Leading off today:
With two more years to go, it's worth starting to wonder what's really left for Sammy Watson
to accomplish in high school track and field.
The Rush-Henrietta sophomore positively dazzled over the weekend at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships at SUNY Albany. The local newspaper has taken to calling her "Wonder Woman" -- and that might be underselling her abilities after she pulled off a 400/1,500 double in Federation races. About all that went wrong for the weekend was her being unable to rally the Royal Comets' 1,600 relay to more than just a fourth-place finish.
"Our team is successful," she told the Democrat and Chronicle after accumulating five first-place medals over the weekend. "We'll come back next week (at nationals)."
Two of the first-place medals Saturday came from her NYSPHSAA and Federation placings in the l,500 meters. Watson made her first real move with 600 meters to the finish and kicked it up a notch early in the bell lap. She passed Union-Endicott junior Emily MacKay about 125 meters from the finish line two clock 4:25.24, crushing the Section 5 record by more than three seconds. She already owned sectional marks in the 400 and 800 outdoors.
She covered the final 400 meters in 1:06.7 to nip MacKay (4:25.32).
"I'm going to remember the 1,500 mostly," Watson said. "I knew I had potential, but I didn't think that I could be a state champ. It makes me believe I can accomplish more in track, maybe move up to the two-mile."
In the 400 championship, Watson's :53.89 was well off her meet-record :52.69 from Friday but still beat Amanda Crawford of Paul Robeson (:54.72) comfortably.
Splendid steeplechase: Given the depth of distance talent in New York, the boys steeplechase meet record of 9:07.02, which had stood since 2008, had seemed ever so slightly soft for awhile.
It'll be awhile before anyone voices that sentiment again after what Monroe-Woodbury senior Jake Jibb did. Jibb kept all of his laps under 74 seconds, kicked home in 69 and won in 8:57.34 to knock almost 10 full seconds off the old meet record.
It was the fastest high school time in the country this year -- No. 3 in state history -- and qualified the British citizen for the under-20 European championships in Sweden this summer. He beat Saratoga junior Aidan Tooker, ranked second nationally entering the meet, by nearly 18 seconds.
The only time Jibb took a look back at the destruction in his wake was going into the last water pit.
"I was like, 'Oh, my goodness, I am so happy. He is nowhere near me,'" Jibb told The Times Herald-Record. "So I am like, 'OK, what's the time?' I saw coming down (the final stretch) it was 8:52 so I was like, 'Oh (darn) ... I've got to go!'"
He did, and so too did the meet record.
Hey, we know that name: Westhill senior Jordan Roland was second among Division II athletes and fourth overall in the boys pentathlon. It was just the third time competing in the pentathlon for Roland, the New York State Sportswriters