A lot of things have changed at Ogdensburg Free Academys Van Dusen Memorial Track and Field Invitational since 1981.
But one thing that has stood impervious to the test of time like an unreachable star is the 800 (1:55.9) and 1600 (4:13.1) meter run record double which was set in 1981 by Norwood-Norfolks Jim Tyler.
Tyler, who went on to break the magic four-minute mark in the mile at the University of Notre Dame, made his first appearance at the Van Dusen since 1981 on Saturday. He was delighted to see some old friends and to see that the meet, although now staged in the midseason, was still one of the crown jewels of North Country Track-Field.
I usually get home every couple of years to see my folks but I usually dont visit this time of year said Tyler who now owns an architectural firm in Bismark, N.D. and maintains his love for distance runner as a marathoner.
I always loved this track and I have a lot of great memories from here. It seemed that the straight-aways were always a little longer here.
The 90th edition of the Van Dusen featured a dominant performance by the Malone Boys who tallied 165 points and were followed Potsdam at 67, Gouverneur 55 and OFA 54.
We had a great day and our depth really carried us. We were hoping that Indian River would be here which would have been a great challenge for us, said Malone Coach Matt Tessier of his senior laden juggernaut which features three NCAA Division I recruits in Harvey Smith (Notre Dame), Rourk Marlow (University of Hartford) and Morgan Marlow (University of Massachusetts).
The Malone Girls took advantage of an opportunity created when Canton entered a group of runners in the William F. Eddy Meet in Schenectady. The Lady Huskies tallied 110 points with Canton taking second at 83.50 and Madrid-Waddington third at 58.50. In the combined standings, Malone led with 275 followed by Canton 100.5 and Madrid-Waddington 91.
We ran very well today and we have a very young team. Our prom always falls on this weekend but our girls still wanted to compete. So they did their events and headed home, said Malone Coach Mike Wescott.
Canton gave us chance sending some of their best runners to the Eddy Meet but it meant a lot to our girls to win this meet.
The youth of the Lady Huskies was illustrated by eighth grader Emily Pomainville who was honored as the Outstanding Female Runner. She edged her sister Carrie Pomainville for first place in the 1500 run, prevailed by a lean over Moira Fayle of Lowville in the 3000 run (both runners clocked at 11:16.20) and combined with Rebekah Bond, Madeleine Champagne and Hannah Perry on the winning 4x400 relay. Bond also ran on the Huskies 4x800 relay win and produced the only meet record of the day when she ran a 7:52.50 in the 2000 meter steeplechase bettering the 7:55.80 posted by Cantons Aimee Beaudette in 2011.
The steeplechase is my favorite event because you do so many different things, said Bond.It is just a lot of fun.
Joining Emily Pomainville in the circle of individual award winners in the Girls Meet were a pair of Tupper Lake standouts in Outstanding Sprinter Madi Fortier and Outstanding Jumper Samantha Ormsby and the Outstanding Thrower Katie Marcellus of Madrid-Waddington.
In the Boys Meet, Malones Harvey Smith was honored as the Outstanding Sprinter, Potsdams Ethan Vinson was recognized as the Outstanding Runner, OFAs Taylor Bouchard was cited as the Outstanding Jumper and Clifton-Fines Dave Dobronsky was cited as the Outstanding Thrower.
Fortier won the 100 and 200 meter dashes, Ormsby paced the triple jump and took second in the long jump to Lowvilles Alexis Bach and Marcellus placed first in the discus throw and took second in the shot put to Tupper Lakes smooth eighth grader Katie Zurek.
Smith had his sights set on the meet records in the 100 (10.8) and 400 (48.4) meter dashes but fell short with high octane winning times of 11.0 and 49.0. I ran my season best in the 400. I ran a 48.2 in the states last year but I think I am on schedule. Last year at this time I couldnt have run as fast I did today, said Smith referring to his plans to become a collegiate sprinter at Notre Dame. I am going to run the 100, 200 and the 400 and 300 during indoors. I think running indoors will really help me in college.
Potsdams Ethan Vinson broke up Malones domination of the distance arena posting a classic 800 and 1600 meter double and ran on the Stoners first place 4x100 relay team.
I broke two minutes in the 800 for the first time so that was a big step for me, said Vinson who plans to run collegiately at SUNY Plattsburgh.
I had a great day and want to keep it going in a dual meet with Malone on Wednesday and at the sectionals.
Bouchard produced host OFAs only individual titles leading the triple jump and the high jump. I had a very good day but I still havent had a real big jump yet this season, said Bouchard. But I am working very hard and I am sure it will come.
Dobronsky uncoiled two real big throws with NAC season bests the shot put in 44-7.50 and the discus throw at 143-07.
Rounding out the circle of Van Dusen Girls Meet individual champions were: Paige Hamilton of Canton (400 dash), Leta Ashley of Peru (800 run), Marissa Perez of Malone (100 hurdles), Emma Bonk of Indian River (400 hurdles), Jacalyn Lamica of Malone (high jump) and Briana Hayes of Norwood-Norfolk (pentathlon).
Bonk, who is the daughter of former OFA high jump standout Ryan Bonk, also ran on Indian Rivers first place 4x100 relay with Taylor Baynham, Margaret Frezar and Makele Shanks. Malone took the 4x800 relay with Rebekkah Bond, Brooke and Morgan Bonner and Madeleine Champagne.
Also earning first place medals and trophies in the Boys Meet were: Watertowns Matthew Olney (pentathlon), Massenas Kyle Nicholson (200 dash), Conor Gordon of Malone who approached the 33-year old meet record of 9:15.4 by running a 9:17.30 3200 meters, Anthony Way of Gouverneur (110 hurdles), John Picaro of Malone (400 hurdles), Corey Lamere of Malone (3000 steeplechase) and Andrew Brush of Massena (long jump).
OFA won one of the best races of the day in 4x400 relay when Collin Sovie, Andrew Colburn and Donovan Smith set up Alex Wood for blistering come-from-behind victory over Potsdam which claimed the 4x100 relay title with Ethan Vinson, Ebuka Ononye, Oden Robertson and Peter Clark. Malone took the 4x800 relay with Josh Bordeaux, Will Bronner, Conor Gordon and Corey Lamere.
Sectional Site Switch: because of on-going renovations at St. Lawrence University, OFA has been designated as the host venue for the Section 10 Championships which will be held on May 29-30 with the action beginning at 4:15 p.m. each day.