New York City is in for a treat this weekend! Those in attendance at the New Balance Indoor Nationals will get to see five of Lake Catholic’s finest track athletes perform in several of its prestigious events.
For seniors Connor Duricky, Jacob Keating and Mike Malchesky, it represents the last indoor meet of their high school careers and an opportunity to position themselves for college teams and scholarships. For Connor and Jacob, who are competing at Nationals for the 2nd consecutive year, it’s also an opportunity to improve upon last year’s performance. For junior Kevin Conley and sophomore Delmario Hairston, it’s hopefully a trend of future opportunities to run there.
When asked what he likes about going to Nationals, Connor said "it's fun to run against out-of-state competitors. This year, I'm really excited to be going with our 4x200m relay team. It feels good to have a big group going to New York City ... we probably have one of the largest contingents of any area team."
For Mike Malchesky, it’s an opportunity to visit someplace new. "I've never been to New York City, so I'm looking forward to competing at the Armory. I want to thank Coach Schroeder for giving me this opportunity."
Jacob likes the competition. “I love competing against great athletes from across the country and the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious competition. It’s really an honor!”
This is the 3rd consecutive year that Lake Catholic has participated at Indoor Nationals. “When we went in 2015, it really united the core members of the team and set the stage for our runner-up finish (and 4x400m title) at the outdoor state meet. We've enjoyed going ever since,” head coach Erik Schroeder commented. “We like it because it gives the athletes another opportunity to race against high-level competition before the outdoor season begins. Additionally, the trip to New York also serves as a reward for those who committed to training for indoor track. We hope to enjoy a great weekend of racing, new personal records, and team bonding.”
To participate in Nationals, an athlete has to achieve a qualifying time (for running events) or distance/height (for field events) in the current academic year. An athlete can qualify in 2 different divisions, Emerging Elite or Championship, with Championship having the higher standard.
The New Balance Nationals are held in mid-March at the New Balance Track & Field Center in the New York Armory and is home to numerous national records. An overwhelming majority of US National teams received their first taste of national competition at this meet. Positioned just before the college signing dates begin in the spring, it is the premier showcase for the country’s top track and field student athletes, and millions of dollars worth of college scholarships and opportunities are awarded annually based upon what college coaches see there.
The New York Armory, located in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan, is a special place to compete! Annually, it hosts over 100 track and field competitions for more than 125,000 athletes. A remarkable 220 members of the 2016 Olympic fields have competed at The Armory, at such international competitions such as the NYRR Millrose Games, Armory Track Invitational, New Balance Games and even at the Public Schools Athletic League Championships.
The track, now considered one of the fastest in the world, is a 200 meter, 6-lane banked oval track (for comparison, Spire and Akron are 300 meter tracks). The track sits on the first level with most seating on the second level. In the middle of the oval track are 2 long jump strips, a pole vault strip, and eight straightaway lanes where 60m sprints/hurdles, weight throws and high jump are held. They pack a lot in 66,000 square feet!
The athletes hope to do some sight-seeing while they’re there. One of the team traditions is to to eat at Coogan's, which is a track-themed restaurant near the Armory. Here is a link with some more information:
Here’s is a list of all of the qualifiers and the events in which they qualified:
Championship Sprint Medley: Kevin Conley, Delmario Hairston, Connor Duricky, Jacob Keating (NOTE that the team won’t be participating in this)
Championship 60m Hurdles: Connor Duricky (Trials 3/11 @ 9:55 AM, FInals 3/12 @ 1:49 PM)
Emerging Elite 4x200m Relay: Connor Duricky, Kevin Conley, Mike Malchesky, Delmario Hairston (Finals 3/10 @ 6:05PM)
Emerging Elite 60m: Kevin Conley (Trials 3/10 @ 9:50 AM, Finals 3/10 @ 1:10 PM)
Emerging Elite Mile: Jacob Keating (Finals 3/11 @ 3:05 PM)
Emerging Elite Long Jump: Delmario Hairston (3/10 @ Noon)
For full schedule, results and live-streaming for the event, go to this site: http://www.nbnationalsin.com/eprofile.php?event_id=1164&do=news&news_id=460853