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Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016: F-M's Neal breaks Sec. 3 mark set in 1974

   Leading off today: I've been informed by the feds that my blog from earlier in the day failed to comply with Title IX, putting our government funding at risk.

   Of course I'm kidding. However, two girls sports items came to my attention after I cranked out the first blog of the day, so I figured I'd get them posted and also pass along some other stuff I've been hanging onto for a few days.

   So, away we go ...

   A sizzling 3K: Fayetteville-Manlius senior Kaitlyn Neal hammered an ancient Section 3 indoor track and field record Saturday. Competing in the George Constantino Memorial Invitational at Onondaga Community College, Neal won in a time of 9:40.03.

   Milesplit.com reported it crushed the sectional mark of 9:50.4 by F-M's Kathy Mills that had stood since 1974 (Trivia: In 1975, Mills became the first NYSPHSAA girls cross country champion) and ranked No. 9 in state history.

   Her performance was so dominating Saturday that Neal finished 500 meters ahead of teammate and second-place finisher Claire Walters.

   No. 1 team beaten: Sophomore Bridget Byrnes scored 17 points off the bench Tuesday as Pearl River scored a 54-44 girls basketball win over Albertus Magnus, ranked first in the state in Class A.

   Dani LaRochelle had eight points, five steals and three assists in the win for the Falcons.

   One is greater than two? Would you tolerate The Masters being allowed to end in a tie, with co-champions being declared late Sunday afternoon? What about the Super Bowl? The presidential election?

   If your answers were "No, no and no," then you'd be very interested in a recent Rob Centorani column in the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

   "A truly successful endeavor requires a strong and righteous finish. This is where high school wrestling in New York gets it wrong," he wrote in making the case against the two-division format of the season-ending state tournament that was instituted in 2004.

   Centorani says the side-by-side tournament finals dilutes fan attention, though it does likely put more competitors on the radar of college coaches. He counters by proposing a single, 32-wrestler bracket instead of side-by-side, 16-athlete brackets.

   To accomplish that, he'd advance both finalists from each state qualifier meet and fill out the field with wildcards, as is the case now.

   Opinion: Swimming, golf and tennis are examples of the many sports that get by with a single champion per event, so wrestling certainly could, too. I covered a few tournament weekends back in the day at the Syracuse War Memorial, and the drama and atmosphere of the finals was second to none among statewide scholastic events.

   I'd happily return to the single-class days as a way of restoring a greater value to the title "state champion." Having said that, though, I'd much rather make outdoor track and field the top priority in returning to a one-class sport. The mish-mash of formats -- some events crown division medalists who move on to overall finals and some don't -- adds to the confusion for spectators already overwhelmed by multiple events taking place at once. Too, reporters can appreciate better than anyone the nightmare it becomes acknowledging six sets of medalists -- Divisions

  
RoadToGlensFalls.com

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1 and 2 plus Federation results for both boys and girls -- in stories.

   Snow shortage: The Times Herald-Record reports Section 9's first nordic ski competition this season came Sunday when a handful of skiers raced in a Junior Olympic qualifier at Gore Mountain.

   On the alpine front, seven Section 9 races have already been canceled. A few teams first practiced on snow this season last Thursday at Belleayre Mountain, more than an hour away from some schools.

   With sectionals locked in for Feb. 9-10 and the NYSPHSAA champion-ships two weeks later, time is short.

   Help wanted: The New York State Sportswriters Association is in the market for assistance from New York City in compiling its weekly rankings in boys basketball for the current season as well as football in the fall. If you're fluent in those sports within the five boroughs and looking to pick up a small stipend for your work, shoot me an email at jmoriello@yahoo.com.

   Extra points: Because of a scheduling conflict with a Chris Young concert, Section 3 has moved its boys hockey championships back by a day. The finals will now be played Sunday, Feb. 28 at the Utica Auditorium.


  
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