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Saturday, May 14, 2016: Affolder breaks 8:50 at Loucks Games

   Leading off today: The dual between distance runners Noah Affolder and Aidan Tooker continued Friday at the Loucks Games with another stellar race.

   Affolder, a junior from Carthage, won the 3,200 meters in 8:47.60 to break the state junior class record. Tooker, a Saratoga senior, was second in 8:49.27.

   Fordham Prep's Conor Lundy finished third in 49.75, a personal best by six seconds.

   In covering the back half of the race in 4:16.5, Affolder broke the junior class race record of 8:53.59, converted from a two-mile time, by Northport's Mike Brannigan two seasons ago and set the overall Section 3 record.

   Affolder began his week by winning a 3,000 steeplechase race in 9:16.5 for the nation's top schoolboy time this spring.

   Saratoga's Kelsey Chmiel won the girls 3,200 comfortably in 10:19.39, setting a state freshman record. Sayville's Jillian Mastroianni (10:26.05) set the previous mark in 1997.

   Coaching change: Nicole McManus' first season at the helm with the Bishop Ludden girls basketball team will be with four starters back from an 18-5 team.

   McManus, 29, replaces Jerry Roesch, who chose to step down. She previously coached the Ludden junior varsity.

   "She's very capable," Roesch said. "I think I'm leaving the program in good hands."

   Special moment: It's the sort of story that plays out a handful of times each year somewhere across the country -- and people never get tired of reading about it.

   The Suffolk Times told the story of Thursday's baseball game between Mattituck and Smithtown Christian, which included a cameo by the brother of star Mattituck pitcher/outfielder Joe Tardif.

   John Tardif, who may be the team's most loyal fan and attends virtually every game sitting in his wheelchair and accompanied by his parents, John and Shelly, went from spectator to participant in the fifth inning of Mattituck's 10-1 win.

   It all started with an intentional walk issued to Joe Tardif. Mattituck assistant coach Rich Pisacano carried a No. 37 jersey over to John, who has cerebral palsy, and told him, "They will not let you on the field unless you have a jersey."

   That's right, he was being inserted as a pinch-runner -- and it got better from there. With Joe Graeb at bat, Joe Tardif pushed his brother on a steal of second base and then all the way home where he was greeted and cheered by the Tuckers as the theme song from "Rocky" played.

   "He was ecstatic," Pisacano told the paper. He was so happy. We treated him like he scored the winning run."

   Said Joe Tardif: "It meant the world to him. It meant the world to my parents. My mom, she had a smile on her face until this morning, too. She's still smiling."

   Extra points: Buffalo South Park quarterback Tyree Brown, the NYSSWA co-player of the year in Class A, will continue his football career at St. Lawrence University. Brown led South Park to a NYSPHSAA championship last fall, setting school marks for passing yards in a season (2,615), passing touchdowns in a season (30) and career passing TDs (47). He'll likely see the field quickly as a kick returner and receiver next fall for the Saints.

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