Historically, FLRC track meets have had just a handful of individual running events, though we added some jumps and throws this year. With Trackapalooza, we wanted to offer a full slate of events so everyone could run the distances they prefer. To aid in that, we retained TAJ Timing to provide an FAT system that would capture times to the hundredth of a second to ensure accuracy, particularly in the sprints, where hand timing isn’t always ideal. Full results are now available on the FLRC website, along with a slew of fabulous race photos from Jamie Love, a few of which are below.
Overall, we had 138 athletes compete in 307 events, and 6 teams showed up, including Auburn, the Groton Project Track Club, the GIAC Navigators, the Ithaca Youth Bureau, the Just Blaze Track Club, and Watkins Glen.
We kicked the meet off with the 5000m, often a somewhat sleepy race. However, an Auburn team took it out hard, with Austin Ferrin (16:07) holding off teammate Owen Gasper (16:10) for the win. Kyleen Brady of Auburn took the win for the women, outpacing teammate Mary Alice Pineau, 18:54 to 19:40.
Moving from long to short, we switched to the 100m next, the most popular event of the day, with 66 finishers. Justin Hargraves took advantage of the FAT to lay down a commanding win in 10.93 seconds, with Kyren Young second in 11.73. Mihaela Toader was the fastest woman in 12.55, with the Groton Project’s Mattison Lucey second in 13.14.
Also popular was the 400m, where Gavin Hickey of Auburn bested the field in 54.79, with the Groton Project’s Ross Bush second in 56.67. Julaina Coleman of the Just Blaze Track Club from Buffalo led for the women in 73.81, beating Tabitha Oakes, who crossed in 79.24.
Normally one of our largest events, the mile warranted only two heats. 51-year-old Scott Weeks, coach of the Groton Project, won handily in 4:52 while running alone. Isaac Hendrickson of Watkins Glen came through next in 5:19. 41 -year-old Liz Hartman set a new PR with a win for the women in a speedy 5:44, cruising in ahead of second-place Shannon Oakes, who finished in 6:22.
Next up was the happy chaos of the 4x200m relay, where an unattached team sped to victory in 1:43.41, the second-fastest relay time in an FLRC meet this year (behind an Ithaca High School team that ran 1:42 indoors in January). The Groton Project’s A team was second in 1:47.53, and Auburn came in third under 2 minutes with a 1:58.47.
Switching back to individual sprints with the 200m, Auburn’s Payton Hickey joined his brother with a podium place, winning in 23.93 seconds, just a hair in front of Kyren Young in 24.06 and Logan Manor in 24.07. Mihaela Toader took a break from her med school studies (seriously) for the 200m and took home her second win of the day in 25.72, ahead of second-place Julaina Coleman of Just Blaze in 30.83.
The 800m provided an exciting finish with Charles McCurdy of Trumansburg just beating Carter Naginey of the Groton Project to the line, 2:07.99 to 2:08.37. The only woman in the race was 7-year-old Nadiia Urazgildiieva, who came through in 3:57.42.
Not many people signed up for the 400m hurdles, but they were tremendously fun to watch. In the men’s race, with 36-inch hurdles, Aidan Tierney just held off hard-charging Mik Kern for the win, 1:10.89 to 1:11.21. Then, in the women’s heat, with 30-inch hurdles, Mattison Lucey of the Groton Project ran an impressive 1:12.64, outpacing second-place Julia Hubbard’s 1:14.64. But the crowd favorite was tiny 9-year-old Lauren Belcher, who was running every other hurdle and had shorter training hurdles to match her size—she looked great flying over the training hurdles to finish in 1:47.02.
As the meet wound down, Liz Hartman dominated the 3000m, running another PR for the overall win in 11:36. 14-year-old Madigan White was second in 15:10.
In the final running event of the day, three Auburn teams and a Groton Project team lined up for the 4x400m relay. Auburn’s A team held off the Groton Project, 3:44.20 to 3:45.38, with the remaining Auburn teams coming through in 4:14.36 and 4:17.32.
The most popular of the field events was the long jump, with 48 athletes scoring. The longest jump of the day went to Jonathan McNamara, who cleared 21 feet 0.75 inches, well beyond Joseph McDonald Jr.’s second-place jump of 20-04.25. For the women, Lisi Hubbard jumped 15-06.50 to place first, followed by Julia Hubbard at 13-06.75.
The hop-skip-and-jump triple jump attracted only experienced jumpers, with Justin Hargraves clearing 44-02.00 for the win, with Dafydd Williams placing second with a 38-11.00 jump. Julia Hubbard claimed her first-place spot with a jump of 31-10.00.
In the discus throw, Ryan Olesky threw a whopping 151-00.25, with Zach Elliott second with a throw of 142-01.50. The only woman competing was the Groton Project’s Janice Carter, who threw 109-04.50.
Zach Elliott took his revenge in the shot put, heaving the shot 44-11.50 to surpass Ryan Oleksy’s 39-02.00. Janice Carter proved she wasn’t worried about competition, throwing 23-11.50 to best Groton Project teammate Jennifer Jones, who threw 23-06.50.
In our soft-tipped javelin competition, 13-year-old Locke Apker of the Ithaca Youth Bureau threw 66-01 for the win, followed by Wesley Millspaugh, who threw 56-08 for second. 14-year-old Paceyn O’Grady Specht took the crown for the women with a throw of 38-01, besting 10-year-old teammate Natalie Blackmur’s throw of 24-06.
All these events required a lot of help. Huge thanks to Tonya Engst for spending many hours the day before preparing for the meet and then coordinating bib pickup and clothing sales, ably staffed by Julie Barclay and Molly Doruska. Gary McCheyne was also a huge help in renting a van and bringing FLRC tents, tables, sound system, and water to the meet. Kudos to Rich Bernstein, Patrick Boyle, Dave Kania, and Jesse Koenecke for managing the heats as smoothly as possible with early help from Laura Helmerick and late help from Katie Gannon. Former FLRC president Tom Rishel reprised his traditional role of starter in the hot sun. Sarah Giesy counted laps for the longer races, and Alan Lockett recorded bibs as needed. Shane Eversfield, Ruth Sproul, and Bob Swizdor helped with the jumps, which were ably run by Brett Shelton of the SOAR Running Club. SOAR’s Steve Wagner also helped coordinate the jumps and the TurboJav, and the Groton Project’s Scott Weeks brought extra hurdles and Groton Project volunteers to manage the throws. Thanks to everyone!
Finally, special thanks to:
- Ithaca High School for making the track available
- TAJ Timing for the FAT results
- Ithaca XC Boosters, who provided concessions, including fresh-squeezed lemonade
- Jamie Love for taking hundreds of race photos
- Sean Nicholson and Joe Daley for sponsoring the race
Trackapalooza is our final track meet for 2023, but we hope to see you indoors in 2024! But we still have a few Trackapalooza racing singlets left—order online soon!