No. 6 - Middle School Madness
For years to come, 2015 will be looked back upon as a starting point. For many athletes, their stories started earlier than most. And they've already left a last impression.
Never before have middle schoolers had such an impact on Varsity Competition. They ranged from ages 12-13, competing against athletes that could reach up to 19. And not only did they compete, they won.
7th Grade Katelyn Tuohy would make her mark as the highest profile middle school runner of the year. She would set two National Class Records Indoors, over the 1500m and 1000m. She would be Top 5 in the State in each, in arguably the toughest Indoor Track State in the Nation. Outdoors was much the same, breaking Mary Cain's state record in the mile. She was a fierce competitor against all fields, winning a National Title in the Middle School Mile, and a valuable member of her DMR. But she wasn't alone.
Fellow Rockland County competitor Suffern had an athlete of their own. 7th Grade Mary Hennelly was rolling through records just as fast. Indoors, she would take home the 600m Class Record. Outdoors, it would be the Steeplechase. The two would often race together, a rivalry that will last for the next five years. Phoebe White would also arise as a 7th grade Steeple star, dipping under the former state record as well. Indoors, Jenna Crean sprinted away to the 300m State Final, an 8th grader from WNY. Kelsey Chmiel would be a contender for the 3000m Outdoors.
But the Middle School records didn't just drop on the track. Many won't recognize the name My'khiyah Williams. She's the 7th grader who high jumped 5-8 last year, as a 7th grader. This year, she took home both the indoor and outdoor class state records once again, with a 5-6.5, and a 5-7. Erica Ellis, an 8th Grader from Section 5, was tackling the Pole Vault like never before, clearing 11-4.25 all before stepping foot in a high school.
The girls weren't the only ones getting in on the action. Noah Tindale and Sam Affolder were constantly battling back and forth for the same records. Sam Affolder would break the State Record for the 8th grade 800m, before Tindale would break that very same record one month later. Tindale would add the Mile Class State Record later that season. In the field, Donald Jones was clearing the 12-9 bar in the Pole Vault as only an 8th grader.
All in all, lets just say Moment No. 6 was the first time you realized you were getting beaten by a 12 year old.