Liverpool-Track and field seeding sheets should come with a warning. Both
Shane France of Central Islip and Chelsea Hammond of Elmont were seeded third
entering the long jump at the state Federation meet Friday, and both exceeded
their on-paper expectations.
Hammond leaped 18 feet, 10� inches and France launched himself 23-1 as the
pair claimed the overall gold.
France was simply worlds apart from his competitors. The senior is fierce
and smooth, but the moment he hits the board, he distances himself from the
other jumpers. Others just run and jump for length, but France soars.
"That's natural; I can jog down the runway and get up," France said.
The seed list had Hammond seven inches behind North Rockland's Chinela
Davis and more than a foot behind Taft's Paula George, but the Elmont junior
was unfazed because of a previous encounter.
"I came in seeded third, but both of the girls ahead of me only beat me by
a quarter-inch at the Louchs Games this season," Hammond said. "I thought if
things went right, I could do it."
Trumaine Pendleton of Southampton took the Class B title with a jump of
21-9�, and Jerone Pettus of Roosevelt finished third in Class B with a 21-8�.
Katie Evelyn of North Babylon took second (17-8) in Class A and Katrina
Svoboda of Bayport-Blue Point was second in Class B at 17-5�.
In other events, St. Anthony's Charles Millieon looked as smooth as can be
in cruising to victory in the 3,200 meters.
Millieon ran with the pack for six laps, then broke away, and was 15 meters
in front with a half-lap to go. At that point, Starpoint's (Section VI) John
Huber (who placed third at the Penn Relays) made his move. Huber came up on
Millieon's shoulder on the third turn and looked as if he would pass, but the
St. Anthony's junior kept his cool and turned it up a notch; running away from
Huber with ease on his way to victory.
"The last lap, I was a little worried about people coming up on me, so I
just kept pushing," Millieon said.
Ben Turnball of East Hampton, who started competing in the 3,200 a month
ago, finished fifth overall (9:24.57) and third in class B.
In what looked to be the marquee race of the day-the girls 3,000 - Jenn
Donovan of Half Hollow Hills and Danielle Jelley of Clarke were upstaged by
Katie Twarog of Colonie (Section II), and Michelle Wale of Pine Bush (Section
Twarog won in a blistering 9:50.25, and Wale was second (9:51.37). Donovan
finished third in 9:58.43, and Jelley's fifth-place finish overall (9:59.53)
was good enough for second place in Class B.
In a startling upset, Chaminade's Didier LeCorps, the overwhelming favorite
to win the discus, failed to qualify for the finals - fouling on all three of
his preliminary attempts.
The girls discus throwers had a little more luck. Bria Johnson of Mt. Sinai
took second in B with a toss of 116-3, and Stephanie Eder of Connetquot took
second in class A with 115-9.