ADAMS CENTER — Skylar Pastor has had extra incentive to perform well throughout her running career.
Her mother, Renee, was also a South Jefferson track and field standout, and her accomplishments have given Skylar some solid goals to target.
“After I found out my skill in the sport and my love for it, then I decided to go for some of my mom’s records and try to beat her,” Skylar said.
Renee, who was known as Renee Emerson in school, graduated in 1991 with 17 school records in cross country and track and field.
Skylar, a sophomore sprinter who is preparing to race in the 400-meter dash at her third state outdoor track and field meet, now holds nine of the records that once belonged to her mother.
The state meet is set for Friday and Saturday at Section 9’s Middletown High School in Orange County.
Skylar is seeded second in the Division II 400 behind Friends Academy junior Candace Taylor, according to rankings posted on the Leone Timing website.
Taylor’s seed time is 1 minute, 40 seconds faster than Skylar’s school-record time of 56.96, which she clocked at the Skaneateles-Marcellus Invitational in April.
Skylar is the 2011 state Division II champion in the 400. Last year she finished second in Division II and seventh overall.
When Skylar was invited up to varsity as a seventh-grader, she made an immediate impact and would often say to Renee, “‘Mama, I’m going to beat you. I’m going to beat your records. My times are better.’”
Renee challenged her daughter.
“‘We’ll see when you graduate who has the most records,’” Renee used to say.
With two more years of high school left for Skylar, her mother has come to terms with the inevitable.
Skylar has already captured 15 school records.
“If I have 15 now, then I’m gettin’ her!” Skylar said.
The most rewarding record Skylar broke was her mother’s 400 indoor track mark. It was the only individual record Renee had left standing, and she thought it would go untouched because the 400 is no longer contested at area indoor track meets.
“She thought she was always going to have her name up on the board for that event,” Skylar said.
But Skylar competed at the national indoor competition where the 400 was offered and crossed the finish line in 57 seconds to replace her mother’s time of 63.6.
“After 22 years, I had that one record left, and my own daughter broke it, so that was pretty special,” Renee said.
Some of Renee’s records were already replaced by other athletes before Skylar got a crack at them, so Renee is pleased Skylar has taken them over.
“When she ran, her times were really good,” Skylar said. “She thinks it’s pretty cool that her daughter beat them.”
Skylar’s family and friends will have to watch from the bleachers at this event, but during regular meets her mother stands near the 100-meter mark to cheer her on.
“If I hear anyone, it’s always her,” Skylar said. “I listen to what she says: ‘How bad do you want this? Do you want this? You gotta go, Skylar, go, go, go!’ That always makes me go faster, because I really, really want it.”
n NOTES: Skylar Pastor is coached by Julie Storms, whose daughters, Kris and Jo, competed in track and field with Renee Pastor. ... The Frontier League record for the 400 is held by Chelsea Berry of Lowville. Berry clocked a time of 55.13 at the state track meet in 2005. ... Other top area qualifiers include sophomore Kylee Bartlett of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, who is seeded second in Division II and seventh overall in the girls pentathlon. ... Lisbon junior Laura Pierce, who competes for Canton, is ranked fourth in the 3,000 for Division II and is a part of her team’s 3,200 relay, which is seeded third in the division. ... Alex Wood of Ogdensburg Free Academy is ranked fifth in the boys 800 for Division II.