Section 3 Duo Provide Thrilling Matchup & Soph State Record

It was the fastest 55m hurdle matchup of the last 20 years, possibly even all-time for an all New York field.

While we've had fast individuals before, never before has New York had the kind of in-state competition as we saw on Thursday between Corcoran's Tawakal Omar and Cicero-North Syracuse's Camron Ingram.

This was only a local league meet, a start of a series that could see these two athletes meet two more times ahead of the New York State Indoor Championships -- which could also see them matchup with the reigning state champion, Freeport's Jordan Quinn.

At the Section 3 Salt City Athletic League Championships on Thursday, Omar and Ingram lined up against each other for the fifth time this season. They both had come off the 55m final.

The younger Ingram had just notched his fourth consecutive win over the upperclassmen, but each outing Omar had been getting faster, necessitating that Ingram improve in kind to stay ahead at the finish.

The rematch was set.

The gun went off and the pair -- both standing well over 6-feet -- separated early from the pack down the center lanes of the track. Neck-and-neck, it came to a lean at the line to capture the victory.

Once again, Ingram had snatched the win, but Omar had plenty to be proud of.

The pair finished 7.34 to 7.36 for the 55mH distance.

Both times were well under the fastest time ever run by a Section 3 athlete and both were U.S. top 10 performances -- U.S. No. 5 and No. 7, respectively.

Omar matched the state leader in the event, Quinn, who ran 7.36 at the Marine Corps Holiday Classic.

Ingram superseded it, alongside one more notable name on the record books -- that of Greg Hines (Walt Whitman), the phenom hurdler who set the sophomore state record way back in 1993, then running 9.41.

Neither Omar or Ingram were unknowns heading into the season.

Ingram was ranked New York No. 26 as a freshman in 2023, with. his best mark coming from the Section 3 State Qualifier, where he ran 7.89. He would go on to place 17th at his first state meet.

Omar had a different story. After competing indoors as a sophomore, he didn't compete indoors as a junior in 2023. He came back to the outdoor track ready to run, though, running a personal best 14.97 at sectionals, before heading to states and medaling in both the New York Public and Federation Finals.

Omar's personal best for the 55mH was his 8.83 from his own sophomore year.

The pair now set up toward a likely final at the state meet that will see three athletes very capable of breaking 7.30.

Prior to the race, the reigning New York 55mH champion Quinn (Freeport) had been the heavy favorite to defend the title.

He won at Ocean Breeze with his 7.42 last year and has since dropped his personal best to 7.36.

However, the field has suddenly become more crowded.

Before Quinn came on the scene, Section 3 had a similar storyline to follow.

Two athletes from a single school, East Syracuse Minoa, lead the State 1-2 in the state rankings heading into the state meet.

Rocky El would go on to win the state title, while teammate Michael Parks would end the year with the fast time of the season.

This new duo have set the goal as a 1-2 sweep.