CLIFTON PARK — Distance standout Charlotte Kokernak would have been satisfied with a personal best at Friday's Shenendehowa Invitational, and she ended up getting so much more.
The Niskayuna senior led from start to finish in winning the Legacy 1,500-meter run, one of the meet's premier events, at the annual track and field showcase at Steuerwald Stadium.
Kokernak posted a 4:40.95 while holding off fellow Niskayuna 12th-grader Madeleine Hesler.
"I tried not to think too much. I was not too nervous," Kokernak said. "I wanted to go for time, and if I got first, it would be a double win."
Kokernak prevailed in another way, too, topping the 4:45.11 her older sister Amelia ran Thursday at the ACC championship meet in a 1,500 heat. Amelia Kokernak is a freshman at the University of Virginia, which hosted the ACCs.
"I'm happy," said Charlotte Kokernak, who's wide smile grew even larger when she heard her official clocking. "I'm definitely surprised with my time."
Kokernak was looking to shave a couple seconds off her PR of 4:46, and instead, blew it away.
"Part of the goal was the PR," the Worcester Polytechnic Institute commit said. "I was thinking 4:44 would have been a good day."
Kokernak is known to bide her time in a distance race before making a move, which made her victory a little out of the ordinary.
"I usually want to go out conservatively, feel it out, and push in the middle sections because that's when a lot of people are getting tired," Kokernak said.
Hesler trailed Kokernak for much of the race and closed in 4:42.53. Kokernak picked up her pace with three-quarters of a lap to go.
"On the last lap I picked it up," Kokernak said. "I knew my teammate was right there, and that was pushing me."
Ballston Spa junior Ben Guerin prevailed in the Dynasty 1,600 in 4:20.70, ahead of Cornwall's Blaine Doyle (4:25.29).
HERMANCE WINS AGAIN
Colonie sprint star Michael Hermance remained unbeaten this spring in the 100-meter dash with an 11.11, edging Troy's Xavier Leigh (11.19) and Schenectady's Trebor Davis (11.20).
"I was getting anxious on the line, and I'm thinking, 'I can't let that happen. This is what I do.' " Hermance said.
The University at Albany commit, who popped a personal-best 10.82 earlier this season, had another thought as he prepared for the final.
"Everyone wants the prize," he said. "Only one person can get it."
Hermance won the 100 at the Colonie Relay Carnival last Saturday in 11.02, where Davis clocked an 11.03. The two seniors will hook up again at next Saturday's Eddy Meet hosted by Schenectady. Hermance will look to defend his sprint title.
"Everyone says he's got a target on his back," Colonie coach Mike Palmer said. "I think he's OK with that."
Hermance is among a strong Colonie cast of runners that includes fellow senior Josiah Kemp, who took the 110 hurdles Friday (14.58) in a great duel with Schenectady 12th-grader Corey Anderson (14.63). Anderson prevailed in the 200 (22.06) ahead of Hermance (22.37).
Shai Young, Kemp, Cristian Hubbard and Hermance ran a meet-record 42.93 in the 400 relay, taking down the mark of 43.46 set by Kingston in 2015.
ANOTHER RECORD RUN
Franklin D. Roosevelt-Hyde Park junior Sarah Trainor, who set a national steeplechase record last week, set a Shenendehowa Invitational mark with a 2:12.89 in the 800.
"I wanted to PR and was just off, but I did well with my surging," Trainor said. "I ran a strong race."
Shenendehowa junior Jada Dennis stayed a few strides behind Trainor until the final stretch, when the highly sought-after FDR star pulled away and broke the meet record of 2:15.57 that Amsterdam's Edena Sanchez had set in 2017. Dennis was second in 2:16.54.
Dennis had run the 1,200 opening leg (with a 3:35 PR) on Shenendehowa's third-place distance medley relay team Thursday at the Glenn D. Loucks Invitational at White Plains
"I heard people yelling, 'She's coming,'" Trainor said. "I had to go. I didn't want her to beat me. With 200 left, I kicked it hard."
Trainor went 6:29.08 to set her national 2,000 steeplechase record last week when FDR hosted its Race at the Oval Office meet. The versatile Trainor said that aside from the steeplechase, she runs every distance from the 400 to the 3,000 as well the 400 hurdles.
Averill Park senior James Cocca set meet records with a 52-3 3/4 in the shot put and a 160-7 in the discus. He shattered the meet discus mark of 150-2 that had been set by Trevor Rose of Hoosic Valley last year. Michael Gabriel of Greenwich had the meet shot put mark with a 52-0 from last year.
The Shenendehowa boys and girls defended their team titles.
The Shenendehowa boys got wins from Nolan Hickey in the 800 (1:57.60), Gregory Langone in the 3,000 steeplechase (9:37.29), Jonathan Ray in the high jump (6-2), and Colin Chatterton, Jaylin Sykes, Zachary Stahl and Odin Schaepkens in the 1,600 relay (3:29.63).
The Shenendehowa girls got wins from Rachel Sterle in the 400 (59.04), Michaela Schaffer in the long jump (17-3), Chidera Anameze in the shot put (39-11 1/2) and Annabel Flatland in the pole vault (10-6).
Shenendehowa 128, Colonie 100, Columbia 67, Schenectady 58, Shaker 46, Averill Park 38, Guilderland 37.5, Ballston Spa 33, Bethlehem 31, Cornwall 28, FDR 26, Troy 21, Kingston 20, Rhinebeck 17, Saugerties 11.5, Niskayuna 7, Albany 7, Green Tech 7, La Salle 7, Schalmont 6, CBA 4, Onteora 1.
100 — Hermance (Colo), 11.11; 200 — Anderson (Schen), 22.06; 400 — DeSilva (Colo), 50.26; 800 — Hickey (Shen), 1:57.60); 1,600 — Guerin (BS), 4:20.70; 3,200 — O'Brien (Guild), 9:40.81; 110HH — Kemp (Colo), 14.58; 400IH — Hansen (BS), 56.80; 400 relay — Colonie (Young, Kemp, Hubbard, Hermance), 42.93 (meet record); 1,600 relay — Shenendehowa (Chatterton, Sykes, Stahl, Schaepkens), 3:29.63; 3,200 relay — Columbia (LoPresti, Donohue, Chambers, Danaher), 8:05.71; 3,000 steeplechase — Langone (Shen), 9:37.29.
High jump — Ray (Shen), 6-2; Long jump — Reid (Shak), 21-8; Triple jump — Weinstein (Colu), 44 1/2; Discus — Cocca (AP), 160-7 (meet record); Shot put — Cocca (AP), 52-3 3/4 (meet record); pole vault — Sleasman (Shak), 13-0.
Shenendehowa 157, Cornwall 72, Monroe-Woodbury 70.5, Averill Park 55.5, Niskayuna 54, Kingston 42, Bethlehem 40, Greenwich 27, Onteora 23, Rhinebeck 17, FDR 17, Columbia 16, Schenectady 15, Holy Names 15, Albany 15, Ballston Spa 11, Cohoes 11, Saugerties 11, Saranac 7, New Lebanon 6, Shaker 5, Guilderland 4, Greenville 4, Troy 4, Colonie 3.
100 — Liverpool (Alb), 12.79; 200 — Ware (AP), 25.57; 400 — Sterle (Shen), 59.04; 800 — Trainor (FDR), 2:12.89 (meet record); 1,500 — Kokernak (Nisk), 4:40.95; 3,000 — Davis (Beth), 10:31.25; 100HH — Porter (Corn), 15.38; 400IH — Paldino (Rhi), 66.97; 400 relay — Kingston (Derrise, Herzog, Hill, Lindsay), 50.44; 1,600 relay — Averill Park (Ware, Janovic, Morone, Munandi), 4:05.40; 3,200 relay — Cornwall (Cecchetelli, Flores, Kelly, Samuelson), 9:46.85; 2,000 steeplechase — Baloga (Corn), 6:51.46 (meet record).
High jump — Robertson (Ont), 5-3; Long jump — Schaffer (Shen), 17-3; Triple jump — Murray (Schen), 36-9 1/2; Discus — Manderson (Corn), 127-2; Shot put — Chide Anameze (Shen), 39-11 1/2; Pole vault — Flatland (Shen), 10-6.