GIRLS: Boys and Girls, NY 3:51.44 US#1 , Benjamin Cardozo, NY 3:51.81 US#2, Hempstead, NY 3:24.57 US#5, Canarsie, NY 3:58.92 US#6
BOYS:Midwood, NY 3:24.93 US#5, , Bellport, NY 3:25.82 US#7, Amityville 3:25.95 US#8.
By Christopher Hunt
The PSAL is the only league that scatters its schools at the Millrose Games relay trials. It runs like an actual trial, where the top teams are seeded in separate heats. The rest of the leagues ran its races from slowest to fastest, building suspense for which teams would advance to 101st Millrose Games Feb. 1 at Madison Square Garden.
The PSAL didn’t kill the suspense though, not on the girls side. Apparently they just stretched it out longer. Boys & Girls of Brooklyn and Cardozo of Queens turned in the two fastest times in the nation at the Millrose Trials. Boys & Girls scorched the first heat of the PSAL 4x400 relay in 3 minutes, 51.44 seconds, the fastest time in the country this season. Then in the second heat, Cardozo broke away, running 3:51.81, the second-fastest time.
“It’s OK because we’ll meet them in the final,” Cardozo coach Gail Emmanuel said.
Both teams went unchallenged in their respective heats, Cardozo with a squad of Tessa West (58.3), Ahtyana Johnson (59.5), Cody Newman (58.6) and Dalilah Muhammad (55.4). Boys and Girls ran with Meagan Gillespie (57.5), Deandra Nelson (58.3), Kenesha Abrams (59.9) and Nadonnia Rodriquez (55.6). Even with the nation-leading teams, neither team said they fielded their fastest relay.
The race only builds a showdown between the quartettes are the Garden. Boys & Girls will be trying to knock off the defending champs. Rodriquez already envisioned getting the stick at the same time with Muhammad at the Millrose Games. There is a far lesser chance of a national leader being set on the 160-yard track at the Garden, but the tension will be magnified in front of nearly 14,000 screaming spectators.
“I know that me and Dalilah are probably going to be on the anchor legs,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great event. I think the fans are going to enjoy it. I know I’m going to enjoy it.”
The rest of the races had their faceoffs on the spot. Kellenberg and Chaminade made for one of the most exciting races of evening in the boys CHSAA 4x800 relay. Chaminade led for most of the race with Kellenberg nipping at its heels with each leg. Chaminade’s Charlie Donnelly (2:01), Mike Schieck (1:58), Chris Tonn (1:58) and Steven Donnelly (2:00) won in 7:57.13, the second-fastest time in the country this season and the fastest in New York State.
“We came with the mindset that it was going to come down between us and Kellenberg,” Steven Donnelly said. “We’re hoping for the same result (at Millrose). We want to get out and get the win. Kellenberg had run 7:59 earlier in the season. We definitely wanted to come out and prove that we’re the best in the league.”
Kellenberg broke its school record winning the girls CHSAA 4x400 in 3:59.11 with Candice Gibson (60.7), Kristin Wenthen (58.7), Kelsey Gardner (60.7) and Meghan Wendelkin (58.5). Wendelkin, a senior, could only hear her teammates screaming, “Sub-Four!!” while she barreled down the straightaway, knowing she would qualify for the Millrose Games for the first time since her sophomore year.
“Today we just really wanted to win,” Wendelkin said. “I thought we would run like this later in the season but were did it today. I’m really excited.
Boys and Girls, NY 3:51.44 US#1 , Benjamin Cardozo, NY 3:51.81 US#2, Hempstead, NY 3:24.57 US#5, Midwood, NY 3:24.93 US#5, Canarsie, NY 3:58.92 US#6, Bellport, NY 3:25.82 US#7, Amityville 3:25.95 US#8.
US#2 4x800m 7:57.13
Kellenberg, NY 7:59.51 US#3, Fordham Prep, NY 8:06.18 US#10
photos by Tim Fulton unless noted