevara (4:30.43), a D1 competitor. Flower finished fifth in D2 and 16th overall in 4:46.75.

“This is a big state. You’re running with the best. She’s got time,” said Kranick. “She’s disappointed, but she’s resilient. She’ll bounce back.”



Federation 1,600 relay — 1. Amsterdam (David Graveley, Julian Gallup, Andrew Druziak, Izaiah Brown), 3:17.87. Federation 400 — Izaiah Brown (Amsterdam), 47.80; 4, Rob Haughton (Saratoga Springs), 48.84. Championship 3,000 steeplechase — 7 D1, 7 overall, Noah Bell (Bethlehem), 9:35.90; 12 D1, 20 OV, Jordan Johnson (Colonie), 9:54.54; Championship 1,600 — 1 D2, 6 ov, Jeremy Spiezio (Greenwich), 4:10.60; 8 D1, 11 ov, Jake Johnson (Colonie), 4:16.06. D1 110 hurdles — 4, Shawn Bleichert (Shenendehowa), 14.55. D2 110 hurdles — 3, Max Comer (Schuylerville), 14.68; 7, Nate Gerhardt (Cobleskill-Richmondville), 15.20. Federation 110 hurdles — 4, Shawn Bleichert (Shenendehowa), 14.45; 7, Max Comer (Schuylerville), 15.03; D2 200 — 2, Darian Blanks (Hudson), 22.37; 8, Billy Melchionni (Albany Academy), 22.91. Federation 400 hurdles — 5, Max Comer (Schuylerville), 55.81. Federation 200 — 6, Darian Blanks (Hudson), 22.15. Championship pentathlon — 1 D2, 3 ov, Jake Coveney (Broadalbin-Perth), 3,378); 10 D1, 17 ov, Alex Escada (Columbia), 2,981. Championship 3,200 relay — 3 D1, 3 ov, Saratoga Springs (Robert Young, Aidan Tooker, Joseph Verro, Jay Navin), 7:47.73; 4 D2, 19 ov, Chatham (Bradley Oram, Brody Witaszek, Jamie Chaitman, Ian Allen), 8:07.90. D1 shot put — 10, Nick Green (Saratoga Springs), 51-1. Championship high jump — tie 9 D2, tie 19 ov, Max Lagonia (Chatham), 6-2; 17 D1, 29 ov, Jack Fitzgerald (Ballston Spa), 6-0. Federation triple jump — 3 D1, 4 ov, Brian Greenberg (Bethlehem), 46-11⁄2.


Federation 400 hurdles — 4. Ellery Bianco (Saratoga Springs), 61.66; Championship 1,500 — 10 D1, 13 Ov, Maryanna Lansing (Shaker), 4:43.43; 5 D2, 16 ov, Julia Flower (Schalmont), 4:46.75. Championship 2,000 steeplechase — 7 D2, 16 ov, Ali Bartolotta (Hudson), 7:31.14; 10 D1, 17 ov, Emily Burns (Guilderland), 7:31.45. D1 100 — 7, Olivia Ventra (Saratoga Springs), 12.50. D1 100 hurdles — 7, Nikari Carota (Queensbury), 15.06. D2 100 hurdles — 4, Carly Bulich (Catskill), 15.61. D1 200 — 8, Alexandra Tudor (Shenendehowa), 25.36. Championship pentathlon — 3 D1, 7 ov, Chanel Thomas (Gloversville), 2,973; 4 D2, 11 ov, Amanda Roney (Middleburgh), 2,931. Championship 3,200 relay — 5 D1, 7 ov, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (Dani Martino, Emily Digman, Allie Fernandez, Janelle Rothacker), 9:17.54; 6 D1, 9 ov, Shenendehowa (Julia Zacho, Sarah Knowles, Hannah Reale, Caroline Rusch), 9:18.59; 5 D2, 15 ov, Holy Names (Hannah Loder, Kaitlin Close, Kerry Losert, Leah Triller), 9:33.46. Championship high jump — 1 D1, 1 ov, Grace Smith (Bethlehem), 5-7; 3 D2, tie 6 ov, Olivia Mooney (Cambridge, 5-5; 4 D1, tie 6 ov, Samantha Hjelmar (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), 5-5; 9 D2, tie 26 ov, Chelsea LaBlanc (Broadalbin-Perth), 5-0. Federation long jump — 1, Nastasja Johnston (Columbia), 19-91⁄2. Championship discus — 3 D1, 4 ov, Jessica Craven (Shenendehowa), 129-7; 5 D1, 7 ov, Grayce French (Saratoga Springs), 122-4. Championship shot put — 2 D2, 8 ov, Zoe Doolittle (Glens Falls), 37-81⁄2. Federation triple jump — 3, Leah Moran (Stillwater), 38-9.

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