NBIN 4x800s - Rhodes burns rubber, Stotans surprise

An exhausted Rhodes gets to the line in time. (Photo by Kyle Brazeil)

Boys write-up

Brooklyn's Boys & Girls High School was right at home in New York City tonight at the Washington Heights Armory. The Kangaroos, long known for their success in the sprint relays (they are defending champs in the 1600 meter relay), notched a new title on their belt with an exhilarating come-from-behind win in the 3200 meter relay. 

Boys & Girls' time of 7:41.01 was not only the fastest time run all year, but also the fastest ever run on the well-worn Armory track and the second fastest ever indoors. 

And while they entered as one of race favorites, they needed an all-out effort from Senior Robert Rhodes, who's anchor leg made all the difference. 

Rhodes had 20 meters and two teams to reel in when Javaun Grant handed the baton to him. Rhodes ran a sub-50 opening quarter and caught his target with two laps to go. From there he had to decide if he would sit or pass him. 

For Rhodes, the decision was an easy one.

"I felt like I had it," Rhodes said. "I felt like I had enough energy to go by him and keep going." 

But some thought the move left him vulnerable to a response move.  

"I thought he made the move too fast," said his Hall of Fame coach, James Jackson. "But Robert is a really intelligent racer, so I trusted him." 

By the time Rhodes broke the tape, he had split a personal best 1:51.61 and the chase pack was at the other end of the straightaway. Cherokee High School finished second, in 7:43.64.

But Rhodes can't take all the credit, Jackson said. Two of Rhodes' teammates, Darryl Williams and freshman leadoff man Richard Rose's 1:54.97, ran personal bests.

"Everybody was ready," Jackson said.


Katie Brislin begins to break away on the 2nd leg. (Photo by Don Rich)

Girls Write-up 

Coming into the girls 3200 meter relay tonight at indoor nationals, Fayetteville-Manlius coach Bill Aris doubted that his goal time for the team would be good enough to win. 

"We came here to break nine minutes," Aris said, "but I think we would have needed to run 8:55 to win." 

So it came as a surprise to Aris and the F-M runners when they crossed the finish line in 8:58.16, looked back and no one else was there.  Heather Martin led off in 2:18, despite running in only her second race of the season after coming back from a lengthy foot injury.  Then the magic happened as Katie Brislin took control with three laps to go and powered way ahead of the field with an amazing 2:11 split.  Jillian Fanning kept the pressure on with a fast 2:13 leg and Katie Sischo ran 2:14

The result was an impressive victory and a US#4 All-Time mark for the Stotans.  

La Salle Academy took the consolation prize with a time of 9:02.84.  Red Bank Catholic was able to hang onto 3rd after leading the chase pack most of the way with a time of 9:05.28.