Section 9 Invite Brings Two New Sectional Records & A US #1

In what may have been one of the smallest Invitationals at the Armory all year, we still saw long-standing records go down, as well as National Leaders. We take a quick look at three performances that stood above the rest.

Girls High Jump

Athlete: Amelia Benjamin (Ellenville)

New Record: 5-9

Rank: NY-12 All-Time

Prior Record: 5-8, Sue Blake (New Paltz) - 1978

Breakdown: It's been a strong year in the High Jump, and it just got better. Amelia Benjamin is closing the gap on the State and National Leader, now comfortably up to 5-9 in the high bar. The event is a pressure cooker at the State Meet, and athletes will need to deliver on the day. It opens the door for the first State Title to make it's way to Section 9 in quite some time.

Boys 1000m

Athlete: Collin Gilstrap (Monroe-Woodbury)

New Record: 2:27.04

Rank: NY-13 All-Time

Prior Record: 2:27.75, Jeff Van Wie (Suffern) - 1983

Breakdown: Chopping off almost a full second on the Section Record, admittedly run on a flat track, is no small feat. The record has stood the test of time for a reason, and it took the fastest mark since 2019 to break the barrier. Gilstrap is now US #3 in the event, and a favorite for the mid-distance at the State Meet.

Girls 1500m

Athlete: Karrie Baloga (Cornwall)

US #1 Mark: 4:25.79

Rank: Still NY #4 All-Time

Prior PR: 4:24.46 enroute, Baloga, NB Nationals 2022

Breakdown: It may not be an improvement over her personal best from last year, but there is still reason to be excited. First, her prior best was a split mark, from a National-level field. Here, Baloga paced herself alone, twenty seconds ahead of the next finisher, running in traffic. Second, this mark comes much sooner in the season, and could indicate a big potential at something like the Millrose Games. Thirdly, it was partly done on distance base training. Baloga is fresh off qualifying for the Team USA XC team, up at the 6K distance. It's a good sign she's retained her speed while building strength. We'll see if that opens up options to try the 2019 Tuohy double at States, and attempt both the 3K and 1500m in the same meet.