Being on the same starting line as the top two-miler in the country might intimidate some runners. But, if Ryan Kutch has proved anything this season, it’s that he’s not just “some runner.” Kutch went toe-to-toe with Saratoga’s Aidan Tooker at this weekend’s state indoor track championships at Cornell University in Ithaca and refused to let up.
Kutch placed second in the 3,200 meters, finishing in nine minutes, 6.18 seconds. Tooker, who holds the best 3,200-meter time in the country (8:54.22, on Jan. 9), won in 9:03.81. The St. Anthony’s senior went out hard, sticking right behind Tooker, intimidation never a factor. Kutch’s time was the fastest on Long Island this season, according to the website milesplit.
“I was going to go out fast because I knew Tooker and [Liverpool’s] Ben Petrella were in it,” Kutch said. “We weren’t sure if [Tooker] was going for time . . . It went out kind of quick for me and I just wanted to stay right behind him.”
With a few laps left, Kutch lost ground, an untied shoelace not doing him any favors.
“I felt it a little bit, obviously,” Kutch said of the unencumbered lace. “It didn’t affect me at all. I started to fade and wanted to try to hold onto second place at that point . . . With a lap to go, I knew Tooker was out of reach. He was too far, but second place was still right there.”
Kutch fell behind Petrella for third but was able to kick with 200 meters remaining and regained control of second place. Petrella finished third in 9:08.87. Harborfields’ Ryan Scanlon was fourth in 9:17.08. Kutch’s teammate, Freddie Buckholtz, was eighth in 9:23.67. Sachem North’s Jonathan Lauer was ninth in 9:24.77.
While Kutch represented St. Anthony’s in the two-mile, Ryan Dearie handled things for the Friars in the mile. Dearie was fourth in the 1,600 meters in 4:24.73. Ward Melville’s Mike Reilly finished third in 4:24.46. Corning’s Kevin Moshier won in 4:20.44. St. Anthony’s Christopher Langer was ninth in 4:27.61.