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Cooldown Lap: Millrose Games Edition
With the 105th running of the Millrose Games officially in the books, let’s take a quick of all the action that may or may not have made the paper Saturday night at the Armory:
-- It was a big night for Nassau county champions. Samantha Nadel was able to recover from a busy meet last Tuesday to successfully defend her Millrose mile title. Meanwhile, the Uniondale boys and the Garden City girls set meet records in the Long Island 4x400 and the Metropolitan 4x800, respectively. It seems that a quick turnaround wasn’t too big of a factor for any of these teams.
-- Speaking of Garden City, just take a second and think about this: The Lady Trojans won their 4x800 by more than 10 seconds over second place. They also broke their own meet record by more than 22 seconds, reclaimed the Nassau County record that North Shore had broken earlier in the week, and set the top 4x800 time in the U.S.—all in one fell swoop.
Add in the fact that the relay team featured a freshman (Emma Gallagher), a sophomore (Katie O’Neill), and an eighth-grader (Emily O’Neill), and it’s clear that Garden City is going to be very tough to beat for quite a while.
-- Massapequa came into Millrose with one goal: become the first team in school history to break four minutes in the 4x400. They did that and a whole lot more, clocking a meet-record 3:57.17 to win the Long Island girls 4x400.
Afterwards, even some of the girls were shocked at what they had done. Shannon McBrien was surprised to hear that the team had set a meet record, but said she knew during the race that something was up.
“I knew that right after I finished my leg and after my teammates took a lead, we were going to be fine,” McBrien said. “I was all smiles because I knew something good was going to happen.”
-- A big meet for St. Anthony’s, who went two-for-two in the sprint medley relays. Early in the day, Olicia Williams helped anchor the girls team to an easy win in 4:02.62. Later on, the Friars boys were able to hold off a late push by Xavier High School of Manhattan to pick up the victory in 3:34.76.
“It’s a dream come true,” said anchor leg Frank Segreto, who pulled away on the bell lap to seal the win. “I had a terrible kick last season, but I’ve been working on it all year. So I just pumped my arms, drove my knees, and let my adrenaline take over."
-- Kudos to Chris Belcher of Sayville and Valencia Hannon of Elmont for strong showings in the 55. Belcher finished second in the boys 55 with a time of 6.52, and Hannon took third in the girls race in 7.11.
-- This is not terribly related to Long Island track and field, but still very much noteworthy: Ed Cheserek of St. Benedict’s in Newark (N.J.) set a U.S. high school record in the 5K with a 13:57.04. Cheserek ran in the elite race alongside the likes of Bernard Lagat and Lawi Lalang, and even led for a good portion of the race before fading back.
-- This is the second time I’ve covered the Millrose Games in my career (I covered the meet last year at Madison Square Garden in what would be its final year there). Having seen the meet at both the Garden and the Armory, I can say that this year seemed to have a much more crowd-friendly atmosphere. You could definitely feel it when the fans were into the action, which made each race seem that much more exciting. The Armory is definitely on the right track with the addition of the Millrose Games to its lineup, and it’ll be fun to see how the experience evolves next year.