With each race, Fayetteville-Manlius track and field star Alex Hatz inches closer to breaking the four-minute mile.
Hatz, a junior, took another step forward in that quest during last Saturday's state championship meet at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium, winning at 1,600 meters -- but doing much more.
Once the gun went off, Hatz went to the lead, and soon enough the only questions were how big of the winning margin would be and how fast he would go.
At 800 meters, Hatz was clocked at 2:06.08. he then took a bit more than two minutes to run the last half of the race, finishing in 4:06.11, a new state record for the mile. Chris Carrington (North Rockland) was second, nearly six seconds behind.
As Hatz moved on to face rival Chris Stogsdill (Marcellus) at next weekend's Nike National Championships in Greensboro, N.C., Melissa Zajdel gave Christian Brothers Academy a state Division II (small school) title in the 200-meter dash.
Zajdel, who is going to Princeton University this fall, qualified Friday in 24.99 seconds, the fastest time, then went on to win on Saturday morning in 25.54 seconds, holding off Shanice Johnson by 0.12 seconds at the wire.
In addition, CBA's 4x800 relay quartet of Melissa Zajdel, Rachel Zajdel, Carol Giblin and Katie Brislin finished in 9:19.34, setting a school record and finishing second to Bronxville (9:14.42) among Division II quartets. In the 4x100, Melissa Zajdel, Nicole SanGiacomo, Edie Douglas and Nadine Dosa were eighth in 50.97 seconds.
It was a busy weekend for local athlete. Up in Division I (large schools), F-M's Molly Malone finished fourth, in 4:30.70, while teammate Courtney Chapman got sixth in the 3,000-meter run (seventh overall) in 9:59.12. Jess Marini was ninth in the 400-meter dash (57.16 seconds).
F-M contended in the 4x800 relay, where Chapman, Mackenzie Carter, Katie Sischo and Kathryn Fanning finished fourth in 9:10.73. Marini, Malone, Heather Martin and Natalie Alibrandi took 12th in the 4x400 relay (4:02.24).
Jamesville-DeWitt had two strong finishes on the boys side. Bumkoth Jiak was seventh in the Division I 800-meter run in 1:56.57, while David Salbert took 10th in the triple jump, going 45 feet 3/4 inch.