VALHALLA, N.Y. North Salem High School's Cullin Burdett raced to victory in the 1,600-meter run and teammates Brenna Brown and Alex Monaco won the girls' and boys' long jump titles Wednesday at the Section 1 Class C Track and Field Championships at Valhalla High School.
"I'm happy with the result because it's such a big meet," said Brown, who doubles as a star soccer player in the fall and won her third Class C title in the event. "I didn't have my best day, but you have to stay focused. There are up days and down days, but you can get through it."
Monaco, a prodigious freshman, captured his first Class C title by stretching out a jump of 19-feet, 5.5-inches, just four inches shy of a North Salem High School record for the event. The freshman defeated several experienced upper classmen in the event.
According to North Salem coach John Davis, who coaches the team with Damien Holst, Monaco was jumping in only his third meet of the season due yo an injury.
Brown kept on her mark and leaped 16 feet, 4 1/4 inches, less than 4 inches off her personal record of 16-8-plus. She hopes to keep pushing to better jumps between her summer soccer and her senior year next fall.
"Soccer and track and field work together for me because the skills are similar," Brown said. "Soccer and long jump work the legs and running sprints helps with my speed on the field. I'm happy I got out on the track in the seventh grade."
Burdett, who prefers the 2-mile distance on the track, ran a strong 1,600 with competition from a pair of Bronxville runners and finishing in a personal record time of 4:26.
"I wanted to stay up at the front and test the Bronxville guys, maybe work with them to get the pace going," Burdett said. "I run cross country and indoor track, too, so I'm feeling strong right now. This was a pretty good win for me. I felt a little tired in the last 400, but you have to push hard and I did that today."
Burdett, a sophomore, said he likes the challenge of track because of the diversity of events.
"You try different distances and events," he said. "I like the individual challenge of getting better and better and working hard to improve."
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