Greany wins steeple, US #1

Lipari completes 3,000/1,500 double

By Christopher Hunt

BUFFALO – Suffern junior Shelby Greany has always been married to her watch. She needed to know her splits. She needed to be conscious of her pace. She needed to plan, react and then plan again.

Suffern assistant coach Lou Hall sometimes tries to swipe her watch in practice. Greany wants to have a panic attack just thinking about it. She’s the same in races – always eyeing the clocks, keeping an ear out for splits.

Not this time though.

“I just ran,” she said.

For the first she submitted to free running and won her first state championship. Greany won the 2,000-meter steeplechase federation title at the New York State championships in 6:43.03, the fastest time in the country this season and Greany’s best.

“It was like the greatest thing ever,” Greany said. “I just wanted to start crying right away. You give up all these things to run. You don’t go out. You eat and sleep right. You sacrifice. This is what makes it all worth it.”

Greany broke free after the first water jump and never met a challenge after. With Hannah Davidson of Saratoga Springs racing in the 3,000 Friday night, Greany became an overwhelming favorite. She finished second last year after former teammate, Kara McKenna, placed second in 2005 and 2006.

“It would have been nice to have her in it,” Greany said of Davidson. “I can’t control what she races. But I’ll see her at nationals.”

Hempstead junior Charlene Lipsey also won her first federation championship. Lipsey out-kicked last year’s champ Phyllis Francis of Catherine McAuley to win the 800 in a personal best 2:07.46. Francis finished second in 2:09.29, while four girls broke 2:10 in the race.

Lipsey followed Francis through a 62.2 first lap then started to inch by with 300 left. Lipsey took over headed into the turn but Francis fought back on the straightaway. That’s when Lipsey opened her hands, extended her stride and then her lead.

“We were running neck-and-neck and she was breathing (hard),” Lipsey said, actually demonstrating gasping for air. “My breathing was good. That’s when I knew I had her.”

The time is the fifth fastest in the country this season for Lipsey, who started concentrating on the 800 in the winter. Since then she’s been nearly unconquerable at 800 meters.

“I never thought I’d be able to break 2:08,” Lipsey said. “Now I ran 2:07. I want to see if I can run even faster at nationals.”

The day became one for personal bests, especially for Section 8. Roslyn sophomore Emily Lipari claimed her second state federation crown, winning the 1,500 in 4:30.58, a three-second personal best and bettering her own state-leading time. Lipari also won the 3,000 Friday night in 9:37.53.

“When you come out here on this track you have to put it all out there no matter what,” she said. “Even if that means you’re dead.”

She certainly didn’t resemble a zombie. In fact, she didn’t even seem fatigued in the race. She did start to lose contact with 500 meters remaining and Kings Park’s Jacyln Marshall pushing the pace. Then Lipari decided to make a move.

“I was starting to fall back too far,” she said. “I was going to make my move at 300 to go but I had to go with 500 and I just kept it going. … I guess people put a lot of pressure on me but I don’t run for anyone but myself and I’m having fun.”

Cardozo senior Dalilah Muhammad said she experiences some of the same type of pressure, especially since she is the World Youth champ in the 400 hurdles. Muhammad didn’t seem bothered by it though. She took command of her race early and won the federation final in 57.90. New Rochelle’s Elizabeth Mott finished second in 58.49.

Muhammad, who committed to Southern California, was mostly indifferent about her race, although she hoped to run faster.

“It was alright,” she said. “I guess I wasn’t really into it today from the start. I just wanted to hit the 200 well and finish it out.”

Madalayne Smith of Saratoga Springs won the 100 hurdles championship in 14.15, her fastest of the meet when the brick wall of wind finally let up. Smith earlier won the Division I state title in 14.39 with a 4.2-rated headwind.

“I got out well but I hit the sixth or seventh hurdle and started to stumble,” the sophomore said about the final. “I just keep going. That’s all I could do. I felt really good today.”

Kala Allen, the Williamsville East eighth-grader, off her surprise win the in the Division I 400 Friday, also won the federation final Saturday, bettering the Section 6 record she set a day earlier in 55.24.

“It’s pretty cool,” Allen said. “In a 24-hour time period, this is really cool. I expected to come in second today. I knew the girl behind me (Janet Mellor of Mount Sinai) was really fast. I kept waiting for her to pass me. I guess I underestimated myself.’

Boys & Girls senior Nadonnia Rodriques won the 200 final in 24.72. Rodriques ran the 200 because of a nagging pain in her right knee, a pain that bothered her before the race Saturday. She admitted that she backed off on the turn.

“My leg hurt,” said the South Carolina-bound Rodriques. “I have nationals. I didn’t want to mess that up. I’m not really nervous. I’m just afraid to get hurt.”

Notes: North Rockland senior Britney Clarke won the pentathlon with 3,383 points. Clarke, who will attend Miami, never finished lower than fourth in five events. Mount Vernon’s Sasha Richards won the Division I and federation championships. She ran 12.49 into a stiff headwind in the division race then won the federation title in 12.29. Warwick Valley dominated the 4x800, winning in 8:56.71 with Jacqueline Kasal, Lillian Greisbesland, Claire Pettit and Tori Pennings. … Suffern won the federation title in the 4x100 in 47.64 and Boys & Girls won the 4x400 in 3:50.50.

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