Others have tried, but no one has caught Saratoga’s Lindsay Ferguson in the 2,000-meter steeplechase.
Ferguson won her third consecutive state and Fe-deration title in the steeplechase and bettered her own national record by a third of a second at last weekend’s New York State High School Track and Field Championships at St. Lawrence University.
The cool, rainy weather last Saturday was the only factor that created a con-cern for Ferguson.
The weather is definitely a factor, she said. `You want to be cautious ` you don’t want to push the pace.`
Even though she was cautious, Ferguson was still on record pace when she entered the final lap. She pushed herself into a higher gear and crossed the finish line in a time of 6:36.05, more than five seconds ahead of runner-up Kara McKenna of Suffern.
It was Ferguson’s last race for the Saratoga girls track and field team, but not her last high school race. She will try to set a new national high school record at this weekend’s Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.
`I think I can knock off a few more seconds, especially if there’s good conditions,` said Ferguson.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Brittany Dexter also left last weekend’s state meet with a championship medal around her neck. The senior won the Division I (large school) and Federation titles in the girls high jump by clearing 5 feet, 6 inches.
Dexter, New Rochelle’s Carin Knight and Benjamin Cardozzo’s Dalilah Muhammad all cleared 5-5, but Dex-ter was the lone jumper to clear the bar at 5-6.
Besides her victory in the high jump, Dexter finished fifth in the Division I 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 15.34 seconds and placed eighth in the Federation 100 hurdles with a time of 15.62 seconds.
Several more Saratoga County athletes had top-10 finishes at the state meet, including a third-place performance by the Saratoga 3,200-meter relay team. The quartet of Ferguson, Brianne Bellon, Ashley Campbell and Alysha McElroy finished with a time of 9:06.48, 3.17 seconds behind runner-up Suffern.
Shenendehowa’s Jennifer Villanova placed sixth in the Division I long jump with a leap of 16 feet, while Saratoga’s Hannah Davidson finished seventh in the Division I 3,000 with a time of 10:09.22. Saratoga’s Melissa James was ninth in the Division I discus with a throw of 108 feet, 1 inch, and the Burnt Hills 3,200 relay team of Brigette Zachar-czenko, Larene Cameron, Saman-tha Roecker and Meghan Gregory finished 10th among Division I teams with a time of 9:29.65.
On the boys’ side, Saratoga’s Greg Kelsey and the Shen 3,200 relay team each had second-place finishes at the state meet.
The Shen team of Corey Clavet, Zach Predmore, Zach Suriano and Dan McManamon finished with a time of 7:47.29, 5.25 seconds behind state and Federation champion Warwick Valley.
Kelsey placed second overall in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 9:11.15, less than nine seconds behind Aquinas’ Noel Bateman.
Saratoga’s Greg Kiley finished third in the 1,600 with a time of 4:14.01. Fayetteville-Manlius’ Owen Kimple won with a time of 4:07.71, while Guilderland’s Brian Rhodes-Devey took second place with a time of 4:11.40.
Burnt Hills’ Russell Cameron and Ballston Spa’s Drew Fitzgerald also turned in top-six performances at the state meet. Cameron took fifth place in the pentathlon with 3,064 points, while Fitzgerald was fifth in the pole vault after clearing 13 feet, 6 inches.“