GREENSBORO - Corning will wrap up its outdoor track and field season by sending 17 kids overall, split into nine relay teams, to the New Balance National outdoor meet starting Friday and ending Sunday in Greensboro, N.C., at North Carolina A&T stadium.
The Hawks boys will run in five total relays while the girls will run in three. Both will run, two boys and two girls, in a mixed relay.
Corning will need a top-6 finish in an event to garner All-American status and for as much success as the program has, the bar is set relatively steep.
“We’ve gotta go in with high expectations,’ Corning head coach Joe Melanson said. “This a chance for everyone to go down there and see where they stack up against the best in the country. I’m excited to see what our kids can do.”
Bryce Derrick, Quinn Nicholson, John Cleary and Dan Gahagan will run in the 4x800-meter relay and the 4x1 mile relay. The team of Alex Spicer, Harrison Lynch, Isaac Cornfield and Jack Larson will run in the 800 sprint medley relay, Spicer, Cornfield, Larson and Gahagan will compete in the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay and Gahagan, Cornfield, Cleary and Nicholson will run the boys distance medley relay.
“We want to get at least one All-American,” said Gahagan. “We had a couple of top-10 finishes in indoor and we can do it if we have our best day.”
Cornfield and Gahagan will each be running in three races, which could contribute to some fatigue. Corning will bring down Otto Sutton as a substitute if need be.
“We just want to make sure they are running at a good level,” said Melanson. “Otto has had a heck of a season, qualified for states himself, we’re very proud of his progression this season.”
Gahagan isn’t too worried about the volume of races he’s running.
“In indoor nationals, I ran three events and the third was my best race,” he said. “I think there is enough time in between races where I can get the recovery process started.”
The senior hopes to end his Corning Track Club career on a strong note.
“It’s our last chance at this for Quinn (Nicholson) and I, and we want to make our mark for sure,” Gahagan said. “Make it a good last meet.”
On the girls side, Jayla Skeete, Lindsey Butler, Claire Mason and Cleo Baker will run in the 4x800-meter relay. Mason, Baker, Grace Scouten and Alicia Lawson will run in the 4x1-mile relay and Mia Colona, Skeete, Elora Ferrier and Butler will compete in the 800 girls sprint medley.
Skeete, a sophomore, is just looking to take the experience in and do a good job.
“I obviously want to have some PR’s (personal records),” she said. “Do as well as I can and just have a good time with my teammates.”
The boys and girls will join forces as Cornfield, Spicer, Skeete and Butler compete in the 4x400 mixed relay. Corning’s pairing of Cornfield, Spicer, Butler and Baker competed at the inaugural race of this event at indoor track nationals and placed ninth.
“We definitely have a different strategy,” said Spicer. “I think we’re going in more confident than before and hopefully have a chance to be an All-American.”
Butler will start the race, followed by Cornfield, Skeete and then Spicer.
“I love anchoring, I love catching people,” said Spicer.
Madison Klein of Horseheads (emerging 2-mile) and Olivia Lovejoy from Elmira (2,000-meter steeplechase) will also run in the national meet.
The New Balance outdoor meet will be broadcast on http://cdn.runnerspace.com/nbnolive.html for those interested in tuning in.