By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer
Jun. 14, 2017: Members of the Bronxville track teams headed to SUNY Cortland last weekend to compete in the New York State Championships. The Broncos had an outstanding meet, bringing home eight gold medals in the relays and one individual gold.
Kaitlin Ryan won gold in the 800m in Division 2 with a time of 2.07.80 and placed second in the federation, which includes runners from schools of all sizes. She also anchored two relay teams and won a total of three gold medals at the championships. Ryan, who will be attending Stanford in the fall, finishes her high school career with twelve New York State gold medals.
Kaitlin Ryan (#115) at the state championship. Photo by David Brashear.
Sophomore Alex Rizzo had a great showing at states, finishing second in the 800m in Division 2.
"I was really surprised about how well I placed," said Rizzo. "My coach and I had no idea how I would score in D2, but we were both ecstatic and so excited that I did so well."
It was far from a smooth start for the boys' 800m race. When the gun first went off there was a false start, and on the second try, the gun malfunctioned.
"I was pretty much in dead last when the gun finally went off," said Rizzo. "At about 200m, I got boxed in but then made my move with 200m left. I had to pass people in the third lane in order to get to the front."
Rizzo's time, 1:55.53, makes him the second-fastest sophomore and the tenth-fastest varsity racer in the state at that distance. He also raced in the steeplechase on Saturday, placing seventh in Division 2 in 10:04.04.
The Bronxville girls' 4x800m relay team, Eve Balseiro, Caroline Brashear, Laura Holland, and Ryan, qualified for states by running a 9:23.93 at the qualifiers, but a week later at the New York State Championships, they ran their best time of the season, winning the Division 2 race in 8:58.80.
Junior Laura Holland, who ran her personal best 800m leg, felt the team peaked at the right time and the right place. "I feel like at the end of the season you are in the best shape and you have all that adrenaline when racing with the big schools, so it all panned out in our favor."
The Broncos run way ahead of the pack when it comes to Division 2 teams and finished 29 seconds ahead of the next-best Division 2 school. The relay team finished second in the federation.
Caroline Brashear running the relay at states. Photo by David Brashear.
The same four girls also competed in the 4x400m relay at states, winning the Division 2 race in 3:51.22, breaking their own school record and setting the New York State record for Division 2 teams.
Eve Balseiro is just a freshman, but it was her second trip to states in the 4x400m.
"It was kind of surreal. Just looking up at the clock and seeing the times we had, I couldn't believe it."
The team's time in the 4x400m on Friday qualified them for the federation race on Saturday, which included the fastest eight teams from all heats. Unfortunately for the Broncos, the 4x800m relay and the 4x400m federation relay were just 15 minutes apart.
"We were so excited to have won the 4x800m relay," said sophomore Brashear, "but we actually missed being on the podium for the 4x800 because we were getting ready to run the 4x400 federation race right after."
The 4x100m relay team, Margot Richards, Sabrina Mellinghoff, Alisa Kanganis, and Sophie Kohlhoff, broke the 50-second mark at states, finishing fourth in Division 2 with a time of 49.27. They broke their own school record, which was set at the state qualifiers a week earlier.
Pictured here (at top, rotating): The Bronxville girls' 4x400m relay team on the podium at states (photo by David Brashear); Alex Rizzo finished second in the 800m at states (photo by C. Rizzo).
Other individual competitors included sprinters Mellinghoff and Richards. Richards placed sixth in the 100m, but unfortunately, Mellinghoff had a false start in the 200m.