Top-10 finishes at States for Dryden, T-burg

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While the outdoor track and field season is currently suspended due to the coronavirus, two athletes looked back on their top-10 performances from the indoor track and field state championships on March 7 in Staten Island.

Dryden’s Jakob Greenwood broke a school record and placed ninth overall in the state in the 600m run with a time of 1:23.18. Trumansburg pole vaulter Rosie Morse placed ninth in the state with a personal best height of 10’6”.

For Greenwood, he came into the event ranked 12th in the state and ended up beating that by three spots, which was a great accomplishment for him.

“It’s pretty surreal, honestly,” Greenwood said. “I never thought I would beat my seed. Being 12th in the state was a big accomplishment for me. To get ninth overall was huge. I’m a little disappointed in myself, honestly, because I missed the podium by one place, 0.29 seconds. That sucked, but I just have to keep my head high and wait for outdoor.”

There was no disappointment on the side of Morse. She embraced the experience of being amongst the best track and field athletes in the state.

“It was really just not thinking about it too much, not worrying about it and having a good time,” she said. “There are so many good athletes there, so it was fun seeing everyone else vault. I was just trying to do my best and see where I came out.”

Greenwood broke the school record several times this season in both the 300 and 600m runs. It came down to having a consistent strategy with his running.

“I just did what I usually do,” Greenwood said. “First lap, go out fast and find my way to the middle of the pack, then wait until the last 100 meters to actually kick it in. I think I was fifth [in my heat] with 100 meters to go and ended up finishing in third. I waited until the end to kick it in and it worked for me.”

While he set the record with his run at states, he felt that he could have done even better in a different environment.

“The track at Staten Island was definitely a big adjustment,” Greenwood said. “I didn’t feel fully used to running on the track because the turns were banked. It felt like it slowed me down. I probably could have performed better if it was on a regular track or if I was more used to it. I felt faster, definitely, but the curves made me stumble a bit more.”

Morse’s focus at the event was to not be intimidated by all the great athletes at the event. She simply did what she knew how to do.

“All the coaching and preparation beforehand [helped me],” Morse said. “Once you’re on the runway, just run your best race. There were so many good athletes that I wasn’t pressured to come in any big place. It was my first time at states so the message was to relax and try to run your best and do everything we’ve been training for. It went well.”

Both Morse and Greenwood performed in their respective school’s 4x200m relays. Dryden finished 10th among public schools, while Trumansburg placed 15th.

“The 4x200m is always a blast,” Greenwood said. “Having my teammates with me running one of our favorite races is awesome. The race went pretty smoothly. We got our personal record. I think we were just shy of our school record. All in all, I think we had a good race, but if it was on a regular track that we were used to, I think we would have done a bit better and maybe broken the record.”

Morse and her teammates came off an excellent race at the Section IV state qualifiers and were able to cap off their season in states.

“I got lucky to be on an amazing 4x200m team with Gracie [Wright], Emma [Wright], and Glenn [Parker],” Morse said. “I started it and handed it off to Gracie. It was an honor to run with such amazing athletes.”

Speaking of Section IV, Greenwood received an extra honor on top of his two top-10 finishes. The senior was recognized as the Section IV sportsmanship representative at the state championships.

“That was very awesome,” Greenwood said. “My coach [Lee] Stuttle, he told me he was going to be nominating me for that award. I thought, ‘OK, that’s sweet.’ But I didn’t think I had any chance of getting it. I woke up one morning to a text message from coach Stuttle and he told me I got it. It was very surreal. I didn’t think I’d get it out of our entire section. It’s crazy.”

For both Morse and Greenwood, it is now a waiting game. The outdoor track season was supposed to begin at the end of March, but all Tompkins County schools are now closed through April 12 due to the coronavirus, pushing back the start of the season indefinitely.

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