By MICHAEL KELLY
Recorder Sports Staff
MIDDLETOWN — While Amsterdam High School’s Izaiah Brown and 4x400-meter relay team each reached the podium at Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships, a trio of fellow individual local athletes also took to the track at Faller Field.
Amsterdam’s John Hardies, Broadalbin-Perth’s MacKenzie Ottati and Fonda-Fultonville’s Lindsay Therrien each competed Saturday, concluding their individual seasons with more-than-respectable finishes.
In the boys 800-meter run, Hardies came in 13th place in Division I, as the senior ran a 1:56.39; Ottati, competing in her third consecutive state championships in the girls 400-meter hurdles, came in 12th place in Division II with a time of 71.33 seconds; and, Therrien finished in 14th place in the Division II girls 100-meter hurdles with a time of 17.07 seconds.
Hardies’ heat was an especially fast one, as the top two finishers in his race both ended up in the overall top three. While he said he would have liked a better finish, he had no regrets.
“After the race is done, you can say it was a lot of fun — which it was,” said Hardies. “You always want to compete against the best.”
AHS boys head coach Kevin Wilary said it was sad to see Hardies’ individual career come to an end.
“He has guts and that’s the thing I love about watching him run,” Wilary said.
That trait, Wilary said, was evident from the first time Hardies had come out for the Rams as an eighth grader, when he completed a one-and-a-half-mile run in the requisite time needed to selectively classify for the squad. Wilary said he remembered Hardies battling a cramp as he ran that race, clutching his side for the second half of it.
“What he’s done — to get from where he was to what he made of himself — that was all because of hard work,” Wilary said.
Hardies also picked up an individual honor, as the senior was Section II’s male winner of the meet’s sportsmanship award.
“It was no surprise to me,” Wilary said.
While Hardies’ day had a silver lining, so did Therrien’s. The junior made it through her race without suffering through too much pain caused by an injured right foot — she wore a special wrap to help with the as-of-yet undiagnosed injury — and bumped her placement up a few spots from last year’s trip to the state championships.
“I’m happy with that,” said Therrien. “I’m by no means mad about it. I had a usual race — my time wasn’t anything special — but I’m happy.”
Therrien will get a chance to make a third trip to the state championships next year, a feat Ottati accomplished this season. But the B-P senior was disappointed Saturday with her output, as she had hoped to make the podium and did not.
“I just wasn’t feeling it today, which is a disappointment,” Ottati said of her race.
Many races Saturday seemed to suffer a bit, time-wise, after the championships were delayed from Friday because of incessant rain. The result was a lost day for the athletes, who had meticulously trained to prepare for a Friday meet.
“That could be an excuse, but I’m not going to use it,” said Ottati. “I just had a bad day.”
Still, Ottati said she could have thought of worse places to end her B-P career than at the state championships, regardless of her result.
“It was a good end to my season, my high school career,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”