It was a crazy week of competition as the Indoor Season is in full force, and athletes are starting to show their true potential. We were camped out at the Ocean Breeze Invite this weekend, but the State is so much more than just the City. We bring you the ten best marks we saw from across the State, regardless of location.
1. 55m Madness At OB
Jadon Spain (James O'Neill) came out of the blocks flying down the center of Ocean Breeze, and blew away the field in a new lifetime best of 6.33. That is a new State Leader by nearly a tenth of a second, but there is plenty more history in that mark. It ties the Section 9 Record set by Winslow Dorsainvill (Spring Valley), who ran that mark in both 2011 and 2012. It also makes Spain the NY #9 All-Time in the event.
2. Another One
Karrie Baloga (Cornwall) has been on a tear through the record books this Indoor Season, even after giving a break after winning her XC Title. Well, she's had her best race ever over the weekend, clocking a solo 4:46.04 for the 1000m, good for US #2. That's also the third fastest time ever run by a New Yorker, and Baloga's highest placing finish on an All-Time list ever. Surely, it's all prep for a fast mile down the line, but the indications are good that that will be an All-Time effort as well.
3. PSAL Takeover
We'll have more on this later in the week, but the PSAL is heading into uncharted territory for them. Never before have they dominated the distances like they have in the 3200m, and Shane Murphy's (Hunter College HS) PSAL Record in the event over the weekend is just icing on the cake. His 9:09.51 performance betters the prior record at 9:14, and leads a slew of talented runners from the City alongside.
4. Throwing Up Big Numbers
Julie Thomas (Commack) is the reigning State Champ, and has been quietly improving in the Shot Put. Not so quiet anymore, as she put together nearly a full two-foot personal best this weekend, tossing 44-4 for the State Leader, better than any mark Indoors or Out. It's actually the best Indoor throw since the second best mark in state history was set in 2016, and rests at NY #25 All-Time.
5. Zero to Hero
Ashton Bange (Corning) wasn't even seeded to be in the fast heat, but a late switch proved to be the right move. He ran the Mile at the Ocean Breeze Invite, finishing as high as third place in a new best, and NY #3, of 4:15.03.
6. Championship Season Starts
The first State Qualifier of the Season is upon us, and Section 2 got the ball rolling early. The Wheeler Sisters of Saratoga became the first qualifiers of the 2023 Season, and they put together a big race. With McKinley Wheeler at 9:58.84 and Sheridan Wheeler at 9:59.58, the pair create a powerful duo for the XC National Champs. Even more impressive, it was done on a 160m square track, which will provide plenty of room for improvement when they get on the lightning fast track at Ocean Breeze.
7. Busy Weekend
Collin Gilstrap set himself up for a busy weekend, coming back to competition as early as Monday night. But it was his performance at the Purple Champions Invite that first made headlines. There, he ran a new State Leading 9:04.74 in the 3200m, with his team Collin Catherwood right behind at 9:18.10, good for NY #6. Makings of a good distance relay, which would play out on Monday.
8. Walk Back The Clock
The racewalk has been a quiet event so far this season, but the breakout stars are starting to emerge. Across the State, we had dueling State Leaders, as Long Island's Abby Callinan (Sachem East) opened up the weekend with a 7:08.50 State Leader, before the role of top performance was pulled back to Rochester when Alexa Governor (Williamson) answered with a 7:06.85 of her own. Luckily, the two will decide the better of the two at the State Meet, where head-to-head competition answers all.
9. Boston Bound
The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix shipped up to Boston for 2023, and the CHSAA 4x800m went with it. The new track brought fantastic times, as two teams dipped under 8mins, and another, Monsignor Farrell, capped right at 8:01.84. But it was Chaminade who came away with the winning time over Saint Anthony's, running 7:51.92 for the win. That's the second fastest time since 2019 in the event, and there is plenty more season to improve.
10. Vidolova Continues To Improve
Relegated to unattached competition because her High School does not field a Track Team, Victoria Vidolova is non-the-less making herself known on the leaderboards. Her 600m from December is still the fastest in the State two months later, and she also holds State Leaders in the 400m and 500m. Well, you can add the 800m to that growing list, as she ran 2:13.11 at the Rutgers Invitational at the Armory this weekend, as she prepares to rejoin the prep ranks at Indoor Nationals.