By Christopher Hunt
WARWICK – Warwick Valley senior Charlie Armand turned to Ryan Brennan of Monroe-Woodbury and set the tone for the race with a few quick words.
“I’m taking out really hard and I want you right with me,” Armand said.
They nodded. Then the gun sounded and Armand held his word and took off like a
rocket. Brennan only raised the ante when he pushed by Armand on the first lap of the 4x800 relay at Warwick Valley. Armand made a second move to pull even with Brennan on the home stretch. But the first leg – Brennan handed off in 1:52.0, Armand in 1:52.2 – ignited fire to Warwick Valley as the Wave pounded away at the lead, winning in 7:36.43 at Warwick Fast Times last night at Warwick High.
Armand (1:52.2), Dan Ramierz (1:54.5), Dan Paez (1:56.1) and Tim Luthin (1:53.5) combined for school and meet record, the fastest time in the country this season and 15th fastest time in United States history.
“This is huge,” Armand said. “We really wanted that school record (7:38.4). It’s not an easy time to hit. I remember when I was young and just joined the team and I saw that time – 7:38. I thought I’d never see anyone break that.”
The team agreed that they hadn’t posted a great performance since they won the Championship of America at Penn Relays in 7:41.77. The trouble was aggression. So the Warwick Valley coaches challenged the team to all run through the 600-meter mark in 1:24 or faster.
“We haven’t put it together since Penn,” Warwick coach Mike Potter said. “We haven’t really had the opportunity either. But I told them that they needed to get to the 600 under-1:25 and the last 200 was whatever they had left. If we want to be one of the best teams in the country, we’re going to have to learn to handle pain. It’s a time to experiment.”
But they didn’t except a fight. Monroe-Woodbury’s Brennan tired to make it one at first until Ramierz and Paez blew the race open. Monroe-Woodbury’s Brennan (1:52.0), Branden Arrington (1:55.6), Nick Terreri (1:59.2) and Connor McCormack (1:59.6) finished second in 7:46.87 US #3. St. Joseph by the Sea was third in 7:49.74.
Potter credited the performances to the same thing everyone else does. He noted the no-pressure environment, the lights and music. But whatever it is, Warwick Valley comes especially ready for its popular home meet.
The girls set the stage in the first race of the meet. Gabriel Randell (2:20.9), Lillian Greibesland (2:10.7), Katie FitzGerald (2:20.4) and Jacqueline Kasal (2:10.4) won the girls race in an eye-popping 9:02.61, the state-leader and the second-fastest in the country this season.
Greibesland, who’s headed to N.C. State, erased a 15-meter Bronxville lead on the second leg.
“I switched it up because I felt like I had been in a rut,” Greibesland said. “I always run the anchor. I wanted to be in a position to catch some people. I knew I felt good today. I call the second leg magic. I went out really hard in 61, probably too hard, but I needed to do that.”
The senior provided enough cushion for FitzGerald to hand off to Kasal with a lead. Bronxville’s Henrietta Miers challenged Kasal on the backstretch but as soon as Miers pulled close, Kasal pressed the gas.
“I never knew how close she was,” Kasal said. “I know that Bronxville girl is a strong runner. I guess I just felt it. I sensed it so I had to go.”
The girls team’s previous best this year was 9:22.04, and even that mark was during the indoor season.
“It’s been there all the time,” Warwick girls coach Rich Furst said. “We just had to get it. We had to gel.”
While Warwick dominated the 4x800 at its home meet, Newburgh, as usual, dominated the sprints. Doris Little, Dotrine Jacobs, D’Yanna McCaskill and Jennifer Mitchell set a meet record in the 4x100, winning in 48.27, the fourth-fastest in the state this season.
The same team, this time Little (58.0), Mitchell (58.8), McCaskill (59.2) and Jacobs (56.4) won the 4x400 in 3:52.86.
“This boosts our confidence so much,” Mitchell said. “Doris and D’Yanna are both coming off injuries, so to see them run well was great for us. We know there is going to be competition here so we always come with a little more heart. That competition is always going to push us.”
The boys team of Shamel Williams (50.4), Jermaine Mitchell (50.4), Randy Patterson (47.5) and Fred Locklary (48.5) won the 4x400 in 3:16.97. It’s the fourth time the team dipped under 3:17 this season. They weren’t at all satisfied.
“It’s garbage,” Newburgh coach Malcolm Burks dismissed the race. “We have to put it all together on the same day.”
The squad also finished second in the 4x100 in 42.47. Mount Vernon won the race in 42.19, third-fastest in the state.
The pole vault expected a hot competition between 16-foot pole vaulters Arlington’s Jordan Yamoah and Cory Duggan of Farrell. But Yamoah suffered a knee injury that the Section 1 state qualifier Friday and was not cleared by his doctor to compete. Duggan arrived to the meet late, didn’t have time to warm up and said he felt rushed.
That was because he essentially had to start competing when he arrived and by the time he reached his second height (14-6) only Vince Fellegara of Iona Prep was left in the competition. Duggan missed twice at 14-0 and once at 14-6 before winning at 15-0. Yamoah and Duggan should face each other at Eastern States Sunday at Iona Prep if Yamoah is cleared.
“I was looking forward to seeing him,” Duggan said. “He owned me states and nationals indoors. It’ll be good to try to get him.”
Schuylerville's Sarah Palmer cleared 5-7 to win the high jump.
Reach Christopher Hunt at email@example.com.
Schuylerville's Sarah Palmer won the high jump when she cleared 5-07.
|4x400 Meter Relay||3:52.86||Newburgh Free Academy|
|4x400 Meter Relay||3:54.97||Warwick Valley|
|4x800 Meter Relay||9:02.61||Warwick Valley|
|4x800 Meter Relay||9:07.18||Bronxville|
|4x800 Meter Relay||9:12.67||Ursuline School|
|4x800 Meter Relay||9:15.08||North Shore|
|4x800 Meter Relay||9:18.07||Arlington|
|4x800 Meter Relay||9:19.42||Cornwall|
|4x800 Meter Relay||9:27.83||Nanuet|
|High Jump||5-7||Sarah Palmer||Schuylerville|
|4x100 Meter Relay||42.19||Mount Vernon|
|4x400 Meter Relay||3:16.97||Newburgh Free Academy|
|4x400 Meter Relay||3:22.69||Mount Vernon|
|4x400 Meter Relay||3:22.74||Warwick Valley|
|4x800 Meter Relay||7:36.43||Warwick Valley|
|4x800 Meter Relay||7:46.87||Monroe-Woodbury|
|4x800 Meter Relay||7:49.74||ST. JOSEPH BY THE SEA|
|4x800 Meter Relay||7:54.31||Kellenberg Memorial|
|4x800 Meter Relay||7:55.45||Pawling|
|4x800 Meter Relay||7:57.02||ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST|
|4x800 Meter Relay||8:04.50||Byram Hills|
|4x800 Meter Relay||8:05.08||Lakeland/Panas|
|4x800 Meter Relay||8:05.76||Suffern High School|
|4x800 Meter Relay||8:05.82||Somers High School|
|4x800 Meter Relay||8:08.55||Fordham Prep|
|Pole Vault||14-0||Chris Spadaccini||Pearl River|
|Pole Vault||14-6||Vince Fellegara||Iona Preparatory School|
|Pole Vault||15-0||Cory Duggan||MONSIGNOR FARRELL|
|Shot Put||54-1.5||Kaydon Davis||Mount Vernon|
|Shot Put||55-10||Joe Fox||Clarkstown South|