It was a busy day for the girls of New York, both at home and abroad. A total of ten marks went down between records and leaders, and it all happened within 12 hours of each other. We take a detailed look at the day that changed the record books forever, all by New York athletes.
High School Ranks
Sammy Watson Takes Down National High School Record, American Junior Record
Just one week after shattering the 600m National Record in an unthinkable 1:27.13, Rush-Henrietta senior Sammy Watson has one upped herself. Challenging one of the oldest records on the book, Watson managed to take down the Indoor National Record for 800m, held by Mary Decker (Slaney), set in 1974 at 2:01.8. Coming across the line in 6th position for the Professional field, Watson clocked a 2:01.78.
Watson ran a irregular race to accomplish the record. Far from sit and kick, she split 58.20 through 400m, visibly in the mix with the rest of the field. And yet, she persisted, throwing down her signature kick in the final meters to dip under the record. There was some delay to the record approval, with such a slim margin to determine, and Watson would wait until her post-race interview to get confirmation.
With the two biggest middle-distance records under her belt, Watson was asked if the 1000m was next on her radar. Although there would be only "HS-exclusive" races left for an attempt at a fast time, Watson said it was one of her last remaining goals. With the state meet held at Ocean Breeze for the first time, Watson could chase a facility record, state meet record, and State/National Record that could last for a very long time at this years' State Meet.
Niskayuna Goes US #1 in the Girls Eastern 4x800m
The Section 2 team braved snowstorm Niko to bring the heat at the Armory. Their run was highlighted by the teams balanced approach. Never leading the race until the final laps, Niskayuna beat out strong season regulars in the process. They split 2:20.03 - 2:18.57 - 2:20.52 - 2:13.88 for the winning mark of 9:12.98, a new National Leader. The mark betters the former leader set by Shenendehowa at the Armory Track Invite by two seconds.
Niskayuna and Shenendehowa will meet up at the Section 2 State Qualifier, in a bid for one spot at the State Meet. This is the final year only one team can go, as 2018 will be open to At-Large bids based on time. Shenenedehowa was without anchor Hannah Reale, who was participating in the HS mile. Likewise, Shoreham-Wading River led much of the race, but was without anchor Katherine Lee, also in the mile.
The fastest split of the night came from Brooke Nohilly, anchor leg for John Jay-Cross River. She split 2:11.68 to bring her team from 7th position, to a US #7 mark, and a second place finish of 9:16.21. JJ-CR will face heavy competition from both Suffern and North Rockland at their own State Qualifier.
Kellenberg Alumnus Jazmine Fray Smashes NCAA Collegiate Record
Jazmine Fray started out her sophomore year at Texas A&M strong. By early December, she had clocked a 2:43.15 in the 1000m, a facility and school record. In that race, Fray split 2:09 for the first 800m. Now, exactly two months later, Fray had something bigger to produce.
Running at the Clemson Tiger's Paw Invitational, Fray lopped four seconds off her Indoor Personal Best in the 800m, to win in 2:00.69. The mark is a new Collegiate and NCAA Record, the best ever run Indoors. Then, later in the meet, Fray would contribute to a World-Leading 4x400m relay, splitting 51.9 FAT (alongside Outdoor 400m State Record Holder Kadecia Baird).
The mark is a significant accomplishment for the Kellenberg alum. Fray is only 19 years old, missing out on the U20 World Junior Record only because she turns 20 before the year is up. She is only the third Collegian ever, to break 2:01.00 Indoors.
Hempstead Alumnus Charlene Lipsey Dips Under Previous American Record
It was a change in training that seemed to be the impetus for the rise of Charlene Lipsey. Starting in September, Lipsey has transitioned to training with 2016 Olympian Ajee' Wilson. Lipsey had a lucrative career at LSU, while Wilson famously forwent the College process to go Pro right out of High School. The pair have now moved to Philadelphia, training together under Wilson's Coach. The training has proved fruitful, with a Mile personal best at the ATI last week, and a strong 800m finish in Boston the week before.
However, it would be at the 110th Millrose Games where the pair would put on a real show. Making their way through the field, the pair burst away from the pack in the final stretch. Wilson would cross the line first, with Lipsey right on her heels.
Both athletes would dip under the previous American Record in the event, set by Nicole Teter in 2002 at 1:58.71. Wilson, a NJ native, ran 1:58.27 to establish a new American Record, while Lipsey would run 1:58.64 to break the former American Record. Lipsey would also establish a new Alumni Record, those established by Larry Byrne to track the All-Time bests set by athletes born and raised in the Empire State.