NY Boys Trackathlon Showdown

Trackathlon Showdown

Shea Weilbaker at right led another storied Loucks 3200 going into the final lap, but St. Anthony's Mason Gatewood and Matthew Payamps were about to unleash a kick that would bring them home 1-2.

We'll get right to the big oddity in the boys' Trackathlon Showdown. None of the top four guys in the Big 3 Triathlon contest stood on the highest spot on the podium at the outdoor state championships in June as the winner of an individual event. You could likely create TS's for the last 20 years and not repeat that weirdness.

However, two of those top four guys did win a championship as part of a relay squad at both of the States meets, and another guy won an individual title at indoor States. So they weren't exactly running in the dark.

A big difference for the boys in comparison to the girls is the way the top individual event scores are distributed. Katelyn Tuohy owned all the top marks for the girls from her record runs in distance events, but the seven top marks for the guys at 1040+ all belong to a different athlete. The top two of those seven marks were compiled not by distance runners but by weight guys.

East Aurora's Ian Russ was the leader of the Loucks 3200 early on, as he was pushed by Northport's Isaiah Claiborne and St. Anthony's Matthew Payamps and Mason Gatewood.

The overall winner of the Big 3 Tri should not be a big surprise. From his win in the Eastern States race of the Manhattan Invite during XC season to a victory in the 800 of the Yale Track Classic indoors and more wins in the huge Loucks Games 3200 and the Festival of Miles race in St. Louis, Mason Gatewood of St. Anthony's showed up very big this year. His top 3075 Big 3 Triathlon total included a 1059 score from the 3000 conversion of the Loucks 3200 time of 8:55, a 1038 for the 1500 conversion of the FofM Mile of 4:07, and a 978 for the 1500 conversion of his Millrose Mile time. If times from relay legs counted, that third mark would certainly have been replaced by Gatewood's anchor on the outdoor States 4x800 that took the Friars from 5th to a finish-line lunge 1st while running the two laps in approximately 1:51.

Right behind Gatewood in the Big3 was his constant sidekick during the 2018 season, as St. Anthony's Matthew Payamps always seemed to be teaming up with him for the 1-2 finishes they had at Loucks and the Festival of Miles, and in the Big 3 totals at 3064. Payamps' top two scores of 1055 and 1028 came from the 2nd-place finishes to Gatewood at Loucks and the FofM, and he actually closed the gap a bit on his teammate down to 11 points with a third score which came from a 3rd in the indoor Yale 3000. Payamps' second leg for the Friars at outdoor States made up more places than Gatewood's anchor as he took them from 10th to 5th with maybe a 1:53 leg (tough to say on non-anchor legs).

The Goshen duo of Liam Higgins and Louis Greco are in the lead early in the 3000 steeplechase at States, but Maine-Endwell's Parker Stokes at far left is about to hit the pool and go on for the victory.

Third up in the Big 3 with 3043 was the winner of the 1000 meter indoor States championship, Isaiah Claiborne of Northport, who was running out at the Brooks PR Invite in Washington when his brother Elijah was making a twin killing of the 800 and 1600 at outdoor States. Isaiah's top mark of 1047 came from a 3000 conversion of his 4th in the Loucks 3200, and he got a 1010 from the 1500 conversion of his 4th in the NBN indoor Mile, plus a 986 for the 800 conversion of his indoor States 1000 win. He had the top mark in the 800 outdoors for the NY guys from a win in the St. Anthony's Invite, but it was 4th best for him overall.

Another twin took the 4th spot in the Big 3 at 2997, and like five of the top 6 guys in the scoring his best mark came from the Loucks 3200. Greg Fusco of Somers had consistently strong marks all year, and besides a 1024 for a 10th at Loucks (his 5th in the mile there was worth 66 points less), he also scored well from the 1500 conversions of his 4th in the outdoor States 1600 and 11th in indoor NBN mile.

Parker Stokes of Maine-Endwell had impressive figures in 5th at 2995 in the Big 3 because he only had the outdoor season to work with. Surprisingly his top score of 1001 did not come from his steeplechase specialty but rather from a 3000 conversion of his 1st in the 3200 at the Vestal Golden Bear Invite. Just two points behind at 999 was his score for his win in the 3K steeplechase at States, which is 19 points better than what his winning 2K SC at NBN equals. Stokes' Big 3 scores also included his mark from a win in the 1600 at Section 4 State Qualifiers.

Sixth in the Big 3 at 2991 went Saratoga's Shea Weilbaker who doubled up for the 3000 wins at indoor and outdoor States, and his second-best mark of 992 came from that state championship run at Ocean Breeze. But naturally his best overall mark of 1042 came from his 6th in the Loucks 3200. Maybe the next tee shirt slogan craze will be for a "Run like Loucks" campaign, if the Big 3 results are any indicator. Weilbaker got his third best mark for a 2nd in the 1500 at the Millrose Games Trials, but he does not have Indoor and Outdoor Triathlon scores since he was a 1600-3200 specialist.

Batavia's Anthony Ray was the top weight guy in the Trackathlon Showdown with big marks in the shot put, discus, and weight throw.

Rounding out the top 10 of the Big 3, we get first to our only non-distance guy among that group. Batavia's Anthony Ray had two events both indoors and outdoors, and though he won no state championships and wasn't ranked tops in any event, his weight throw was 5th best in NY to give him his top mark of 1034. Combined with his shot put throws that were 2nd to Lancaster's John Surdej in both seasons, Ray ended up as the top weight guy in the Big 3 with a score of 2970 in 7th.

Eighth in the Big 3 was Ian Russ of East Aurora at 2965. Russ had just three marks from the two seasons, but he made them count with a 7th in the Loucks 3200 being the big hitter for him at 1037. Completing a twin appearance from Northport in the 9th spot, Elijah Claiborne ran to the 800 and 1600 championships at States during a very busy two days in June, and he got his top ranking in the NY 1600 and top score here of 1005 from the 1500 conversion of his States 1600 win. The final member of the top 10 at 2939 was another state champion, as Schenectady's Maazin Ahmed captured the 1600 title at indoor States, and he had other big wins during the year with 1sts in the mile in the New Balance Games in January and the Eddy Games in May.

Carlon Hosten held off Jaheim Jones to win the battle of the fastest in the outdoor States 100.

Fifty-three more big-performing T&F guys followed the top 10 scorers in the Big 3, and of course the next guy up was another distance runner, Corning's Quinn Nicholson who finished 2nd to Weilbaker at both States meets. But Carlon Hosten of Taft Educational got the sprinters going with a 12th place finish as the top ranked NY guy in the 55 and 300 indoors and 100 and 200 outdoors and three-time States champ this year in the 55, 100, and 200. But Hosten's finish outside the top 10 also points out how much tougher it is to get big marks in the sprints than the distance events in the IAAF charts.

More top performances in the Big 3 included the appearance in the 16th spot of Greenwich's Michael Gabriel, who won two legs of the earlier Weightathlon Throwdown and was the second weight guy after Anthony Ray. Michael Mullally finished up with 2830 points in the 27th spot as the top hurdler after winning the 60H indoors and 110H outdoors at States and actually posting the best time in the 400H overall while winning the D2 division race. The top guy to have at least two jumping events in his Big 3 total was Jeremiah Willis of Cicero-North Syracuse who mixed some sprints in with his big long jumps. Willis won the state championships indoors and outdoors in the long jump and triple jump, and he even was able to make a TJ score look very respectable at 861 and 849 for his best outdoors and indoors, even if that 861 was not good enough to make the top three for him in his outdoor totals.

In the vertical jumps, a couple of guys had the high jump in their indoor or outdoor totals but not in the Big 3 score, as the heights just didn't get that high this year to produce a big number. Joe Weaver of Central Square was 1st outdoors and 3rd indoors at States in the pole vault, and with a solid enough run in the 60 during the indoor season he put together enough scores to make the Trackathlon Showdown and emerge as NY's top vertical guy in 2018.

All of the results for the TS are shown below. The first table includes the Indoor and Outdoor Triathlon totals with the Big 3 breakdown. The second table includes all of the event info for the score tallies, so you may need a big zoom adjustment to read what's there.

Michael Mullally of Sullivan West beat Oceanside's Anthony Romeo and Cicero-North Syracuse's Joe Williams to win the States 110 high hurdles.

Central Square's Joe Weaver is in great shape for an outdoors States pole vault championship as he clears the bar at 16 feet.

Edison Tech's Jaquil Baxter edges Victor's Nico Bellavia at the end of the 600 meter championship at indoor States. Baxter was later 3rd in the 400 at outdoor States and helped lead his team to the 4x100 championship.