Junior Kelly Lavan missed breaking a decade-old Sachem North record in the 2000 meter steeplechase by 3.54 seconds in her first race in the event at Wednesday’s Steeplefest held at Port Jefferson High School.
Kelly won the novice division race and ran the third fastest time of the day. Kelly is enjoying a breakout year as she has run career-bests in all events in cross country, winter and spring seasons. Running one of Long Island’s top steeplechase times of the young season demonstrates Kelly’s talent as a distance runner.
Kelly’s determination to succeed was also revealed today as her training sessions for the event consist of work over the one barrier possessed by Sachem North. The lone barrier at North is held together by duct tape and leveled by a clive pin donated by a team parent. Undeterred by less than ideal equipment, Kelly – along with her teammates – developed her barrier-hurdling technique at the end of workout sessions over the past few weeks. The North steeplechase record of 7:29.45 was set by Natalie Johnston in 2002.
Mackenzie Coleman is only the fourth eighth grade athlete to run for Sachem in the past 20 years. She will have the opportunity to set eighth grade team records all spring based on her speed and strength as a middle distance/distance runner. Such records are not noted as records given the short list of athletes on the North Arrows record list, so Mackenzie must compete against Sachem rich freshman history list.
Mackenzie set her first track and field team freshman record Wednesday as she raced to a 8:10.34 time in the Frosh 2000 m. steeplechase. Mackenzie overcame an awkward landing over the first water barrier as she came into contact with another runner while jumping over the barrier.
Mackenzie pushed out of the water pit, regained the race position she lost and moved up several places over the second half of her race to finish third (following a photo finish and review by race officials). Mackenzie’s time of 8:10.34 broke the freshman record set by Karly Dutra (8:22.57) in 2007.
The records challenged by Kelly and broken by Mackenzie today were both set at post-season meets. It will be exciting to see what both runners do the next time the race the event.
- Eight runners ran at Steeplefest today. Six were running the 2000 meter steeplechase for the first time.
- Patricia Romano’s time of 8:50.56 is one of the better sophomore times ever run in the event for Sachem North.
- Marysa Mullen began her steeplechase season close to where she left off last spring as she was only 8 seconds off her career-best mark.
- The North squad received many positive comments about their home-made “Steeple People” shirts made following yesterday’s workout.
Frosh 200 m.Steeplechase
Mackenzie Coleman 8:10.34 (3rd)
Novice 2000 m. Steeplechase
Kelly Lavan 7:32.99 (1st)
Patricia Romano 8:50.56
Monica Abrams 9:22.98
Marissa LoSchiavo 9:34.69
Erin McClernon 11:27.07
Open 2000 m. Steeplechase
Marysa Mullen 8:39.7
Kristina Schrepf 9:23.4
Article and photos courtesy of Alex Young, head coach of the Sachem North girls track and field team
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