Well folks, that's it for the 2013-2014 seasons for Cross Country and Track and Field. With the conclusion of the World Junior Championships next week, the majority of our athletes are home for the season, and building towards either college or those cross country courses in the fall. We here at MileSplit NY have just finished our second year under new management, and have made strides in bringing you the best coverage around. We've had new innovations such as Live Streaming and the incorporation of the NYS Archives, as well as nearly 14 million page views since September. In terms of athletes, we've had unparalleled performances, new breakout stars, and countless new state records. To keep it succinct, it has been another great year for the Empire State. To commemorate the end of the season, we'd like to look back at our top 10 moments from the past year. These may not be the fastest times or best performances, but they were moments that were aided by the stories behind them, the rivalries established, and the accomplishments achieved. We'll be releasing two a day, with the top pick being released on Saturday night. While they are ranked numerically, their order is only slightly important. Each moment proved thrilling for the track fan, and we look forward to even more in 2015. And be sure to sound off in our comments for moments you think we missed, as cutting this down to a list of ten was not easy.
Coming Sunday Night - A Special Honorable Mention
No. 1 - Close Calls Lead To Big Record
|Cross Country State Meet||0.3 seconds off 1st place|
|NXN-NY Regional||2.9 seconds off course record|
|Indoor State Meet - 1000m||0.07 seconds off 1st place|
|Outdoor State Meet - 1600m||0.02 seconds off 1st place|
|Outdoor Nationals - 4xMile||2.17 seconds off State Record|
|Brooks PR - 4xMile||0.32 seconds off National Record|
For some athletes, the prior accomplishments can be nothing short of frustrating. But it didn't stop Mikey Brannigan, nor did it the Northport relay squad. That's what makes moment number 1 so special, because they came so close, so many times. There were a slew of possible choices for the number 1 moment of 2014. It could have been the interview that went viral, introducing Northport Junior Mikey Brannigan to the world at large. It could have been the team performances throughout XC, where they raced sparingly and placed highly. Indoors, it may have been that at one point, they were state leading in every distance event, 600 and up, not to mention the hurdlers they had in the background.
No, despite all the individual marks Mikey had received, as well as the steady improvement of the Northport Twins, the top moment stands as a combination of both team and individual importance. It started at Loucks, where the boys all entered the 2-Mile. While they could have just as easily spread themselves across events, they decided to go for one of the unwritten records in Track and Field. You see, no one had ever had three athletes from the same team break 9mins in the same race. It was there first of two attempts, which would eventually fall short. Both Mikey and Tim McGowan would break 9mins, Brannigan taking home the junior class state record in the process. But they needed one more. Jack McGowan, Tim's twin brother, had been steadily improving throughout Indoor, in the hopes they could finally challenge the 4xMile State Record. Improvement over 3200m was simply a byproduct.
While Loucks was a success, the 3 Sub-9 goal was put on the backburner. State Qualification season was coming up, and individual titles became the focus. After several state medals, it was time for Outdoor Nationals. Entered in both the 2-Mile, as well as the 4xMile less than 12 hours later, the boys knew it would be a challenge. As the gun went off, Brannigan led from the gun, while the McGowan's reserved back to their sit and kick technique. However, more so than usual, they were moving up quickly to the front of the pack. Many in the audience noticed the pack running reminiscent of an XC race, and the cheers grew louder. On the last lap, Brannigan exploded faster, pulling the Twins, as well as Andrew Hunter of VA along. Mikey would go on to win the national title, lowering his own state record, with the McGowan Twins taking second and fourth, all well under 9-mins. Mission achieved. They would go on to set the State Record in the 4xMile the next day, as well as taking a strong US #2 All-Time in the event a week later at Brooks PR, but the 2-Mile was a culmination of the true story of Northport.