Sabrena Quintois-McKinney doesn’t even own javelin shoes. The South Glens Falls senior had only done the event twice before Friday’s New Balance National Outdoor Track and Field Championship. And the girls she was throwing against were talking about throwing at all their meets.
New York state doesn’t offer javelin in its high school track meets. The Hudson Falls and Ballston Spa invitationals were the only times Quintois-McKinney had competed in the event. But she met the qualifying standard, one of the first two athletes from South High ever to do so along with Regina Rosati.
“It was different not having any background but I made it; I threw the standard,” Quintois-McKinney said in a phone interview. “All the girls in my heat said they throw on a daily basis.”
She proved she belonged with a 117-foot, 6-inch throw and placed sixth in the emerging elite (the second of the two divisions) in the national meet at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. There were 35 other competitors.
“So I can throw with them,” she said.
Quintois-McKinney wanted to PR and did, throwing farther than her school record. She hopes to throw javelin as part of the heptathlon at the University at Albany next year and this experience positions her well.
“It’s amazing,” she said. “It’s eye-opening. It’s a whole new experience. It’s amazing to be here. You’re competing against a whole other level of competition.”
Rosati found it scary, the most intimidating meet she’s ever been to. But once she got to the starting line in the emerging elite mile race, her nerves settled down. The South High senior dropped 12 seconds off her time to finish 18th at 5:02.58, also better than her school record.
“Being in a heat with girls who were faster than me pushed me,” she said. “I was seeded last in my heat and I just did not want to finish last.”
Rosati, who will run for Siena College next year, was a little apprehensive going into the meet as she doesn’t like running in the heat. Last weekend’s state meet was quite warm at 79 degrees and it was 88 degrees with 54 percent humidity when her race took off at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.
She felt like she wasn’t even taking in air at one point during the race, but it went quickly once she started and the push not to be last kept her going.
No one from South Glens Falls had been to nationals before.
“These two girls have truly left their legacy and raised the bar for future athletes at South Glens Falls,” assistant coach Maria Whitney said.
Greenwich’s Brynne Wright will be running in the freshman mile event on Saturday.