By Christopher Hunt
It was right there – about as long as it would have taken for her to take her next deep breath. But Jordan White sat crumbled on the track with tears in her eyes, her team barely two tenths of a second away from a national record (after the conversion from a hand time).
Holy Names won the marquee event at the Jim Mitchell Invitational last night, the girls 4x1500 relay, finishing in 19 minutes, 16.5 seconds, the second-fastest time in United States history. Greenwich set the national record last year, 19:16.43. “When it’s so close like that, it hurts,” said Claire Hardwick, who ran the second leg. “In a race this long, that’s like a hand-off.”
Ursuline led the relay through the first two legs before Lauren Recchia (4:52.4) took over the pace on the third leg. She handed the baton to Jordan White, primarily an 800-meter runner, venturing into her first 1,500, which Tori Flannery of Bronxville giving chase. Flannery kept closing and White looked like she was fighting herself.
Her head fell back, then down, looking like she was gasping for air. Anybody who had never seen her run would think that she would explode and crumble to the track at any moment. Her teammates though, were never fazed and White never panicked. “It always looks a lot worse than it really is,” White said.
Sure enough, when Flannery pulled within striking distance White changed gears, striding through the last 300 meters in 52 seconds for a 4:38.6 anchor-leg split. She knew the time was close when she finished. Her coach, Carlo Cherubino had been screaming in her ear every lap. “I had no idea how close we were, normally the running clock is up but it wasn’t so I was kind of guessing.”
After they wiped away tears of disappointed the recognized how well they’d run. But the race since left them wanting.
“We will fly to the next 4x1500 race if we have to, wherever it is,” Hardwick said.
“I think their more disappointed than anything,” Cherubino said after the race. “We thought we could get the record. I think we could do better. I wish we had another shot at it.”
Bronxville finished second in 19:24.0, the fourth-fastest time in U.S. history with the squad of Emma Clarke (4.49.7), Henrietta Miers (4:59.8), Caitlin Hudson (4:52.4) and Flannery (4:42.0).
Iona Prep’s Sean Halpin, Michael Cunningham, Kyle Shepard and Ben Brink won the boys 4xmile in 18:30.2. Halpin gave the Gaels the lead on a 4:29 first leg and Iona Prep never gave up the lead.
“I think we all worked well together,” Brink said. “This was a great experience for us. We just wanted to come in and run as fast as we could.”
John Turro of Somers won the boys 1,000 meters in 2:36.6. Turro struggled at the Bishop Loughlin Games, running 4:29 in the mile on Saturday but he fought off Pearl River’s Mike Hickey with 250 to go, while the two raced the curve.
“I was just having a bad day,” Turro said of Loughlin. “I just used it as a learning experience. I just fine. I’m recovering and I ran well today.”
Ursuline’s Elia Francis won the 300 for the second straight year. The quarter-miler has been racing mostly 800’s to start the season and was just happy to be in a sprint race. She finished in 42.4.
“I loved it,” she said. “I love getting back to that whole running-as-fast-as-you-can feeling.”
Reach Christopher Hunt at email@example.com.
By Christopher Hunt