CICERO, N.Y — The prospect of being left behind in northern Syracuse was just too much to bear. Sure, something like that happening was extremely unlikely, but the West Babylon girls 4 x 400-meter relay team wasn’t taking any chances.
“We didn’t want to miss our bus, so we wanted to get this done quick,” Nadja Ashley said as the sun set Saturday on the second and final day of the state track and field championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
‘This’ was the Federation championship and, after clocking a 3 minute, 50.06, West Babylon stood alone as the state gold medalists.
The team, composed of Ashley, Brittany Korsah, Dana Beggins, and Paige Keefer, ran a 3:49.90 in the Division I finals Friday and, as the top seed Saturday, knew they had something to prove.
“It was a little nerve-wracking, having all these other teams gunning for us,” Ashley said. “We wanted to stay lose.”
Korsah took the race out, fatigued from running two rounds of 200’s earlier in the day but motivated enough to push through the pain.
“I wasn’t thinking much,” Korsah said. “I just wanted to get our team in the lead . . . I was a little tired, but I wasn’t going to let my team down.”
Korsah placed fifth in the Division I 200, running a 24.75 in the morning. She was fourth in the Federation 200, clocking a 24.66 in the afternoon.
Korsah did her job well in the relay, handing off to Ashley in first place. Ashley then moved the batten to Beggins, who got it to Keefer to finish the championship off.
“I closed the gap on the first turn and just ran,” said Keefer, who placed sixth in the 800 in 2:11.87 Friday. “I just run. I don’t really think about it.”
Thinking and running don’t necessarily go hand-in hand. Plus, they had a nice, comfy bus ride to mull it over and bask in the glory. They made it in plenty of time, and with gold medals around their necks.