New Hartford – There’s no doubt about it; whether it’s on the football field or a rain-soaked track in New Hartford, Whitesboro senior Darnae Camp is fast.
So fast, not even the heavens opening up during his 100-meter dash final could slow him down.
“I’m used to running in the rain,” Camp said.
Camp, who was one of the driving forces behind the Warriors’ run to the Section III championship in the fall, ran through the raindrops en route to a first-place finish at the 63rdannual New Hartford Invitational on Friday. The Whitesboro senior’s winning time of 11.31 narrowly beat his teammate running two lanes over. Freshman Lucas Casab, a teammate of Camp’s, ran an 11.58, finishing sixth out of 31 runners at Don Edick Field.
However, there was bigger news that should make the other top runners of the section stand up and take notice. This is actually Camp’s first season running track for the Warriors, so the senior was still getting used to running three different 100-meter races (preliminaries, semi-finals, and the finals).
“I’ve run four 100’s before,” Camp said after receiving his award. “So it’s no problem for me.”
Camp’s performance gives the entire Whitesboro track team something to look up to, especially the runner two lanes away from him.
“[Camp] pushes me to run better every day,” Casab said. “It helps me exceed my limits.”
Both Casab and Camp have qualified for the Section III meet in the 100-meter dash on May 27.
On the other side of the spectrum, New Hartford’s Kelan McKenna is fast too, just in a different way. McKenna is one of the fastest in Central New York at one of the slowest events at the meet, the 1600 meter dash.
The senior, a 4 time Section III Champion wrestler for the host Spartans, was a bundle of energy before and after the race, in which he finished fifth in the event. So much so, in fact, that when he and teammate Josh Farmer (who finished fourth) crossed the finish line with personal best times, the two began yelling and slapping each other on the back.
“We were excited about our times…we both had good times,” McKenna said. His time of four minutes, 29 seconds, surpassed his personal best by over 11 seconds. Had they reseeded after the race, that time would have jumped McKenna from ninth out of 37 runners all the way up to third.
For McKenna, his last time stepping onto Don Edick Field for the New Hartford Invitational was one of his best.
“It feels cool to run your best in your last New Hartford Invitational,” McKenna said. “It’s bittersweet…looking back on it, it went fast.”
Camp, Casab and McKenna will see each other again in just a few weeks at the sectional meet, as all three have posted times that have qualified them for the meet. However, none of them are worried about how they’ll perform once they get there.
“It’s still the middle of the season,” McKenna said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
For Casab, it was a chance to scout out some of the competition, as most of the participants (who represented 26 different schools from around the section) will be representing their schools at the sectional meet as well.
“All the competition I’m going to see is here…” Casab said. “It motivates me to work harder.”
For Camp, the level of intensity on Friday told him just one thing.
“It tells me I’m going to have to push myself to get on the board,” Camp said.
If today’s performance was any indicator, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Other performances from Friday’s Meet:
- Camp and Casab, along with fellow Warriors, seniors Anthony LaGatta and Tom Manna, earned points for Whitesboro by placing fourth in the 4×100 relay. They posted a time of 44.89 in the event.
- Holland Patent sophomore Eddie Callahan, with a time of 15.49 seconds, gave the Golden Knights eight points for his effort in the 110-meter hurdles. That time is a personal best for Callahan this season, who was seeded eighth in the event.
- New Hartford junior Tom Mulvihill, seeded just above Callahan in the same event, posted a time that was just 1/100th of a second under his personal best, at 16.35 seconds. That performance was good enough to earn him a fourth-place finish.
- The Golden Knights got on the board again in the 400 meters, as senior Mason Herkel posted a time of 52.78 seconds, which was good enough for fourth place.
In the end, Cicero North Syracuse, Baldwinsville and Liverpool finished 1,2,3 overall in the team standings. Rome Free Academy was 4th, followed by host New Hartford in 5th. Whitesboro, led by Camp who won the 100 and finished second in the 200 meter dash, finished in a tie with West Genesee for 7th. Sauquoit Valley was 12th, followed by Holland Patent in 14th. Adirondack and Camden finished in a tie for 15th place.