Muhammad runs meet record 400IH
By Christopher Hunt
WHITE PLAINS – Suffern’s Shelby Greany convinced Kristin Reese of Carmel to race in the 1,600. They both wanted a fast race. They would both ensure that it happened.
That’s why there wasn’t much strategy involved in this one. They ran attached at the shoulder, Reese on the inside. Every woman for herself.
Greany readied herself at the start of the bell lap. They both turned it up on the back straight. Then Greany pounced with 200 left and Reese responded.
“I took a shot with 200 but she wouldn’t let me pass,” Greany said.
Once Reese held Greany off through the last turn she pulled away and won her second race of the meet, claiming the 1,600 in 4:51.34, breaking Greany’s Section 1 record and the third fastest time in the Loucks Games 41-year history. Greany finished second in 4:52.38, bettering her own Rockland County record. Reese also won the 800 on Friday.
“I was kind of racing against the clock but also against Shelby,” Reese said. “It was a really good race for me because I haven’t been running the times I wanted to early in the season.”
Greany could have sat behind Reese. She could have rode her shoulder and let Reese dictate the pace. Greany knew that. But she didn’t want that.
“I didn’t want to sit and kick,” Greany said. “I didn’t want Kristin to do all the work. Kristin and I have run against each other so many times. We know how each other run and we can work off each other.”
Greany never backed off though and Reese felt the pressure.
“I was just waiting for Shelby to pass me,” Reese said. “I was pretty much running for my life.”
Nadonnia Rodriques of Boys & Girls didn’t have the same contention in the closing stages of the 400 and, as expected, she dominated her race in 54.09. But in her estimation, she underachieved.
“It was a bad race for me,” she said.
Rodriques said she felt uncomfortable in the starting blocks and it appeared that she wasn’t aggressive in the first half of her race. She still took command of the race but not in the way that she is accustomed to.
“I don’t know what happed out there,” she said. “I felt good in the race. I wanted to run around 52. I felt like I was going good. That race went by so quick. I don’t know what happened.”
The race was Rodriques’ first open 400 of the season but she still expected to run after. Cardozo senior Dalilah Muhammad, in contrast, didn’t’ walk into the her race expecting to set the world on fire.
“I wanted to get under 60 (seconds),” she said.
Muhammad won the 400 hurdles, her signature event, in 59.84, topping the meet record 60.49 by Tasha Whitted of Ballou, Washington in 1988.
“It was alright,” she said. “There was a lot of stuttering. I’m where I want to be. I just have a little bumps to work out.”
Muhammad said that making the Olympic Trials in June is a goal for this season. The ‘A’ standard is 56.00. The ‘B’ standard is 57.80. Muhammad knows that in a race with top competition, qualifying is a realistic possibility. Elizabeth Mott of New Rochelle finished second Saturday in 61.39.
“I’m the type of person that I know with someone with me at the end to push me, I know I can run a lot faster,” said the USC-bound Muhammad.
Suffern’s Greany anchored Suffern’s winning 4x800 relay that finished in 9:16.64, with Carol Dugandzic, Christy Goldmann and Allie Carlson. Boys and Girls also won the 4x400 in 3:48.11 with Meagan Gillespie, Rodriques, Deandra Nelson and Hadassah Bruno.
Reach Christopher Hunt at email@example.com.