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Gordon, Byrne win steeplechase at Knight-Time Invitational

Valley Stream South's Michael Gordon takes first in

Valley Stream South's Michael Gordon takes first in the boys 3000 meter steeplechase at the Knight Time Invitational track meet held at Uniondale on Saturday, April 12, 2014. (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

It was an early wake-up call for steeplechasers at the Knight-Time Invitational on Saturday at Uniondale.

Valley Stream South’s Michael Gordon won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in 10:20.05. Being that it was the first time he had run the event this season, Gordon didn’t have any big expectations. But, as so often happens in the unpredictable world of track and field, the race had other plans. 

“I originally was going to go out, jog it, and just get a time in,” Gordon said. “But, I felt good and I just started going.”

When the race went out fast, Gordon fought temptation to follow the leaders, choosing instead to fall back and ‘run his own race.’

“I had to keep telling myself, ‘don’t chase them,’” Gordon said. “I slowly started making myself up to them. As soon as I realized that I was right next to (Manhasset’s Carter Paterson), I went into second gear.” 

While the steeples caused Gordon a bit of difficulty at first, he adjusted by making up ground in between them. 

“I raced in between the steeples and tried to work on getting comfortably over them,” Gordon said. “Around the third lap, I saw myself pulling ahead when I was next to (Paterson) on the steeples.”   

Holy Trinity’s Erin Byrne won the 2,000 meter steeplechase in 7:58.02. Byrne didn’t have to think much about the race before the starting gun fired. She knew exactly what she wanted. 

“My mindset was ‘win,’” Byrne said. 

But, within that mindset, a bit of trepidation still existed, especially when it came to those pesky hurdles that never seam to go away. 

“I tried to hurdle one last year and I hit my knee on it,” she said. “I was really nervous today, but I’ve been working hard at getting over hurdles at practice. I’ve been working on getting my hips higher and not having my knee so close to the hurdle because, if you fall, you will fall hard.”