DuPont makes 'em hurt

McGovern just misses state PV record

By Christopher Hunt

BUFFALO – The way Pat DuPont torn down the back straight it looked like the Fairport senior must have forgot how many laps were left. This was a full gallop – a challenge to the field to match him at their own peril.

“I knew that if I could make (the pace) hurt myself then I could make it hurt everyone else,” DuPont said.

Only Ticonderoga’s Lee Berube and Colby DelBene of Pawling chased him with 700 meters left in the 3,200 federation final at the New York State championships. DelBene cracked on the far curve but Berube made it a race. The two went scorching into the last lap and DuPont only kept pushing harder.

But Berube surged win 300 left and overtook DuPont, only to see DuPont regain the lead before the final turn. As if the pedal hadn’t yet hit the floor, Berube came back again on the last turn and lead headed into the home stretch.

“I was thinking, I can’t get rid of this kid,” DuPont said.

Then he heard the crowd. And a few friends. And the thought of his last state meet ending in a fruitless dash to the finish flashed in his mind.

Somehow, he accelerated again.

DuPont won the 3,200 federation championship in 9:07.56 in a race that tantalized a crowd still weary from a two-hour rain delay on the last race of the day. Berube finished in 9:08.37 and Queensbury’s Matt Flint raced up to third in 9:13.43. No one could have imagined a more exciting finish. Even DuPont thought the race would be over much sooner.

“I was hoping that by 400 I would have but that was when they all started coming back on me,” he said.

The 800 provided similar dramatics but an opposite outcome. Peekskill senior Lawrence Campbell jolted out to a 15-meter led in the first lap of the half mile and held on through 600 meters. That’s when Zac Suriano of Shenendehowa popped free from fourth and scurried down the back straight and barreled behind Campbell, who never seemed to falter in the closing stages.

Campbell lead wire-to-wire but Suriano snatched the lead and the win with a hallf-step left in the race. Suriano finished in 1:54.52 to Campbell’s 1:54.59 in the Division I 800. Terrance Livingston of Great Neck South sprinted into picture for third in 1:54.72.

“I knew it was going to be quick off the line,” Suriano said. “A lot of these guys are sprinters moving up so I knew it would go out fast. That was my plan, to go with 300 left, He was a lot farther than I thought though.”

Suriano said he wasn’t ready to give any thought to Saturday’s federation final but the race will likely play out similarly since Campbell seems intent to control the pace and run flat out for the start. Suriano though, just wanted to enjoy Friday’s win.

“I’m overwhelmed,” he said. “I’ve never really performed well at states individually before so this was really great for me.”

Curtis junior Troy Faulkner took complete advantage of his first New York state meet. Faulkner advanced to the federation final in the 400 in 47.64, the fastest qualifying time by holding off Morris Taylor of Albion, who finished second in 48.45 to win the Division I title. Although it was Faulkner’s second-fastest time ever, he seemed convinced he can run much faster.

“The race was sloppy,” he said. “First of all, I didn’t get out. Then the track hurt and it made me start changing up my form then I looked up and realized I had to catch them. That was the third obstacle. On the turn I felt OK. Then I just tried to get it in.”

Mount St. Michael’s Brian McGovern won the federation pole vault championship in 16-0 but the story was his state record attempts at 16-6. McGovern generated tremendous hip height over the bar on his first and third attempts but for the fourth time this season couldn’t clear the bar.

“I guess it just wasn’t meant to happen,” McGovern said. He explained that he needed to penetrate the pit more when he planted to bar which would require him to get stronger. An appendicitis surgery forced him to sit out the indoor state meet. He will compete at Northeastern next year.

Hamburg’s Will Cole won the Division I 400 hurdles in 53.43 despite fudging his steps and having to take the third and fourth hurdles on the opposite lead leg.

“I thought James Thurn (of Central Square) was going to pass me but he never did,” Cole said. “Something must have been wrong.”

Thurn struggled and finished 12th in 56.56. Corey Jones of Washingtonviille finished second 54.54 and Ramapo’s Ryan Whitley third in 54.64.

Corning’s Albert Johnson won Division I state titles in the long and triple jump. He first jump 48-7 1/2 to win the triple jump then leaps 23-2 3/4 to win the long jump. He’ll compete in both federation finals Saturday.

“I think this was a good warmup,” Johnson said after the triple jump. “I was hoping to do better in terms of marks. I wanted to jump a 49. I think I’ll be better tomorrow.”

After the rain delay, which delayed the start of the boys 4x400, Newburgh won the Division I boys 4x400 in 3:15.55, setting a New York State championshipis meet record. Ramapo finished second din 3:18.44.

Notes: David Gross of Brockport won the Division I shot put in 56-10 1/4. …Tom Wagner of Clinton (PSAL) advanced to the federation final from Division II, jumping 47-10 in the triple jump. … Keith Nkrumah of Midwood (PSAL) has the fastest qualifying final in the 200 finishing in 22.07 in the Division I trials.

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