Loucks always brings out the best, and Saratoga was ready to shine. It was no question they came in as underdogs. They were going up against the three time reigning National Champions in North Rockland in the DMR, and had been beaten by nearly twenty seconds just weeks before at Penn Relays. However, you can never count out the Blue Streaks.
For North Rockland, the order was switched up. Typical anchor Katelyn Tuohy was moved to leadoff, which allowed Alex Harris to drop down to the 800m. The rationale was sound. Harris dropped 13 seconds from their 800m leg at Penn Relays, and Tuohy took down 4 seconds on the leadoff leg, running a strong 3:28.02 opener. With their anchor leg, Haleigh Morales, having a personal best of 5:03.21. the projected time would dip them under 11:42.
Saratoga, however, had other plans. They too had significant personal bests from their Penn Relays outing. Keellyn Cummings shaved off 12 seconds on her opening 1200m leg alone. Mimi Liebers shaved off a full second on the 400m. Coming back from an XC injury, Amelia Mahoney dropped her 800m four seconds. And yet, that still put them 150m out of the lead at the final exchange.
Then the baton got passed off to Kelsey Chmiel. Like a metronome, she began clicking off significant 200m splits. She was making up ground on every stride. WIth 800m to go, it seemed possible. At 400m, she came dead even with North Rockland. With 200m to go, she accelerated past, and charged across the line. It seemed the meet record might go. But she was only a second short.
She pulled her team across the line in 10:41.57, two seconds over Meet Record time. It was a US #1, NY #10 All-Time, and only five seconds off their school record, set in 2008. Better yet, Chmiel had split 4:42.93 for the 1600m leg, faster than any other athlete has run in a relay or open, Indoors or Outdoors this year. Chmiel is entered in the Mile and 3200m later this weekend.
Arlington defied the odds to come back and defend their Loucks Games DMR title from a year ago. They improved their winning mark from last year by five seconds. The team came away with the win because of their balance. Only their 800m leg, run by sophomore Mark Scanlon, was the fastest split in the field. And yet, they averaged a Top 3 Split everywhere else. The mark now makes them US #13.