SCHENECTADY — The Leone Timing company brought a wind gauge to Saturday's William F. Eddy Jr. Memorial Track and Field Meet just in case something special happened, and it did, courtesy of Tapestry Charter School seventh-grader Jada Kenner.
Kenner made the difficult look easy.
With a quick start and pull-away kick, the 12-year-old tied the world record for her age group with a 23.72 in winning the 200-meter run at the 79th annual showcase at Schenectady High School's Larry Mulvaney Field.
Kenner also won the 100 and was part of a first-place 400 relay, too, in a performance that netted the rising sprint star the event's most outstanding female athlete award. Leone Timing was ready for Kenner, with the equipment on hand to measure if her efforts were wind-aided, which they were not.
"I knew there was something up this morning when their [Tapestry Charter] coach asked the meet director if they had it," Schenectady athletic director Steve Boynton said of the wind gauge. "I was standing right there. No one had ever asked for that."
Kenner and the Tapestry team from Buffalo had never previously been to the Eddy Meet.
"I was nervous, but once I ran in the four by one [morning relay heat], I got more comfortable with the track and did my thing," Kenner said.
Kenner had set the world indoor 300 record for 12-year-olds when she won the state championship earlier this school year in 39.24.
"This was their first time coming to the meet, and when their coach contacted me, he said he has a girl that is very close to a national record," meet director Bradley Carlton said.
Kenner ran the second leg on Tapestry's winning 400 relay (48.69) before popping her 23.72 in the 200. In April 2017, then-12-year-old Brianna Lyston of Jamaica ran 23.72 for the world record.
"I had just run the four by one and I was a little tired," Kenner said of her 200 victory. "I was just thinking, 'You've got to go out and go, and power down on the straightaway.' That's when a lot of girls pick it up."
Kenner beat out Schalmont junior Mia D'Ambrosio in both the 100 and 200. D'Ambrosio ran a 12.07 in the 100 and a 24.64 in the 200.
"When she [Kenner] is running, she doesn't look like she is running," Boynton said. "She's that smooth. She is probably a future Olympian if she keeps going like she's going."
"Before this year, she was running in our middle school program, and you knew she was going to be good, but this year has gone beyond anything we could have imagined," Tapestry coach Dan Tryon said. "It's been quite a ride this year. It hasn't stopped. I hope it doesn't stop."
Kenner broke the 200 meet record of 23.98 that Kyle Plante of Colonie had set in 2012. Kenner also broke the 100 meet record of 11.96 that Keyon Soley of Uniondale had set in 1997 with her 11.91.
"I am running against people that are a lot older than me, but I try to focus on myself," Kenner said. "I just try to drop my PR."
Kenner is aiming for the 12-year-old 100 world record of 11.77. Her season best in the event is an 11.86.
"She set some really high goals, and she is two-thirds of the way there," Tryon said. "She's real close to that one, too."
SHENENDEHOWA GIRLS WIN
Shenendehowa earned the girls' team championship with 68 points, 20 more then runner-up Uniondale, and had winners in Jada Dennis in the 800 (2:11.41) and Chidalu Anameze in the discus (130-2), who both set PRs.
"We put a lot of people on the podium," said Shenendehowa coach Rob Cloutier, whose team also was first at the Suburban Council championship meet Wednesday and at its own invitational the prior week. "The kids are performing well right now."
A relay fixture in past years, Dennis has emerged as one of Shenendehowa's star performers. Before Saturday, she had never won an individual Eddy Meet title.
"I wanted to pace myself and run smart. I took it out a little slower than usual, and at 600, my thought was I had a goal and wanted to go for it." Dennis said as she clutched the large championship trophy. "It was a dream of mine and I wanted to hit it."
Mohonasen's senior pole vault duo of Lena Calkins (11-0) and Emily Racana (10-6) went 1-2 after finishing third and fourth, respectively, at last year's meet.
"I woke up today with the mindset that I wanted that trophy," Calkins said.
Mohonasen coach Bill Sherman said he couldn't recall the last time a Mohonasen athlete, female or male, placed first at the Eddy meet.
"Both of them went to the prom [Friday] and didn't go to the after party. That's the type of commitment they've made to be the best. They put the sport first. They put the team first," Sherman said. "They've been making sacrifices since the seventh grade."
Racana ran in a 400 relay heat before her pole vault performance, where she equaled her outdoor best and just missed at 11 feet.
"I ran the relay heat and took two jumps to warm up," Racana said. "As the competition went along, I got into meet mode."
North Carolina State-bound distance star Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga won the 3,000 for the fourth year in a row in 9:37.71, while the Blue Streaks' next star, freshman Ella Kurto, took second (9:46.76).
Lauren Santiago of Amsterdam defended her 400 title (56.07), Ama Boham of Ichabod Crane took the 100 hurdles (14.51), and Shaker's all-underclass group of Leonni Griffin, Tori Mariano, Andie Harding and Kaleigh Higgins won the 3,200 relay (9:38.54).
KEMP NO. 1
Colonie senior Josiah Kemp won the 110 hurdles in a state-leading 14.04, and ran a leg on a first-place 400 relay (42.32) to help the Garnet Raiders place second to Uniondale in the boys' team standings.
"It feels awesome," said Kemp, who placed second in the hurdles last year to Asiel King of Uniondale. "We've been waiting for the weather to be nice, and it finally happened. I woke up this morning and I knew I had to run fast."
King came in with a state-leading time of 14.36. The senior finished fifth in the final.
"He was No. 1 in the state before the meet, and I got him," Kemp said.
Christian Hubbard, Shai Young and Michael Hermance joined Kemp in the triumphant 400 relay. Schenectady was second in the 400 relay (42.64).
"We had the race the whole time, but we think we still have a lot more in us," said Hermance, a University at Albany commit. "We're thinking 41."
Averill Park senior James Cocca continued his strong season with wins in the shot put (50-11) and discus (162-2). Cocca also swept the weight events at the Shenendehowa Invitational and at the Suburban Council championships.
"I've been working on the little things, and things are starting to click," Cocca said.
Evan Ensslin of Voorheesville won the 800 (1:55.16), Shane Racey of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk won the pole vault (15-0), Jack Hogan of Hudson Falls was tops in the high jump (6-4), Kirk Francis of Saratoga prevailed in the long jump (23-6) and Guilderland won the 3,200 relay (7:49.86) with Will Cusato, Noah Tindale, Jack Parsons and Nicholas Soldevere.
Saranac senior Cameron Duffield was selected the meet's outstanding male athlete after winning the 400 hurdles (54.53), taking second in the 110 hurdles and helping his team get second in the 3,200 relay.
Uniondale 69, Colonie 44, Essex 38, Schenectady 34, Shenendehowa 34, Saranac 29, Saratoga Springs 24, Columbia 21, Averill Park 20, Guilderland 18, St. Johnsbury 17.5, Whitesboro 14, Queensbury 12, Broadalbin-Perth 11.5, Westbury 11, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 11, Hudson Falls 10, Beaver River 10, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 10, Voorheesville 10, Shaker 9, Glens Falls 8, Bethlehem 8, Canajoharie 8, Fonda-Fultonville 8, Scotia-Glenville 8, Mohonasen 6, Burlington 4, Albany Academy 4, New Hartford 4, Niskayuna 3, Ballston Spa 2, Port Jefferson 2, Albany 2, Johnstown 2, CBA 1.
100 — Giordano (Union), 10.75; 200 — Giordano (Union), 21.85; 400 — Boldosser (Es), 49.83; 800 — Snsslin (Voor), 1:55.16; Mile — Kempney (BR), 4:21.04; 3,200 — Alden (Es), 9:42.03; 110HH — Kemp (Colo)14.05; 400IH — Duffield (Saran), 54.53; 400 relay — Colonie (Hubbard, Kemp, Young, Hermance), 42.32; 1,600 relay — Uniondale, 3:25.41; 3,200 relay — Guilderland (Cusato, Tindale, Parsons, Soldevere), 7:49.86.
High jump — Hogan (HF), 6-4; Long jump — Francis (Sara), 23-6; Triple jump — Hanson (Union), 49-1; Pole vault — Racey (RCS), 15-0); Shot put — Cocca (AP), 50-11; Discus — Cocca (AP), 162-2.
Shenendehowa 68, Uniondale 48, Saratoga Springs 44, Tapestry Charter 36, Westbury 30, Mohonasen 26, Amsterdam 23, Rome Free Academy 22, Shaker 20, Guilderland 20, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 19, Greenwich 16, Schalmont 16, Ichabod Crane 12, Stillwater 12, Niskayuna 11, Averill Park 10, Tully 10, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 10, Taconic Hills 9, Whitesboro 8, Sachem East 8.
100 — Kenner TC), 11.91 (meet record); 200 — Kenner (TC), 23.72 (meet record); 400 — Santiago (Amst), 56.07; 800 — Jada Dennis (Shen), 2:11.41; 1,500 — Rauber (Tu), 4:34.42; 3,000 — Chmiel (Sara), 9:37.71; 100HH — Boham (IC), 14.51; 400IH — Lowe (Union), 64.25; 400 relay — Tapestry Charter (Simpson, Kenner, Marshall, Stevens), 48.69; 1,600 relay — Uniondale (Fuller, Jinks, Lowe, Akazi), 3:57.21; 3,200 relay — Shaker (Griffin, Mariano, Harding, Higgins), 9:38.54.
High jump — Armand (West), 5-4; Long jump — Armand (West), 19-9 1/2; Triple jump — Armand (West), 39-9; Pole vault — Calkins (Mohon), 11-0; Shot put — Crockett (RFA), 42-11 3/4; Discus — Chida. Anameze (Shen), 130-2.