VESTAL – Spring is in the air. Or at least that was what the varsity track and field athletes were hoping for this past weekend, when they kicked off the 2017 spring season with the opening NY/PA Invitational at Vestal on April 1.
Just like any other good April fool’s joke, the weather decided to wreak havoc on what everyone was hoping would be a sunny spring day, instead giving the athletes a dreary, wet and rainy day for all to enjoy.
That didn’t stop anyone from enjoying a solid day when it came to performances – as athletes from 27 different schools, five coming Chenango County – conquered the weather and kickstarted the season with some solid outings.
On the boys side of the invitational, Binghamton edged out Norwich by a mere two-point margin, at 52 team points for Binghamton. Norwich slid in at second – with 50 points as a team – defeating Montrose, who came in at third with 48 points.
On the girls side, Elmira stole the show dominating their competition with 86.5 team points. In a tight race for second, Oneonta edged out Susquehanna Valley as the Yellowjackets grabbed 51 team points to the Sabers 48.
Despite falling to Binghamton, Norwich saw some dominant performances to start the new season – specifically when talking about their sprinters.
“We had some awesome performances for such a cold day,” said Norwich head coach Shaun Horan.
It can officially be stated that Zack Race, a Junior at NHS, has tied the school record in the coveted 100 meter dash with his performance this past weekend. Impressively, Race won the 100m, 200m events on the day, grabbing times of 11.01 seconds and 22.51 seconds in the process, respectively.
“Zack Race’s 100m time of 11.01 FAT will be added as a tie to Jason Morris’ record in the 100m,” said coach Horan. “Jason ran 10.8 hand time, which is converted to 11.04 FAT. These times are way to close to say that only one should have the record.”
The Invitational was timed by the FAT computer system – the only official timing system in Track and Field – however, it should be pointed out that Race was unofficially clocked at 10.7 seconds by Coach Horan and Assistant Coach Phil Curley.
It is widely believed that due to human error in a hand timed races, that a sprint in the 100-200 meter range roughly would be .24 slower when using the Fully Automatic Time (FAT system) – which coach Horan has said justifies adding Race’s name to the school record board.
Following the commotion with Race winning the 100m, the Tornado speedster didn’t stop there, as he moved on to the 200m dash as well, where he promptly downed his longtime rival Sincere Williamson of Binghamton.
Race already holds the NHS school record in the event – when he ran a 22.36 last season – however, defeated Williamson in the finals of the event when he ran a solid 22.51 to Williamson’s 23.11.
“I’m just looking forward to keep it going,” said Race.
Norwich saw other standouts in the sprinting events as sophomore standout Eric Conant grabbed a personal best time in the 100m finals as well, placing third in the event with an 11.52 second race.
A Norwich newcomer to Track and Field, senior Ky’sawn Veale, moved his talents from the Basketball court to the track in 2017, as Veale sped to a solid third place finish in the 110m hurdles – running a 18.00 second time.
Norwich’s 4x100 meter relay team has welcomed Veale to the squad this season – as the relay now includes freshman David Berger, Eric Conant, Zack Race, and Ky’sawn Veale
Unfortunately, for the Tornado relay squad, they will be looking to improve on the time as the season progresses as Norwich was only able to grab a fourth place finish with their time of 46.76 seconds.