Syracuse Online


Dr. J. on Running


State's Best To Compete

Published June 4, 2000 in The Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

On Friday, the New York State Scholastic Outdoor Track and Field Championship comes to Central New York for the first time in recent memory. The best athletes in the Empire State will converge on Liverpool High School's new track for two days of competition. The first event starts at noon Friday, and Saturday's activity begins at 10 a.m.

Section Two athletes dominate the standings in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, with Latham Shaker's Louis DiNuzzo's season leading time of 9 minutes, 39.4 seconds, followed by Albany Academy's Kevin Catlett in 9:41.2, and Latham Shaker's Justin Corelli in 9:43.5. Henninger's Kirk Dornton is Section Three's best hope in the steeplechase with a season best of 10:06.08. Although the 2,000-meter steeplechase made its debut in girls competition this spring, it will not be contested during the State Championship.

The distance of 3,200 meters will see competition between St. Anthony's Charlie Millieon, who ran a state best 9:12.18, and Beaver River's Aaron Emery, who ran 9:16.5. Seton McAndrews of Queensbury and Jason Jabaut of Seton Catholic ran nationally-ranked performances of 9:23.69 and 9:27.8 at the slightly longer two-mile distance.

At the more conventional distance of 3,000 meters, Sayville's Jillian Mastroianni leads the girls with a time of 9:47.70, followed by Colonie's Jen Kramer in 9:49.00, and Half Hollow Hills' Jennifer Donovan in 9:53.96. Donovan is also ranked nationally at the mile and the two-mile distances. Laurel Burdick of Fayetteville-Manlius is Section Three's best hope with a season best of 10:17.5.

Suffern's Justin Romaniuk leads the boys in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:14.30. Romaniuk is nationally-ranked this season in the 800 meters, one-mile and two-mile distances. Romaniuk is followed by Steve Strelick of Greece Athena in 4:18.5, and Peter Meindl of Orchard Park in 4:20.2.

In the girls 1,500 meters, Colonie's Jen Kramer has a season-leading 4:32.31, followed by Theresa Fath of Bellport in 4:35.1 and Katie Twarog of Colonie in 4:35.68. Twarog is also ranked nationally in the mile and 3,000 meters. F-M's Burdick is again Section Three's leading runner with a season best of 4:49.7.

In the 800 meters, Jason Jabaut of Seton Catholic leads the state in 1:51.99, with Loughlin's Corey Thomas in 1:52.6, and Paul Robeson's Damion Drummond in 1:53.0. Seth Raper of Faith Heritage has Section Three's best mark of 1:57.2.

In the girls 800 meters, Neisha Bernard-Thomas of Tilden is the leader in 2:11.95, followed by Esther Phillips of Glens Falls in 2:13.3, Nana Hanson-Hall of New Rochelle in 2:14.80 and Jen Kramer of Colonie in 2:14.9. Jamesville-Dewitt's Colleen Eccles leads Section Three with a time of 2:18.65.

Neisha Bernard-Thomas of Tilden is the clear favorite in the girls 400 meters with a season best of 54.41, far ahead of Dewitt Clinton's Carl Ann McBean's 56.67 and Uniondale's Shevon Stoddart's 56.7. Beaver River's Angie Nortz leads Section Three in 58.2.

Putting a few hurdles around the oval slows down the runners significantly. Thus, Nimal Bailey of South Shore leads the boys 400 meter high hurdles in 53.83, followed by Greg Santiago of Brentwood in 54.33 and Jason Martin of Bishop Loughlin in 54.40. Gabe Waite of Jordan-Elbridge is the fastest local hurdler in 55.9.

So, equipped with these valuable statistics, wear some sunscreen and head over to Liverpool to cheer on New York's finest athletes. Alternatively, relax in your swivel chair and click onto to watch live every lap of every race of these championships.

Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. He receives email at

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