Price runs 2:03.98!!!!

Boys & Girls win SMR and 4x100

By Christopher Hunt

Left: Chanelle Price (by Derek Alvez)

NEW YORK – She couldn’t help herself. She didn’t mean to.

Anyone who ever saw Easton’s Chanelle Price expected her to start the race like a rocket but not even Price expected to motor through the first half of her 800-meter race like this. When the gun sounded, Price demanded the lead. No surprise there. But Hempstead’s Charlene Lipsey looked intent to ride her shoulder. Once Price noticed Lipsey trying to keep pace, she put the burners on.

Price astonished the crowd, winning the invitational 800 at the New York Relays Saturday in 2:03.98, the fastest time in the country this season. She breezed through the first 400 meters in 56.2 seconds.

“I’m not used to anyone being with me,” said Price, who will attend Tennessee. “Girls this age don’t usually want to go out that hard. I figured that if somebody was with me that I was going too slow.”

Price said she didn’t even realize she had set such a torrid pace. She intended to hit the 400 mark in 58.

“I actually didn’t think I was running that hard,” she said. “It just shows that I’m really strong right now.”

Logic indicated that the wheels would certainly fall off in the next lap but Price held her form and earned the ‘B’ standard for the Olympics this summer.

“This proves that, compared to last year I’m a lot further along in my training,” she said. “I like when I make mistakes at a meet like this because it doesn’t really mean anything (in the long run). Now the next time I get pulled through in 58 by the older girls it’ll be that much easier.”

Lost in the excited was Lipsey. The junior finished second in a personal best 2:09.61, the third-fastest time in the country this season and the fastest in New York State this season.

The invitational 400 was a much closer race with Bishop Loughlins’s Sheina Roberts, Cara Rostant of Valley Stream South and Josefine Kvist of Ridge (N.J.) running three-abreast coming down the final straightaway.

Roberts was in third coming off the turn. But, with her arm pumping wildly, Roberts surged ahead to win in 56.10.

“I was thinking I can’t be in this spot,” she said of the closing stages of the race. “I had to go. My mind was going crazy. I just had to go right there.”

Roberts had drawn attention to herself before the gun even went off. She was the only runner to employ a standing start. Most sprinters from 100 to 400 meters start down.

“I’m just not really comfortable with it,” said Roberts, a junior. “I practice it, but I’m just not comfortable doing it.”

Roberts said that she has started down before but once she started racing 800 meters she became more accustomed to a standing start. Either way, it didn’t affect her yesterday.

“I had a good start,” she said. “I was happy with that. I’m pleased with this race. I’m looking forward to breaking 55 this year.”

Allison Linnell of Colts Neck (N.J.) also ran the fastest time in the country this season in the 2,000 steeplechase. Linnell broke free from the field early and won in 6:57.63. Linnell only race the steeplechase once last season, at the nationals and she doesn’t have much opportunity to practice.

“I was okay,” she said of the race. “The only thing that felt weird was the water jump.”

Both Linnell and her coach Jim Schlentz were pleased with the race but expect that Linnell will run much faster this season.

“I was very pleased with her hurdling,” Schlentz said. “For the first few hurdles she was jumping the hurdles but after that she was hurdling and it was much better.”

Boys & Girls senior Meghan Gillespie led come-from-behind victories in the 4x100 and sprint medley. Boys & Girls won the 4x100 relay in 47.36 then Gillespie helped edge Tilden and hold off Bishop Ford to win the sprint medley in 4:04.98 with her 2:14, 800-meter anchor leg.

Reach Christopher Hunt at


other pictures by Tim Fulton/