Featured Story

Track and Field: SWR’s Lee breaks two county records at state championships

In nearly any other year, Katherine Lee would have stood atop the podium as a double state champion.

Lee, Shoreham-Wading River’s standout runner, set a pair of county records at the New York State Championships at Union Endicott High School in Binghamton, running an impressive double in the 3,000 and 1,500-meter races. Her times: 9 minutes, 26.78 seconds in the 3,000 and 4:23.48 in the 1,500.

Those are state champion times.

Rarely before has either event at the state championships featured the kind of star power on display Friday and Saturday. Lee settled for second in the 3,000 — her best performance at an outdoor state championships — and third in the 1,500. Jessica Lawson of Corning edged Lee by just over a second in the 3,000, winning that race late Friday in 9:25.68. Lawson will run for Stanford University next year.

Katelyn Tuohy, a breakout freshman from North Rockland, won the 1,500 in 4:18.51, less than a second off the meet record set in 2011 by Mary Cain, the Bronxville star who turned pro while still in high school. Lawson raced to second place in 4:22.38.

“Those three are all Division I All-Americans eventually,” said Shoreham Paul Koretzki, referring to their futures as college athletes. “To have three girls coming in at that time is really good.”

The Wildcats came home with a bevy of medals in addition to Lee’s haul. Senior Payton Capes-Davis finished second in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, running a school-record time of 6:48.42 on Saturday.

“Payton is exuberant with her finish,” Koretzki said.

Capes-Davis finished behind Alex Harris of North Rockland, who clocked in at 6:45.28.

Shoreham-Wading River coach Bob Szymanski, left, and Paul Koretzki pose next to the all-state runners, Katherine Lee, Payton Capes-Davis and Alexandra Hays. (Credit: courtesy photo)

Senior Alexandra Hays took home medals in a pair of events, finishing fifth overall in the 3,000 (9:42.15) and seventh in the 1,500 (4:34.71). The races combine runners from both divisions as well as city and private schools, which account for the federation standings. In the public schools, Hays’ time in the 1,500 got her sixth place.

In the 3,000, Kelsey Chmiel of Saratoga Springs led for nearly the entire race until Lee and Lawson made a move to pass her with about 350 meters to go.

“Lawson jumped a little faster than Lee in terms of breaking it out,” Koretzki said. “Lee closed on her, but it wasn’t enough. Again, it was a great race.”

Capes-Davis had been seeded fourth in the steeplechase and she broke her previous best of 6:56.73 by a wide margin.

The only other local girl to compete at the state championships was Olivia Kneski of Bishop McGann-Mercy. She ran the 400-dash in 59.69 seconds for 13th overall.

The only local boy to compete was Shoreham junior Rickie Casazza, who cleared 6 feet 4 inches in the high jump to finish 11th overall. Daniel Claxton of Smithtown East cleared 7 feet on his third attempt at the height to win the event. The meet record is 7-1 1/2.

[email protected]