Garnets Blast Off at Class B Indoor Championships

Valentine’s Day isn’t exclusively for lovers anymore. As proven by the many inspiring performances February 14 at The Armory in New York City, it was also a day for the Rye indoor track team to shine like diamonds.

The Garnet boys finished third overall out of 22 teams at the Section 1 Class B championships, while the girls claimed sixth place.

“For the first time in ages we felt like we had a chance to win this thing,” said boys’ head coach Jim Yedowitz. “Those high hopes left us a little disappointed, but the kids ran their hearts out and left with the understanding that we’re as good as everyone else.”

Mac Gager

A pair of Garnets proved they were better than anyone else. Mac Gager, a senior, finished first in the 600-meter dash with a time of 1:24 and toppled a Rye record that stood for nearly a quarter-century. Mark Sasse set the previous mark way back in 1986. The race was the first of three that day for Gager, which meant he did just enough to win and not tire, according to his coach. Gager could very well smash his own record running all-out this weekend at the State Qualifier.

Max Robinson won gold as well by finishing first in the two-mile run in a time of 9:49.9. It was a big moment for the senior. He missed both the winter and spring track seasons last year due to injury.

Max Robinson

“It’s impossible to run at such a high level after giving a year away, but Max is doing it,” said Yedowitz. “He’s having a remarkable season. The only thing he lacks – and he’s learning this more and more each time out – is that he has to know he’s as good as the best guys in the Section. Right now he isn’t 100 percent sure he’s as good, even though I keep yelling at him otherwise. It wouldn’t shock me if he won the State Qualifier in the two-mile. He’s physically never been better and his workouts are phenomenal.”

Taylor Love

On the girls’ side sophomore Tori Virtue fared best individually with a second place finish in the high jump. Her jump of five feet was a personal best and her coach, John McGee, said Virtue was thrilled to reach what only four others have done in school history. Senior Erica Gold, one of the top walkers in the Section, took third in the racewalk. Fellow senior Amanda Owens also snagged a third place finish in her event, the pole vault, by clearing eight feet six inches. Rebecca Walsh was right behind her in fourth. In the triple jump freshman Audrey Love finished third and sophomore Morgan Kirby was sixth. Sophomore Jordan DeLane claimed sixth in the 1,000-meter run. In relay action, the girls’ 4×200 – Kirby, Virtue, Maddy Kinker and Rita Futamura – broke a ninth and tenth grade school record with a time of 1:54.5 and finished fifth. Love, DeLane, Lizzy Bennett, and Ellie Friedman finished fourth in the 4×800.

Tori Virtue

“The girls have had a great season,” said McGee. “There have been some solid performances by the seniors and the ninth and tenth graders have been superb. With the 10th grade group we presently have, I expect to have a top team next winter.”

Some other noteworthy performances on the boys’ side included sophomore Taylor Love’s third place finish in the two-mile. He added to his great meet by running a personal best for his leg in the 4×800 relay, helping the Garnets place third. Senior Chris Fumasoli took third in the shot put with a throw of 41 feet 10 inches, and sophomore Tom Mayo-Smith broke the tenth grade record in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:48.60. Seniors Matt Kao and Mason Curtis finished fourth and seventh in that race.

Matt Kao

The Garnets will send 11 athletes to the State Qualifiers this weekend, including six boys: Robinson, Gager, Curtis, Kao, Fumasoli and Dan Forsman – who fared very well in several events — and five girls: Owens, Virtue, Gold, Audrey Love and Rebecca Walsh.

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