By Christopher Hunt
WARWICK – Mary Cain crossed the finish line and walked over to her teammates. One was stuck in a curious smile, another just staring at her shaking her head in something near disbelief. Even after all the Bronxville freshman has done this season, she still shocks even her teammates.
Cain’s 2:05.2 anchor leg led the Broncos to the nation’s second-fastest time this season in the 4x800 relay, winning in 8:59.38 at the Warwick Fast Times Relays Tuesday night. Even Cain couldn’t quite take it in.
“The number kind of freaks me out,” Cain said of own anchor split. “It’s like, I know I can do it, but to cross the line and hear 2:05, I’m thinking, ‘That’s fast.’ That doesn’t really make sense.”
Cain already broke the state 1,500-meter record this season (4:23.1) and holds the third-ranked time in the country in the 800 (2:06.44). This time all the freshman superstar needed to do was punctuate the work her teammates did. Meredith Rizzo (2:11.5) cracked the race open out the box and Courtney Campbell (2:20.6) and Emilie Hoffer (2:21.0) sustained the lead until Cain made Bronxville the second team in the country this season under the 9-minute barrier.
“Everybody ran amazing,” Rizzo said. “It wasn’t everybody’s PR but it’s tough to get everyone to do that on the same day. (Mary) ran so fast. We could tell she was flying. If she keeps this up she’s just going to blow away.”
The Fast Times Relays is known as a meet geared for relays to come in with fresh legs and produce, well, fast times. But Middletown senior Mel Mosley turned in an iron horse performance that made it no wonder why he’ll be the cornerstone of the freshman recruiting class of Southern University in Louisiana.
Mosley ran second-leg on the Middletown relay that won the 4x100 in 42.17, the second-best time in the state. Then he cleared 6 feet, 8 inches for second-place in the high jump. He entered the competition at 6-1 and missed one time before he fouled out at 6-9. Mosley totaled 12 attempts before he took the track in the 4x400 crushed the field with a 46.7 anchor leg split. The Middies, using Manny Mosley (49.1), Shakoy Burton (49.1), Adam Abdur-Rahman (49.7) and Mel Mosley, won in 3:14.79, improving their state leader. Manny Mosley and Abdur-Rahman have also committed to Southern.
“I think we all ran good,” Mel said. “We could have all run better. We wanted to run faster than that today.”
It could have been humility, but Mosley said the same thing about this own performance. This coach Eric Hipsman chose to be more forthcoming.
“He’s ridiculous,” Hipsman said. “It’s not hard to coach a kid like that. He’s just strong. He doesn’t get tired.”
New Rochelle won the girls 4x400, finishing .05 ahead of Bay Shore from a slower section. New Ro’s Amira Yeiser (59.6_. Alicia Donaldson (58.8), Selena Marshall (60.3) and Deajah Stevens (55.2) won in 3:53.95. Bsy Shore, which won the fastest-time section, finished second overall in 3:54.00.
“I was really shocked: Donaldson said. “For myself, I had been hitting 59’s all indoor season. It was nice to run faster. We were coming in trying to get under 3:57.”
New Rochelle coach Andy Capellan said his team, with star sophomore Stevens, is just peaking at the right time.
“We really haven’t put them together since Loucks,” he said. “They didn’t have anything to run for. Today they had to come out and get a time.”
It was the same case for the Warwick Valley boys 4x800 relay. The team floundered in the distance medley relay at Penn Relays in April. Coach Mike Potter hadn’t put together a stacked relay since.
“He told us that we were going to take a break,” said senior Dan Paez. “After Penn Relays, it wasn’t what we wanted at all. We had kind of been waiting for this.”
Paez (1:54.2), Ray Farinella (1:58.7), Tim Luthin (1:52.4) and Aaron Peterson (1:58.7) claimed victory in 7:44.27, the fastest time in the state and fifth best in the country this season.
“They were awesome,” said Potter, who arranged his relay’s order to match up with Monroe-Woodbury so that both teams could pull each other to a fast time. “It was the same thing as last year, Ryan Brennan ran a heck of a leadoff leg. We both wanted to go out and chase a fast time and we did that.”
Brennan grabbed an early lead for Monroe-Woodbury but Warwick’s Luthin, usually the anchor, took over on the third leg.
“I think that I can run faster,” Luthin said. “Paez has a couple seconds left in him. We definitely can run faster. We want to run fast here. No one comes to Fast Times and doesn’t PR.”
Beacon’s Alex Bowen won the boys high jump in 6-9. The Albany-bound senior will be the favorite for a state title once he advances through the Section 1 state qualifier Thursday.
“Earlier this season was frustrating because I wasn’t jumping like I was supposed to,” said Bowen, who leads the state at 6-10. “But one of my friends (former teammate Tejorn Davis, who is now at Northeastern) came back and told me to stop worrying and to just have fun. That’s what I’ve been focusing on and it’s really helped.”
Schuylerville’s Sarah Palmer, who signed with Penn State, cleared 5-5 to win the girls high jump. Jordan Yamoah of Arlington won the pole vault at 16-3. He accepted a scholarship to Texas A&M-Kingsville, where former New York State pole vault record-holder Ryan Dall (North Rockland) is head coach.
O’Neill’s Megan Clark won the girls pole vault at 11-7. She left the Summer Leadership Seminar at West Point to attend the meet. The program is meant to introduce students to a life of a cadet.
Clark moved to New York from Virginia because of her father, who is a colonel at West Point. Clark’s mother serves as a military police officer and her brother will be entering his sophomore year at West Point in the fall.
Mount Vernon’s Tanaya Yarde also produced a notable performance. The junior anchored the Knights to a win in the 4x100 in 48.43 and then anchored the fifth-place 4x400 in 53.7. Her team finished in 3:55.78.
Elite Men’s Mile: Stephen Furst, son of Warwick Valley girls coach Rich Furst, just missed the 4-minute barrier in the men’s mile. He broke his own meet record in 4:00.26.