Our first track meet of 2024 is in the books, with some smoking-fast times and impressive jumps. We had 216 runners, including 11 teams, competing in 477 events. Full results are available on the FLRC website, and we have photos in our public album from Jamie Love and Jay Hubisz—contribute yours, too! (Photos below each event writeup are from those events, but not necessarily of the people mentioned.)
Our first event was three heats of the 3000m, with Lucas Baker taking control of the race halfway through and cruising for the victory in 9:21, ahead of Curtis Mann’s 9:36. The first woman was 15-year-old Ella Devlin, who ran an 11:18 to outpace Liz Hartman by 5 seconds. In a racewalking sub-competition, 14-year-old Madigan White bested 63-year-old Dave Talcott 17:30 to 18:06.
Switching from long to short, we moved to 14 heats of the 60m, where Chase Luangsuwan and Benjamin Rhode went one-two in 6.97 and 7.00 seconds—too close to call for hand timing. On the women’s side, Olivia Haley sprinted to the win in 7.94 seconds, beating out Jalasia Demember in 8.18 seconds. But the most fun in the 60m was the first heat, which featured a slate of three- and four-year-olds—cute beyond belief!
The marquee event of the day for many was the mile, where 16-year-old Riley Hubisz, one of the top scholastic middle-distance runners in the area, laid down a stellar 4:24 for the win, easily outpacing Nate Wilsoncroft’s 4:35 in second. The women’s race was never in question, with 14-year-old Tsadia Bercuvitz, a national standout, running a 5:03, 37 seconds ahead of teammate Eliza Derito. Also notable among the nine heats of the mile were 76-year-old Deborah Bliss running a 9:25 and 14-year-old Isaac Hendrickson racewalking in 9:54.
The final individual running event of the day was the 200m, where Chase Luangsuwan notched his second win for the day in 23.78 seconds, though Kyren Young’s 23.80 in the previous heat was too close to differentiate with hand timing. Olivia Haley also doubled for the day, winning for the women in 27.51 over Zalayna Brown in 28.81.
Throughout the meet, Brett Shelton of the SOAR Running Club managed the long jump, with 51 athletes completing a jump. Rocking some sporty flannel bottoms, Allen Simms, Jr. jumped the longest, at 19 feet, 9 inches, just edging out Ross Bush, who recorded a 19-foot, 7-inch jump. The top women’s competitors were similarly close, with Makenna Keough jumping 15 feet, 9 inches, to Piper Hooey’s 15 feet, 7 inches.
In the high jump, managed by Steve Wagner of SOAR, Dylan John cleared 6 feet, 2 inches for the win, besting Nick Spoto’s 5-foot, 10-inch jump. Mia Wilcox led the women with a 4-foot, 8-inch jump, and Makenzie Kitner and Amelia Maxson tied for second at 4 feet, 6 inches.
The meet closed with a 4x200m relay, with a whopping 22 teams across four heats. The Elmira Track & Field team took the day with an incredible 1:37 (for 800m) time, outpacing Watkins Glen in second with a 1:43. Notably, however, the next two teams tied at 1:44, the two after that tied at 1:45, and overall, the top ten teams all broke 2:00. An exciting set of races!
The meet went smoothly, and we appreciated all the kind words from runners and coaches. Tonya Engst, Carl Franck, Joe Schlimmer, Jonah Schumacher, and Michelle Woods all showed up early to help set up in the heat of Barton Hall before the custodian opened the doors to let in cool air. Tonya stuck around to run the registration desk and answer questions with Rebecca Lambert, and Jamie Slater did a great job of selling FLRC clothing. Tom Rishel reprised his traditional role as our starter, Patrick Boyle did a bang-up job in his debut as head timer, and Heather Cobb and Rich Bernstein managed the heats with aplomb. Laurel Gilmer and Jesse Koennecke kept HyTek Meet Manager humming smoothly for results, Katie Gannon recorded bibs for longer races, and Truck Rossiter counted laps and ran the backup timer. Our sprint timing team was Jon Lewis, Truck Rossiter, Ruth Sproul, Bob Swizdor, Crosby Woods, Militsa Yaneva, and Katie Gannon. Special thanks to Brett Shelton and Steve Wagner of the SOAR Running Club for managing the jumps, and to Tyler Craige and Kathleen Sullivan for helping them.
Sign up for FLRC’s next track meet on February 18, when we’ll swap the 3000m for a 5000m and the 1 mile for an 800m. Hope to see you there!