* Carter Cukerstein stands at the podium after winning the 60m at the Ocean Breeze Elite Invitational
Photo Credit: Ocean Breeze
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By Kyle Brazeil - New York MileSplit
It seemed like it was only a matter of time before the senior from upstate New York found the right race, and Carter Cukerstein (Shenendehowa) picked the Ocean Breeze Elite Invite to live up to the meet's namesake.
One week ahead of the New York State Indoor Championship, on the track that will host the event, Cukerstein held off one of the top sprint talents in the country to win the 60m final in a new state record time of 6.71.
The race between the New Yorker and prior US No. 4 at the distance, Nyckoles Harbor (Archbishop Carroll DC), was so close, it was actually only separated at the line by 0.03 seconds.
After the race, Culkerstein progressed to US No. 3 this year in the event.
The mark also sets a new New York state record in the event. In fact, he had already bettered the record in the trials, when he clocked 6.74, and then improved upon that record in the final.
The prior record was set in 2020 by Andre Leslie (Farmingdale), a junior who was beginning to break out just two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic ended his high school career. His mark of 6.77 is still the New York junior state record.
Back in 2019, Leslie went on to states the following weekend, to come in runner-up to Brandon Smith (South Shore), who would set the 55m State Record at 6.27.
However, Cukerstein took down that mark en-route at the Ocean Breeze Elite Invitational as well.
In the trials, the Shenendehowa athlete hit 6.28 en-route, and then in the finals he brought that down to 6.26. That mark puts him at US No. 4 in the event.
Cukerstein is no stranger to big competition, running well at the Millrose Games earlier this season, against many of the same competitors here.
He'll have his only shot at a New York Indoor Championship state title in the 55m next week, as well as doing some relay duty, and then will take on the country at New Balance Nationals Indoor a week later.
Two more attempts to bring down the record even further.