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Uniondale, Kellenberg hurdlers set marks

Lisa Abramski of Kellenberg clears the hurdle in

Lisa Abramski of Kellenberg clears the hurdle in the Girls 4x55 Shuttle Hurdle. (March 10, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

It was a good day for Long Island hurdlers Saturday at the Armory.

The Uniondale girls 4 x 55 shuttle hurdle relay set a state record and finished second overall, while Kellenberg broke a school record at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in Manhattan.

Uniondale's relay team of Brittany Webley, Adrianna Powell, Crystal Green, and Tawanda Francis placed second in a state record 32.88 seconds, shattering their own mark of 33.313 set at the New Balance Games in January. Western Branch (Va.) took first in an Armory-record 32.31.

"Everybody here is talented and the best of the best," Webley said. "We just did what we had to do."

Uniondale held a comfortable lead throughout the race. The Knights had the time to beat until Western Branch won in the eighth and final heat to claim the title. "We just wanted to come out and run as hard as we could," Francis said. "We wanted to go out hard and not let anybody close to us."

Webley also qualified for Sunday's semifinals in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking an 8.86 to advance.

Meanwhile, the Kellenberg team of Katie Cavanaugh, Odrine Belot, Melany Belot, and Lisa Abramski took fifth place overall in a school-record 33.06. The Firebirds broke their old mark of 33.318, a mark which came in the same race as Uniondale's old state record. "We put in the work this season, and it really paid off," Cavanaugh said. "It's awesome to set a school best in a meet like this."

Much like Uniondale did one heat earlier, the Firebirds cruised to an easy win in the seventh of eight heats to earn All-American honors for the second straight year. "After winning the outdoor title last year, we didn't think we could get any faster," Cavanaugh said.

Odrine Belot also advanced to the semifinals for the 60-meter hurdles. The senior ran an 8.88 to move on to the next round.

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