State qualifier track

Gillian Duffalo of Edgemont heads to finish line of 400-meter race.

As the state qualifier meet got shifted from Thursday/Friday to Friday/Saturday as a result of heavy rain, the final few Edgemont runners watched their weekend plans get a little busier.

For the girls 4x400-meter relay, it was unsure if they were going to run since 3 of the 4 girls had prior commitments. In the end, everyone was able to make it except Tiana Guo, the third leg, but Amanda Jaffe was able to step in for her.

Gillian Duffalo finished the race anchoring with an overall time of 4:09.91, 0.45 seconds slower than the team’s best and the school record. Also running on the team were Nora Butler and Lauren Allan.

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“We have all been working super hard this season and getting our PR at this last meet was a really proud moment for us,” Duffalo said. “I was very excited for Nora and Amanda since they both earned themselves personal records.”

Duffalo also ran the 400-meter in 1:01.85, as did Devin Frank for the boys. Only the top 16 ranked runners are able to compete, but if there are enough scratches above one’s name, then there is a chance for them to be able to participate too.

“We encouraged athletes to come even if they weren’t in the top 16 because many athletes end up running,” coach Nikki Rosee said.

Although Frank wasn’t ranked in the top 16 at the start of the meet, he waited in anticipation as Coach Rosee kept him updated on the number of scratches until he was in.

“Having the chance to run at state qualifiers was an amazing experience,” Frank said. “Although I knew I wasn’t going to beat any of the better runners, which there were a lot of, I still enjoyed it since it was the highest level of competition that I had ever run in.”

Frank was proud of his performance with a personal record of 54.94 seconds. Within less than a month, he was able to bring down his 400 time by about two seconds.

Meanwhile, Sam Blakley ran the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. Neck and neck against an athlete from Bronxville throughout the whole race, Blakley finished second just behind him with a time of 59.35, while his competitor crossed in 59.14.

“I thought my performance went well up until the last hurdle,” Blakley said. “Because of that, it messed up my overall flow.”

With a season-long goal to PR in the 800-meter event, senior James Lu was finally able to make his last race one of his best. “I knew I had it in me,” said Lu, who placed second in his heat, ninth overall, with a time of 2:04.61. Lu also had a personal record in the steeplechase, finishing more than 25 seconds faster than last time with a time of 11:05.47.

“I was extremely pleased with the athletes that ran,” Rosee said. “It was a great experience to run in such a huge event so even if you’re not going to place in the top, there’s opportunity to PR.”

Although no one ended up making it to states, closing the season with a total of five personal records was certainly a good way to go out.

“I feel very sad that I’m officially done with Edgemont track,” Blakley said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better four years.”

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