While there might not be much
track going on in New York State, there is plenty of history to pore
through. In our time off, we are looking to revisit all of the State
Records for the Outdoor Season. Who these athletes were, where their
marks came from, and where are they now. Twice a week, we'll be
releasing "Snapshots Of A State Record," where you can learn what it
takes, to be put your mark on history. Tune in!
We look here at a record from back in 2010. Enjoy!- - -
It's Friday evening on June 18, 2010 and the Monroe-Woodbury 1600 sprint medley relay squad and star Crusader 800m guy Ryan Brennan are trying for a comeback at New Balance Nationals Outdoors. He's the fastest anchor in the field but he has some ground to make up on Pope John XXIII of NJ and East Kentwood (KP Athletics) MI. Brennan is 2 1/2 seconds behind PJ XXIII at the exchange, and shortly after getting the stick he has drifted back into 4th as he sets up for his leg.
It's a strong field here, and the four seniors on the KP Athletics squad are the favorites starting in lane 4 and have already taken a 2nd in the 4x200m and will be adding a 5th in the 800 SMR and a 3rd in the 4x100m on Saturday. PJ XXIII has opened up a big lead 200m into the final leg and as the commentator for the recorded video says, the Lions "are in the driver's seat. They have an excellent anchor who won't easily be run down."
Brennan though is someone who can run people down. He is was 3rd at 1:52.80 a week earlier at States behind Marcellus's Mike Quercia and Liverpool's Zavon Watkins and he is a big part of a Crusader 4x400m team that finished 2nd to Newburgh Free Academy at States and has consistently been running times all season that are among the top 10 ever in NY. Brennan's got the speed to go under 23.0 for the 200, but the 800m is his specialty.
The first three legs have gone well for Monroe-Woodbury. Seniors Kareem Ebron and Justin McCollin on the 200m legs got the Crusaders out at least even among the top four teams with splits in the 21 high and 22 high range, and Branden Arrington has bounced around from 2nd to 4th to 3rd on his 400m leg while remaining strong to get Brennan off at a shade under 1:34.0.
Well off the lead early on in his leg, Brennan does not come into view in the race video until entering the far turn of his first lap as he moves back into 3rd. He is powering down the straightaway as he ends his first 400m but is still more than 2 1/2 seconds behind at the split. But he is quickly on the heels of KP Athletics' Isaac Cox and the two of them make a surge toward PJ XXIII's AJ Hanifin, a solid 1:54 guy but a little out of his league here against two pursuers who can go a lot faster.
A short ways from the final turn, Brennan makes a big move and pulls Cox along with him as they blast past Hanifin. He's got a half-step on Cox as they hit the top of the home stretch and is just trying to hold on. Cox though makes a final push and a great lean gives KP Athletics the win at 3:22.99 over Monroe-Woodbury at 3:23.13. Brennan's supreme effort earns him a 1:49.13 time, exactly 1 second better than Cox. It also propels the Crusaders to a state record that ten years later has not been approached.
2010 would not necessarily have seemed like a year for Monroe-Woodbury to set a state standard in the 1600m sprint medley relay. Section 9 rivals Newburgh Free Academy and Warwick Valley certainly had a lot of speed that year, and the Goldbacks took 800m sprint medley relay at Nationals while the Wildcats won the distance medley relay, and like the Crusaders set an enduring state record. But though Monroe-Woodbury had run the 8th best time in NY history in the 4x400m at Section 9 State Qualifiers and then followed it up with a just slightly slower mark while finishing 2nd to Newburgh at States, the SMR was not an event that they were known for or really even had run that season. The Crusaders were not at indoor Nationals and the best time they seemed to have posted in the event that year was in December 2009 with a not so impressive 3:49.97 at the Marine Corps Classic.
So the 4x400m was the story for MW, until it wasn't. The top guy on the 4x400m squad was Daryl Subran who could not only run in the 22s for the 200m but was also the guy who could lay down at 48 in the 400m in a relay and had a 49.54 best at the Section 9 Class meet for an individual race time. The trouble was though that shortly before Nationals, Subran's family announced that he could not go to the meet down in Greensboro NC.
The 4x400m was now basically out for MW, and though they would be listed for it in the entries, they would not be at the starting line. Instead, in a last minute juggling they set themselves up for a run in the SMR. A sprinter who had been injured earlier in the year was pulled in and assignments were switched around a bit.
The Crusaders had not really run the SMR during the season, but an estimated time was used for Nationals for the 200-200-400-800 legs, and it got the Crusaders an assignment for lane 5 in the seeded heat. So who were the guys whose cumulative time got MW set up for a shot at a state record?
First leg in the 200m was Kareem Ebron, the replacement guy who had come over to Monroe-Woodbury from Spring Valley. He ran a strong 23.16 early in the season at the Middletown Invite before developing stress fractures in a foot and having to sit out recovering for a month. Ebron stepped up when the Crusaders needed a sprinter.
Second leg 200m guy Justin McCollin had been making a big name for himself ever since his sophomore season in 2008 when he won the Section 9 SQ 100m. He ran 21.81 to finish 3rd in the 2009 States and 21.92 for 4th at 2010 States.
Third leg Branden Arrington was a strong mid distance runner who had a best time for the 400m that season of 51.14 at the Warwick Invite. He would likely have been on a 200m leg if Subran had been available and MW was doing the SMR, but then again, they almost certainly wouldn't have been doing the SMR and there would have been no state record.
And finally there was Ryan Brennan. Going into Nationals, Brennan had run 1:53.80 to win at S9 SQ and then 1:52.80 to place 3rd at States in a loaded year for NY. His abilities were known to the other teams in the NBNO SMR, and they all knew that they needed to have a decent lead going into the last leg if they were to beat the Crusaders.
In the end, Brennan went for the win with about 200m to go and almost pulled off not only a state record but also the win. KP Athletics' Isaac Cox had about a 12 meter lead over Brennan going into the 800m, and that extra advantage gave him enough to finish a little stronger than Brennan over the last 50 meters.
The story line here then is that a team almost accidentally fell into the chance to set a state record in an event that it had never run competitively in, at least not with any front-line runners.
As to who held the record for the event before Monroe-Woodbury ran the 3:23.12 at Nationals, we will point first to a Boys and Girls team that ran 3:23.9 back in June of 1967 while running the old 220 yard-220 yard-440 yard-880 yard version of the SMR. That is about 10 meters longer than our 1600m SMR, but exact equivalents for the conversions is tough after the move from yards to meters. Another candidate would be a Suffern team that ran a 3:24.09 in 2001.