Syracuse Online


Dr. J. on Running

State Indoors

30th Anniversary

Published March 11, 2001 in The Post-Standard.

By Dr Kamal Jabbour, Contributing Writer

In the Syracuse tradition, a snowstorm welcomed the athletes from around New York State to the thirtieth running of the indoor track and field championship. Following its beginnings in the confines of Barton Hall in Ithaca, the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) moved to the spacious expanse of the Carrier Dome, where over a thousand athletes competed for the honors of State Champion.

Seeking to crown true State Champions, the concurrent Federation championship brings together athletes from NYSPHSAA, the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL), the Catholic High Schools Athletic Association (CHSAA) and the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). Competing in a single class, this meet seeks to abolish for one day each year the protectionist class system that permeates scholastic athletics.

In an unfortunate scheduling conflict, the 168th Armory track in New York City hosted the so-called National Scholastic Indoor Championship on the same weekend, robbing the State meet of many downstate athlete who chose to compete closer to home. Adding insult to injury, the National Scholastic Foundation hosted a third national class indoor track meet in Landover, Maryland, thinning further the upper end of competition.

Nevertheless, there was a good time to be had by all, competitors and spectators alike. The meet started with the traditional parade of athletes and our National Anthem, sang by the meet co-director Oscar Jensen, and ran smoothly through the late afternoon. The crowds were the largest the Carrier Dome had seen for a track meet in recent times, affirming the continuing resurgence of the sport.

Friends and family who could not travel to Syracuse were treated to a live triplecast of the meet, bringing new meaning to the Olympic motto of "citius, altius, fortius", Latin for "faster, higher, stronger." For the first time in the world, Syracuse-based broadcast three parallel productions of the meet: "citius" for every lap of every race on the track, "altius" for the jumps competition, and "fortius" for every throw of the shot.

On the "citius" front, Heather Stevens, the Junior at Fayetteville-Manlius, was the fastest in Section 3 and the State, winning both the 55-meter dash in 7.18 seconds and the 300-meter sprint in a personal record of 39.91 seconds. Stevens would have earned the titles of Most Valuable Player for both Section 3 and the State, had such titles been Awarded.

Jamila Johnson of Nottingham High School Rashida Burks of Cicero-N Syracuse also scored in the 55-meter dash, finishing fifth and sixth respectively. Michael Thompson of Woodlands won the boys' 55-meter dash in 6.48, with Damien Rhodes of Fayetteville-Manlius finishing eighth. Adrian Crichlow of Adams won the boys' 300 meters in 35.34, with DJ Singleton of Nottingham finishing seventh in 36.23.

In the 55-meter hurdles, Laura Paul of Monroe-Woodbury won the girls' race in 8.38, with Fatima Fields of CNS finishing seventh in 8.87. Fellippe Francis of Westbury won the boys' race in 7.43 seconds.

In the 600-meter run, Nana Hanson-Hall of New Rochelle won in 1:39.23, with Liverpool's Jackie Duncan the leading local finisher in 1:44.44. Guilderland's Gered Burns won the boys' race in 1:21.63, while CBA's Brian McNiff finished in 1:24.78.

The girls 1,000-meter run created controversy. When an official mistakenly started the front box in a California start at the wrong line, half the field ended up running an extra 20 meters. When coaches detected the error and filed an appeal, the officials chose the easy way out. Instead of re-running the race, they estimated the likely time of the victims, and awarded a duplicate set of medals.

When all was said and done, Alexis Lake of Horseheads was declared the winner in a time of 2:57.39, followed by Megan Olds of Gloversville and Lauren Heron of Fayetteville-Manlius. The boys 1,000 Meter Run was uneventful, with Reed Mauser of Ward Melville winning in 2:37.02.

The distance events did not bring section 3 many points. Kirsten Jordan of Rye won the 1,500-meter racewalk in 6:55.75, with Greer Mahoney of Fayetteville-Manlius finishing in 8:47.00. Theresa Fath of Bellport ran the 1,500-meters in 4:43.48, with Vanessa Everding of Skaneateles finsihing in 5:01.44. Tyler Raymond of Scotia-Glenville won the boys' 1,600-meter run in 4:23.12, with Whitesboro's Matt Taverna running 4:38.60.

Michelle Wale of Pine Bush won the 3,000-meters in 10:07.77, while Jackie Kosakowski of Saquoit finished sixth in 10:30.02. Jesse Contario of Newark won the boys' 3,200-meter run in 9:28.30, and Aaron Verminski of Rome Free Academy finished in 9:58.58.

"Altius" included both horizontal and vertical jumps. Henninger's Kamar Elliott dominated the triple jump with a leap of 46'07.25". Sophie Bazile of Nyack won the girls' triple jump in 37'00.25", with CNS's Fetima Fields jumping 35'00.50". In the girls long jump, Chinela Davis of North Rockland won in 18'08.50". Todd Joki of Schuylerville won the boys' long jump in 22'11.75", with Corcoran's Lemar Lewis jumping 20'00.50".

Toni McDaniels of Oneonta won the girls' high jump in 5'06.00", with CNS's Rashida Burks finishing ninth in 5'03.00". Matt Cushman of Hilton won the boys' high jump in 6'08.00". Emily Kellner of North Rockland won the girls' pole vault by clearing 11'00.00", and Chris Centrich of Hamburg won the boys' vault in 14'06.00"

"Fortius" was limited to the shot put competition, which Katkina Hanson of Tottenville won for the girls, throwing the 4-kg shot 41'03.00". Demetria Graham of Jamesville-Dewitt threw 35'11.50". Aaron Mitchell of Sweet Home won the 12-lb shot put in 56'10.25", with Nottingham's Larry Moore throwing 48'08.00"

In the NYSPHSAA team competition, Section 1 won the girls title with 130 points, and Section 2 won the boys' title in 97 points. The Section 3 girls finished sixth with 38.5 points, and the boys finished eighth with 19 points.

Complete results and over 24 hours of competition in near-TV quality video can be accessed at

Kamal Jabbour runs and writes on the hills of Pompey, New York. His RUNNING Column appears in The Post-Standard on Mondays. Dr.J. created, webcasting live Every Lap of Every Race. He receives email at

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