ITHACA - It was certainly a time for the newcomers at the state track and field championships at Cornell yesterday.
St. Anthony's senior Patrick Farmer continued his assault on the 300-meter dash as he took first in 34.32 seconds, edging Bellport's Jaquan Holland (34.62) for the Federation title.
Harborfields' Kelsey Margey also had a successful day as she won a Federation title in the 1,000 in 2:51.87.
Both Farmer, who committed to Virginia, and Margey are running track for the first time in their athletic careers.
"In the beginning I only did this to stay in shape for lacrosse," said Margey, who played basketball last year. "I never expected any of this."
Margey's climb up the ladder has been fast. The sophomore won the Suffolk League IV title and took first at the state qualifier. She capped her regular indoor season with a win in the 1,000 at the Long Island Invitational at St. Anthony's last weekend.
"I definitely progressed a lot this season," she said. "And I'm really enjoying this."
Like many veteran runners, Margey doesn't like to bolt out at the gun. "I never like to lead. I like to let someone else set the pace," she said. "In the end I just pulled everything out that I had . . . It was all adrenaline."
Although she's starting to make it a habit of crossing the finish line first, Margey said she has a long way to go to before she reaches her potential.
"I'm still in shock," she said. "This is all new to me. Track is definitely going to be a part of my future."
Farmer, who joined the Friars track team after four years of soccer, has been nothing short of brilliant. "I never thought I'd be a state champion at the beginning of the year," said Farmer. "This is all happening so fast for me."
Farmer set Suffolk County indoor records in the 300 and 400-meter dashes earlier this season.
Despite the records and the attention he's garnered, Farmer said he was nervous before his race. So much so that he didn't even hear the PA announcer call for the check-in.
"I didn't even know my race was up," he said. "I saw guys going up to the start line and I knew I had to hustle."
Farmer had no problems taking care of business once the race started, though, as he overcame a slow start to finish ahead of Holland.
At the start of the day, however, Farmer had his doubts about how he would run.
"Before the preliminaries, I didn't even know I was going to get to the finals," Farmer said, citing the rest of strength of the rest of the field.
But Thomas was disqualified for a false start. "[Thomas] would've definitely done some work," Farmer said. "He would've pushed me harder."