Looking Back at That Championship Season

This past winter was the season of real contentment for Rye’s varsity track coaches – John McGee for the girls and Jim Yedowitz for the boys. The girls won their League title, and the boys’ roster was dotted with individual champs.

McGee put it this way: “All around, this group has been one of my best teams in 30 years of coaching. Even better, most of them are juniors!” The Garnets’ roster on the distaff side boasts seven individual League champions; two relay teams also won the League meet.

Lindsey Clark took honors in the 55-hurdles as well as the triple jump. At the Sectionals she broke the 55-H school record that stood for almost 20 years. Another record-breaker, Ellie Friedmann, shattered the school 3,200-meter record, also set in the early 1990s.

“Nagomi Ogura won the League championship in the walk,” McGee went on, “and she also placed in the 3,000. It’s a very difficult double, because the events run back-to-back.”

Talk about winning in a walk: the Lady Garnets took the League crown by more than 100 points, one of their most convincing wins ever. They got a big boost when field hockey’s Tori Virtue put down her stick and, instead, leaped over one to take the high jump crown, tying the junior class record in the process. Virtue totaled 55 points this winter, second most on the team.

Morgan Kirby continued her impressive jumping by winning the League championship with a leap of 13 feet, 3 1/2 inches. She has been a consistent point scorer for the Garnets for the past few years. Also, at the League championship meet, Jordan Delane won the 1,000-meter race in 3:29 and ran the opening leg (2:34) to lead the 4×800 relay team to the League title.

On the boys’ side, the winter season saw the emergence of future stars Scott Hanley in the shot put, Tom Mayo-Smith in the high jump and middle distances (400-1000), Aaron Mathias in the long sprints (300-600) and long and triple jump, Ben Lee in the pole vault and hurdles, and Taylor Love in the distance events (800-3200). All of the above (except for Lee, who was second) were League champions, and all are juniors.

Yedowitz enthused, “With junior Tyler Breckenridge, the group ran three of the fastest distance medleys ever for Rye, indoor or out. Mathias and Love both set junior records, in the 300 and 1600, respectively.”

Love won the Class B 1600 race and then qualified for the New York State Championship March 5 at Cornell. He anchored the inter-Sectional distance medley to a 7th-place finish in 9:03.92 as well.

“I was pleased with the development of the team as a whole,” Yedowitz told us. “We made lots of personal improvements. I’m looking forward to Rye having a great team next year.”

— Mitch Silver

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