Ellen Byrnes slowly walked off the track and stared intently at the results board to her right.
Not to check what her time was, as so many of her peers often do, but to learn who had even won the race.
When the time next to her name flashed 2:16.88, Byrnes quietly celebrated. The eyelash victory in the girls 800 meters over Kellenberg’s Maureen Lewin (2:16.90) signaled Byrnes’ second win in the CHSAA Track and Field Intersectional City Championships at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island on Saturday afternoon.
“That was super close at the end,” said the Sacred Heart senior, who also claimed victory in the girls 400 intermediate hurdles (1:02.48) to begin the day. “Maureen Lewin and I have a great rivalry and friendship. I honestly didn’t know who won. We both finished at the same time. It could’ve gone either way. She had a great finishing kick and we were both leaning at the line so it was a great race for her.”
Lewin said despite the intensity of the final moments of the race that she and Byrnes had a good laugh following their photo finish.
“Ellen is insanely fast, so she was able to catch me at the end,” Lewin said. “It was a fun race, though.”
The wins qualified Byrnes for both events in the New York State Championships on June 8-9 in Syracuse.
Lewin’s teammate, Camryn Beckford, impressed in the 200 with a win (25.35 seconds) to also secure a trip to the state meet. Fellow Firebird Gabby Buissereth won the 400 (57.91) en route to Kellenberg overcoming a 20-point deficit to win the girls team title with a score of 60 points, with Sacred Heart (44) in second place.
“It was a complete team effort,” Kellenberg coach Marty Brown said.
Maggie Maier put together a solid display for Sacred Heart in the girls 3,000, winning in 10:38.03.
“In the middle of the race, I kind of just got into a rhythm,” Maier said. “I just tried to keep that going and stay in front.”
St. John the Baptist earned a victory in the girls 4 x 100 relay (49.75) behind the combined efforts of Ann-Isabelle Eustache, Zhanna Green, Gabriela Montanez and Makayla Shelton. Kellenberg followed in second (50.57) and St. Anthony’s finished third (51.04).
On the boys side, Iona Prep clinched the team championship (42) over Xavier (41).
Matthew Payamps of St. Anthony’s placed first in the 800 (1:54.50). He was followed by Kellenberg’s Erik Brown (1:56.77) and Edward Daubel of Chaminade (1:58.43).
“I think with 400 meters to go, I really wanted to push,” Payamps said. “And with 150, I knew they were on me but that I had enough to finish strong. All the hard work comes down to these kinds of meets and we’re so proud of what we’ve done, and so thankful for our coaches and how they’ve pushed us through every day.”
Mason Gatewood later came up victorious for St. Anthony’s as well in the 1,600 (4:21.49).
“We prepare well for this meet,” Gatewood said. “It’s always a big one on our calendars. I definitely just wanted to set the tone and help my team.”
Gatewood touched on how the warmer conditions impacted his strategy entering the race.
“It’s a really hot day out today and my coach told me to just keep the race honest and try to come out at a decent pace,” Gatewood said.
Christian Taylor picked up a win for Holy Trinity in the long jump (22 feet, 5 inches), and Mikyla Rodgers of St. Anthony’s won the girls shot put (39-7 1⁄2).