2012 Loucks Games: Saturday roundup
The 1600 was national champion Edward Cheserek's event to lose and the St. Benedict junior did not disappoint. Cheserek posted a 4:09.90, the fifth fastest time in the Loucks games history and the tenth fastest time in the United States this season.
What made the victory even more impressive for Cheserek was that he was pretty much on cruise control for the entire race. Cheserek was at the back of the pack for the first 1200 meters of the race before exploding into the lead and finishing almost two seconds ahead of the runner-up, ZaVon Watkins (4:11:86).
"I did alright but I'm excited about it," Cheserek said. "Today, I wasn't really going crazy. I let the other guys pace it, but it was a little slow. I was happy to be here though. I was here last year and this year, and I'll be here again next year. I like to compete against all of these guys."
Mount Vernon's Steven Gayle took home the men's 400 title, posting a 47.84, the second fastest time in New York State this year.
"I'm so proud of myself," Gayle said. "I worked hard and it really came out (today). I've built my confidence over the past few years and I'm getting better and better each time I go."
Gayle was one of the only local products to come away with a victory on Saturday, something he says he takes pride in.
"It's exciting," Gayle said. "Every time I run, I know I'm going to PR. It's really great for me, I'm proud of this win."
Benjamin Cardozo's Alexis Panisse took home the 1600 title by finishing with an impressive 4:44.06 time, the second fastest time in the United States this year.
"I felt so great today," Panisse said. "After running in the 800 yesterday, I wanted to go for a win today. I felt so amazing. The motivation of everybody here and I had my coach doing the splits over there pushing me hard. It felt great... These athletes here are very amazing athletes and I'm so happy I got to run with them."
Mamaroneck's Anima Banks was the events runner-up, posting a time of 4:46.06
Middle College's Kadecia Baird chased down James Hillhouse's Precious Holmes to take home the 400 title in one of the most exciting races of the weekend. Baird and Holmes both broke the meet record with Baird setting the new mark, a blazing 52.62. That time was the fastest in New York State this year.
"It's a great feeling to perform like this," Baird said. "This is a great (meet) and it brought out the best in me."
Holmes jumped out to a huge lead on the field early in the race, but Baird stuck with it and ran her down to the delight of the excited crowd in attendance.
"I knew I needed to stay close to (Holmes) because she has more endurance then me," Baird said. "My coach told me I could do it, all he wanted me to do was get out and finish the race and that's what I did."
Staples' Lexie Schachne cleared 11 feet nine inches to take home the Pole Vault title on Saturday morning.
"(Winning) feels great," Schachne said. "I competed last year and got fourth, so this is quite an accomplishment for me. It's really an honor; this is a really great meet. There's a ton of really competitive athletes so I was happy to be here."
While Schachne was happy with the victory, she says she has much bigger goals in mind for the future.
"I definitely want to breaks the Connecticut state record," Schachne said. "It's 12-6 and a quarter and my PR is 12-3 and a quarter, so I'm almost there."