FLRC member Riley Hubisz of Ithaca High wins NYS 3200m championship!

No one is too slow or too fast to run with FLRC, and 16-year-old Riley Hubisz fits squarely into that latter category. At the New York State Indoor Track Championships, the Ithaca High School junior ran a 9:01.42 to win the 3200m race against the best runners in the state.


Riley took the lead with four laps to go in the 16-lap race, only to have Ethan Green of Arlington take it back for the next two laps. But in the last lap, Riley laid down a ferocious kick—the race’s fastest lap in 28.89—to move from 1 second behind to first by almost 3 seconds. His 9:01.42 was 17 seconds faster than his previous personal best at last week’s Section IV state qualifier at Barton Hall, which is unbelievable, even considering the banked track at the Ocean Breeze facility.

In fact, there were two heats of the 3200m, and the other one was also won by an FLRC member, sophomore Trent Thibault of Lansing High School, who ran a 9:16.69, a personal best that was 13 seconds faster than his state-qualifying time last week at Barton. Both Riley and Trent have taken advantage of FLRC’s Monday/Wednesday track workouts at Barton Hall this year and in the past.

Another FLRC member and track workout regular with a standout performance at the state championships was Ithaca High School ninth-grader Tsadia Bercuvitz, who ran 9:44.09 (also a personal best) for sixth place in the 3000m.


Congratulations to all!

There will undoubtedly be more great performances from local runners as the meet progresses—check the live results here.



Thanks for the write-up, Adam! I hope you all enjoy the video of the race (see link below). I may, of course, be biased, but I am pretty sure I would think this was an incredible race even if it wasn’t the boy I helped raise taking the win.

Commentary credit to Everett Shaw, one of many Ithaca athletes who ran personal bests yesterday.

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Wow!! Congratulations! Such an amazing race. Woo-hoo!!!

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And for those who don’t know Riley well, he’s in the IHS yellow and and red, and sits in last or second-to-last for most of the race. That kick!

Here’s @Ian’s race report:

Today, well, technically yesterday at this point as I type, we had the honor of having 7 of our fastest running and longest jumping athletes represent our Team, School, & Section. Five ran to personal bests, in some cases crushing those prior marks and including 5 new school records and one individual State Champion. And one jumped to a second-best mark, only 2.5" behind that of his jump from last weekend.

In that mix, the one that set the tone and stage, was Riley’s 3200 win. His time of 9:01 was just a PR of about 16 seconds, a new School Record, and State win, but is the 4th fastest HS indoor 3200 time in the country so far this year.

To the families who were able to make it in person, and to those who watched live, you know that it was truly an amazing race. For those who couldn’t, allow me to take you through it.

Riley came in seeded 7th and off of a really well run Qualifier race and solid PR of 9:18. Some say it may have been the pork chop from dinner Friday night, in the photo attached, Josh’s reaction in affirming that it may have been the most incredible pork chop that anyone had ever tasted, and, the bone, possibly making its way with the team to the meet on Saturday in tribute. Saturday, race morning, I arrive at the hotel lobby for breakfast to find the team mostly pretty low key and noshing. Riley on the other hand was kinda balled up, a bit pale like maybe that pork chop wasn’t the best idea, but writing the nausea off to the typical pre-race nerves. His system was priming.

Fast forward to the gun. They were off. I could not have been more proud of the measure, the control, the maturity that he exhibited from the start. In races I’m doing what I can to yell out feedback knowing full well that most times runners will not be able to pick it out from the crowd. 450 meters in I yelled a split to Riley which he seemed to drift back for just a split second, an ear pricked to the side, to take in. For those, as well as the next 6 laps, I yelled one consistent message…that “you’re good Riley”, a reflection on his patience, his control, that he was doing exactly what he needed to do.

What that was was allowing the race to go out hard in front of him, each lap chock full of jockeying for position and relative carnage. Energy being spent and burned by the ever changing pack in front of him. He held his line, tucked on the rail, in contact, but back from the maelstrom ahead. Opening 1600, 4:37, seated in 14th place, with only one runner behind him and on his heels. Stoic.

Just over the mile, 1800 in, the lap .5 seconds faster than the last in 35.2, my message yelled changed to “time to go to work Riley!” I’m guessing he didn’t hear, he didn’t need to. 2000 meters, 11th place, 34.5 seconds. 2200, 35.84, 12th place…here it comes. Into 2400 meters, w/ 800 to go, he dropped a 33.9, the fastest in the field, coming around on the outside to pick off half the pack now feeling that energy-burning carnage in mile 1. A locomotive at this point, moving from fifth to briefly taking the lead into 2600 w/ a scorching 31.94, the fastest lap that anyone had laid down in the race to that point.

Ethan Green, a Sr. from Arlington and 3rd place seed on the day, would answer back, retaking the lead in a show of confidence. Ethan was fifth in 2023, closing very strongly with 32 and 29 second final laps, and, 3rd in XC States this year. This was to be his year, his race. At 2800, he’d retaken the lead and would extend it slightly into 3000, bettering Riley on that lap 30.7 to 31.2. Riley would relay to me after the race feeling that his legs were cooked with 2 laps to go, that he felt done. It was the effort, and it was the mental angle of Ethan pushing past, hoping to break the mental game and race.

The bell rang as they seared into the final lap. The video attached is 50 meters into that lap. Whether with 2 to go, or in that moment, I can’t quite recall, a blur of excitement, yelling, and recording, but I wish all of you could have witnessed the look on Riley’s face. It was truly amazing. The look of “I can do this”, “I have this”, of it all coming together in that moment of truly laying it all out there, of exhaustion, pain, yet spiritually and emotionally pure if not happy. That moment, that look, is one of the finest that I’ve ever viewed in sport.

He wouldn’t look back, the only sign of what he’d just laid out a few strides of faltering legs and a slight stagger 20 to 10 meters before the finish. 9:01.42. A last 200-meter lap of 28.89. The fastest single lap of any runner in the field on that day. Life, racing, no doubt won’t always be sunshine and lollipops, it won’t always be 9:01, the win, or feeling like things make sense. But it was in that moment and it’s those moments that he, and we, will carry with us.


Some folks were asking for his race report. He doesn’t have a profile here, but okayed me copying his Strava essay here:

:warning: ESSAY WARNING :warning:
Damn. Was waiting for it to hit me that I’m a state champion before I wrote my strava essay. Lot to say about this race - on the surface it does look like I ran a really smart race, but tbh a whole whole lot of luck was involved. I found myself towards the back of the pack (actually in dead last although I didn’t realize that until later) which wasn’t really by choice, I just wasn’t willing to use energy to get up there. Luckily the race didn’t splinter into 2 packs; if it had, I’d probably have been swept out of kicking distance in the slower one. The race was just kinda a merry-go-round for the first 11 laps which was what I planned - my plan had been to stick with the leaders and surge with a k to go. Was only really able to execute that because of the incredibly deep field which allowed me to sit in the back of the pack without actually losing any time on the leaders. I made a move with a k to go, which although not as big as I wanted, still moved me into 9th(?) which is where the real magic happened. For whatever reason, everyone simultaneously tried to pass everyone else on the outside lane with 875m to go (Video 1), leaving the inside wide open for me - to my credit, I did take the opportunity and moved into 4th. From there I just kept the momentum going and moved into 1st with no plans of slowing. The race strung out, and Ethan Green moved past me. To be honest, I let him go for no other reason than I was pretty happy with 2nd in the state. Going into the race I was pretty sure the only one that could potentially beat my kick was Shane Murphy, so when I saw Ethan slowing with 200m to go I kinda just realized that the race was mine if I wanted it (which i frickin did.) I was able to dig into the next gear and pull a 28 out - almost fell down in the final 55 though which would’ve been awkward.

TLDR: was a well run race but not intentionally, I just got mad lucky. Best runner definitely didn’t win on the day, but that’s the nature of the sport.

Also wanted to shout out how amazing every aspect of this trip was, from the team bonding to the incredible performances. I don’t think ive ever laughed as hard as I did for as long as I did across this trip, whether it was questionable nighttime activities or heavenly porkchops. Every single performance yesterday was a sight to see -
Tsadia - 6th in the 3k with a 14 second indoor PR of 9:44
Noah - School record in the 1600, first under 4:20
Everett - Another nice little PR, just knocking down those seconds :alarm_clock:
Andrew - 15th in the 1k with a PR, coming back to run an incredible 2:00 in the 4x800m :dizzy_face:
Eliza - Knocking down a lil more time from her 600m performance last year, placing 23rd
Josh - Taking home a phenomenal 10th place in the long jump, despite being in the worst flight and being better at sprinting :eyes:

Also got 4 shirts, expanding my wardrobe by 133% - definitely the real win of the meet. Great day, thanks to everyone who made it happen. One last one in the 4xMile at nattys - no real goals, just gonna have fun :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:



@hubitron also shared the video from MileSplit, which has a lot more commentary beyond “Go, Riley!” The announcers don’t even mention Riley until he takes the lead with 800m to go, and they’re clearly a little dubious of him even then. :slight_smile:

And it’s another excuse to watch those last few laps!


@hubitron dan and I watched the race this weekend. amazing! Really impressive time and kick - that last lap! :fire:

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Nice writeup in the Tompkins Weekly recently: