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Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017: R-H's Watson breaks Mary Decker's 800 record

   Leading off today: Just a week after crushing her own U.S. scholastic record in the indoor 600 meters, Rush-Henrietta senior Sammy Watson broke a most ancient record by a most well-known athlete Saturday at the Millrose Games.

   Running in the invitational field alongside pro stars (and workout partners) Ajee Wilson and Charlene Lipsey, Wilson finished sixth in 2:01.78, finally erasing a Mary Decker record (2:01.8) that had stood since 1974. Decker went on to become a four-time U.S. Olympian.

   Wilson (with a wicked :30.09 last lap) and Lipsey, the former Hempstead star, both came in under the overall U.S. record, finishing in 1:58.27 and 1:58.64, respectively. Nicole Teter's record of 1:58.71 had stood since 2002.

   Watson, unbeaten by prep competitors between 300 and 1,500 meters for two-plus years, lacked the kick to stay with the leaders on the bell lap. But her splits of 29.03, 29.17 and 31.06 positioned her fourth through 600 meters and bought her a cushion for the final 200.

   The national high school record outdoors is 1:59.51 by Mary Cain, who would turn pro even before graduating from Bronxville.

   In various interviews after the race, Watson played down the possibility of bypassing college to turn professional (one report noted she was competing in Nike attire) and also acknowledged she has an eye on the U.S. high school record for the 1,000 meters.

   In light of Saturday's effort, the 2:43.40 mark by Sarah Bowman in 2005 may look soft. But it's not clear if Watson could find an invitational race with a field that can help pull her through with the right splits to challenge the record.

   More Millrose: Niskayuna negotiated the winter weather to get to The Armory and was rewarded with the nation's fastest H.S. time of the season -- 9:12.98 -- in the girls 3,200 relay.

   Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga took third place in the girls mile in 4:51.49. After splitting 2:26.14, Katherine Lee of Shoreham-Wading River got tripped up in traffic and went down hard. She valiantly finished anyway but looked to be in more than a little discomfort, which may affect the remainder of her season.

   Former Carthage star Noah Affolder, now competing for Carlisle (Pa.), won the boys mile in 4:07.24 for a meet record.

   One more track note: Jazmine Fray, the Texas A&M sophomore by way of Kellenberg in the CHSAA, set an NCAA record in the women's 800 with a 2:00.69 in a meet at Clemson.

   Girls hoops milestone: Port Jefferson's Courtney Lewis finished with 39 points and went over 2,000 for her career during a 64-30 win over Pierson.

   Lewis, a senior averaging 28.1 points this year, in her sixth varsity season. She is the third New York girl this season to reach 2,000, joining Andra Espinoza-Hunter of Ossining and Paige McCormick of Heuvelton.

  
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   "I never really thought about it until it came close," Lewis told Newsday. "I didn't even know it was a thing. I never really keep track of my points.'

   Wrestling: Brothers Justin and Warren McDougald of Niagara-Wheatfield and their cousin Willie McDougald of Niagara Falls all won titles in the Section 6 Division 1 state qualifier. It was the second championship for all three and advanced them to the NYSPHSAA championships Feb. 23-24 in Albany.

   The staff at New York Wrestling News has been rounding up the lists of qualifiers in Division 1 and Division 2 from around the state. Wildcards will be announced this week.

   A perfect season: The Skaneateles girls hockey team defeated Frontier/Lake Shore/Orchard Park 5-1 in Canton to capture its second NYSPHSAA championship.

   Abby Kuhns led the Lakers with a three goals and an assist, Sophie Kush finished a goal and two assists, and goaltender Johna Halko made 23 saves.

   Skaneateles finished the season 19-0 under first-year coach Andy Rozak. The Lakers never trailed in a game.

   "This group always put the team first," Rozak said. "It never mattered who scored the goals or who got the credit. The only thing that mattered was the end result. It was all about the end product."

   Olean rolling along: Matt Droney had 19 points and Monty Shoemaker finished with 17 as Olean defeated Bishop Timon-St. Jude 60-50 for its 13th straight boys basketball victory. Timon-St. Jude is ranked 20th in the state in Class A.


  
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