Four Queensbury track athletes are heading to North Carolina this weekend for the New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
The foursome will compete in the 4x100-meter shuttle hurdles on Saturday afternoon on the campus of North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. The USA Track & Field event runs Friday through Sunday.
Senior Isabel Caprood, junior Bailey Gengel, sophomore Hailey Ballard and freshman Emma Caprood make up the “Spartan Striders.” Because the event is happening outside of the scholastic sports season, they can’t use the school name.
“They’re pretty pumped — they’re all into track, so they’re excited to go down and see what everyone else is doing,” Queensbury girls track coach Pete Crotty said.
The Queensbury girls qualified for the event by running a time of 1:03.41 at the George Muse Relays at Glens Falls High School last month. The qualifying standard for nationals is 1:04.50.
The shuttle hurdles is a unique “up-and-back” relay event, with each runner starting at the previous runner’s finish line.
“Each team runs in two lanes, with the hurdles set in one direction in one lane, and the other direction in the other,” Crotty said. “As one runner hits the line, the outgoing runner can take off.”
On an eight-lane track, that means four teams will run in each heat. Teams place according to the aggregate time of the runners.
Isabel Caprood qualified for states in the 100 hurdles in 15.09. Gengel’s best time was 15.66 and Ballard ran a 15.76 competing in the pentathlon. Emma Caprood, the youngest of the quartet, runs in the low 16s.
“They’ve been a good group all year long,” Crotty said. “They ran 63.41 (seconds) at the Muse Relays — that’s under 16 seconds a runner. It’s pretty unusual to have four really good hurdlers like that, so we’re pretty fortunate.”
Crotty said the girls’ parents are bringing them to the meet, and he and Queensbury boys coach Matt Crossman will be coaching the relay.
Three Greenwich athletes are also going to compete in the nationals — senior Michael Gabriel in the hammer throw, sophomore Brynne Wright in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, and seventh-grader Teagan Wright in the junior high mile. They are competing as the Witches Track Club.
Greenwich girls track coach Steve Patrick said Gabriel qualified based on his weight throw during indoor season, since New York state does not contest the hammer throw in high school track and field. Teagan Wright qualified based on her 1,500 time of 5:02.83 at the Section II state qualifier on June 1, and Brynne Wright is coming off a personal-best 7:10.88 at the state meet on Saturday.