Greene junior Chad Noelle had a lot more hair and a lot less name recognition at last year’s track and field state championships. He was the number 16 seed and proved a big surprise finishing third overall in Division II.
“It’s kind of weird,” Noelle said. “Last year I was 16th, and I went up 15 places this year.”
Sporting shorn locks and running at an even quicker pace, Noelle set a Section IV record in the 1,600-meter run at last week’s Section IV State Qualifier. His time of 4:10.54 shattered a 20-year-old mark, and it’s the best time among high school students in New York State this season. It’s also ranked among the best times nationally.
Noelle is one of several local athletes who will head to Vestal’s Dick Hoover Stadium today for the rack and field state championships. Noelle is the top overall seed in the 1,600 meters, and is also the number one seed among D-II competitors in the 3,200 meters. While many Greene athletes have placed high in the state meet, none have earned that coveted spot on top of the podium. “I’m trying not to think about it, and trying to think of it as just another race,” Noelle said, who will begin his state title quest in the 3,200 meters tonight around 6:30 p.m.