The Spence faithful lined the railing overlooking the finish line, roaring as the Sabers set the tone for what would be one of the most dominant Championship performances in league history. With all apologies to Mr. Dickens, for the Sabers in Friday’s AAIS Track and Field Championship, “it was the best of times” and it was certainly also the best of times and distances! When the sun set on Icahn Stadium, for the first time in AAIS history one school has won both the AAIS Indoor and Outdoor Championships in back to back years – Spence is that school!
Four Spence school records fell, many personal bests were achieved, medals were collected and a True Blue Wave had swept over Icahn Stadium. In addition to outstanding performances, on display was the true nature of Sabers’ Pride; student-athletes giving pep talks, running full-tilt at each other to celebrate performances, roaring their support and appreciation for the efforts of their teammates, supporting each other when frustrated and disappointed. There is no doubt, Spence Track and Field is a TEAM SPORT and everything they do is with the heart of a champion!
The Sabers took control of the meet at the outset, with the 4x800m relay team of senior, Amanda T., junior, Emma H., and freshmen Beatrice C. and Sydney N. winning the event by more than 40 seconds.
Next on the “to-do” list of the Big Cats? A school record in the 4x100m relay, a record that has stood since 1999! Freshman, Ellie C., senior, Emma VB., junior, Lucy R. and sophomore, Malia K. have had their eyes on the record book all-season, inching closer with every meet. The True Blue sparkled in gold, winning the 4x100 with a new school record and new AAIS Championship Meet record time of 50.38 seconds! The Sabers were officially on the hunt for big game!
The third event was the grueling 2000m Steeplechase. Junior, Caroline C., the current school record holder in the event, finished 5th, adding to the team’s collection of points through three events.
The competitors took to the track for the 100 Hurdles, and junior, Jaize F. collected yet another gold for Spence.
Jumping and throwing away from the roar of the crowd, the field event student-athletes had teammates and coaches supporting them while they competed in the jumps and throws.
In the shot put, all three Spence competitors scored for the team with freshman, Sydney N., junior, Hadley H. and senior, Alison P. all collecting points toward the team’s title hunt. Sydney’s throw of 29’ 1” was good for 2nd place and missed tying the longest standing Spence record by only 9 inches! There were more medals awaiting the Sabers in the Discus cage. The Sabers’ excellence in throwing events was highlighted by Hadley edging Sydney for the gold with her throw of 81’ 4” following Sydney’s throw of 81’ 3”, setting-off another of the many teammate celebrations for their 1-2 finish.
The Long and Triple Jumps saw more of the same for the Sabers, with all three Spence competitors scoring points. In the Long Jump, sophomore, Sophie A., junior, Lucy R. and sophomore CeCe J., finished 3rd, 4th and 7th, respectively. The trio moved to the highly technical Triple Jump and where they not only raked in the points, but medals as well. CeCe finished 4th, Lucy with a bronze medal and Sophie earning gold with a jump of 31’ 03”.
Back on the track, it was hard to keep up with the flurry records and celebratory mobs! Every race whipped the already rowdy crowd into a frenzy!
The 1500m run brought the entire crowd to their feet and the True Blue wave enveloped senior, Eloise F. at the finish. Running a strong, smooth and focused race, so emblematic of her career, Eloise ran a 4:53.90, breaking the magic 5 minute mark and smashing the school record, mobbed in celebration by her teammates at the finish.
In the 400m, freshman, Ellie C. and sophomore, Brooke P. garnered more points for the Sabers’ championship effort, finishing 3rd and 6th respectively.
In the 100m and the 200m there were points, medals and record setting performances that reflected the depth and breadth of the program. In the 100, all three Sabers collected point, Lucy R. in 6th, and a Spence-Spence 1-2 finish of Emma VB and Malia K. running 1st and 2nd, separated by only 2 tenths of a second. The speed duo flipped the script in the 200m with Ellie C. finishing 4th and Malia and Emma finishing 1-2, both besting the previous school record, and Malia becoming the owner of the new record with a time of 26.07 seconds.
400m Hurdles had Hadley H. collecting another medal with her 2nd place finish and Sophie A. garnering more points for the Sabers, finishing 6th.
In the 800m, two Spence runners entered, two Spence runners finished in the top five! Caroline C. finished 4th and senior, Esme L. grabbed the silver medal, finishing 2nd.
With the meet winding to a close, the 3000m took the track and junior, Emma H. snapped up more pawtastic points, finishing 6th. Eloise F. visited the medal stand again, earning silver with her 2nd place finish.
Only minutes after the 3000m, the highly anticipated 4x400m Relay took the track to close out the meet. It would be a run that encapsulated the day for the Sabers. Seniors, Esme L., Emma VB and sophomore Malia K. battling with Hewitt and Marymount in each of their legs of the relay, handing off to Eloise for the anchor leg. Every eye glued to the track and riding the True Blue wave of emotion, with 150 meters to go, Eloise shifted into “Run Fast, Take Chances” mode, closing out the race and placing the Sabers atop the medal stand with an emphatic win, a mirror image of how the AAIS Championship Meet began for the Sabers.
Spence set an AAIS Championship meet record with 196 team points in 2018, and that record was no match for the 2019 Spence Track and Field Team who, altogether, earned a Pawsome 214 team points, for a new AAIS Championship Meet Record!
The Sabers will take to the track on Wednesday, May 22, for the NYSAISAA Championship, with their eye on claiming the first NYSAISAA Track and Field Championship in Spence history.
Run Fast and Take Chances: Mission Accomplished!
2019 AAIS Track and Field Championship Team Scores:
Convent of the Sacred Heart 41