A little rain – okay, make that a lot of rain – was not going to keep Marcellus boys track and field senior Ryan Manahan from offering the perfect coda to a decorated high school career.
Manahan went out in Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet and beat the entire field, large and small-school runners alike, in his specialty, the 800-meter run.
To start with, everyone at the state meet had to wait 24 hours to get into competition. Heavy, soaking rains on Friday forced the cancellation of the entire schedule, so all the events were pushed back to a long, exciting Saturday.
This forced Manahan to run twice, in the 800 and the mile, and he handled the shorter distance quite well. Pushed by Syosset’s Simon Nwana in the featured heat, Manahan pulled away and, in a time of one minute, 51.88 seconds, bettered his qualifying mark of 1:52.28 and beat Nwana (1:52.85) for top overall honors.
Not only did Manahan prevail, Section III runners went 1-2 in the Division II (small school) portion of the 800 as Mexico’s James Gowans posted 1:52.94 to win his heat and get third place overall.
On the same day, Manahan ran in the mile, and nearly won another state Division II title. He finished in 4:13.24, good for sixth place overall and second among the small-school runners behind Briarcliff’s Stephen Shine, who won in 4:11.25.
Over in the girls Division II meet, another Marcellus runner, Rachel Garn, finished second in Division II, and sixth overall, in the 2,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 7:00.30, smashing her qualifying mark by nearly three seconds. Only Honeoye Falls-Lima’s Hannah Cole (6:52.83) did better among the small-school runners.
By contrast, West Genesee’s Laura Leff, a favorite in the steeplechase, could only manage a 7:15.15, well off her qualifying standard of 6:52.56, as Webster Schroeder’s Valerie Palermo blazed to victory in 6:43.78.