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Chaminade has top two times in 4 x 800 relay -- in the country

Chaminade's Sean Kelly finished in sixth place at

Chaminade's Sean Kelly finished in sixth place at the New York State High School Federation cross country meet in Poughkeepsie. (Nov. 16, 2013) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

It can be viewed as an embarrassment of riches.

Chaminade, with a little less than a month until the championship season, finds itself with eight quality 800 runners competing for four spots on the Flyers top 4 x 800 relay team.

The competition kicked off in earnest last Sunday when Chaminade took first and second in the varsity 4 x 800 at the CHSAA Novice Championships at the Armory in Manhattan. The Flyers' "A" team, composed of Andrew Dorritie, Michael Raver, Billy Ulrich and Sean Kelly, won in 8 minutes, 0.8 seconds -- good for the top time in the country as of Friday, according to milesplit.com.

The "B" team, composed of Thomas Slattery, Thomas Hayes, Joseph White and Gunnar Nolan, finished second in 8:01.3, the second-fastest time in the nation, according to milesplit.com.

Coach Brian Hayes split up the teams to create a friendly competition that resulted in the top two sweep.

"We wanted to go one-two," Kelly said. "We knew we had the depth to do that . . . We wanted to try and break 8 minutes. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that. But race plan-wise, we were still able to do what we wanted to. Finishing one-two was the main priority. The time was the icing on the cake."

With so much red and gold on the track, it almost seemed like a practice, with a meet going on in the background.

"It was a little strange," White said. "You kind of had to pretend like you weren't teammates, just for that race. But it was fun to compete against some of my best friends."

Those best friends all want the same thing -- a spot on a team that has designs on a state and national title.

"We are one of the best teams in the country and that can bring a lot of success," Nolan said. "Hopefully, I can be a part of it. It's pretty crazy when you think about it, some teams are dying to have our eighth guy."

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