February 16, 2017
NEW YORK – A quartet of milers from HOKA New Jersey-New York Track Club and high school Olympian Sydney McLaughlin are among the athletes eyeing records on Friday at the inaugural Artie O’Connor College Invitational at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory.
The meet, named in honor of former Fordham coach Artie O’Connor, begins at 3 p.m. EST.
McLaughlin, a senior at Union Catholic NJ, will take one final crack at the national high school record in the 300 meters. The time she is looking for is 36.96, which is the record held by Francena McCorory of Bethel HS (Va.) since 2006.
McLaughlin, who competed at the Olympics in the 400-meter hurdles, placed fourth in the 300 meters last Saturday at the 110th NYRR Millrose Games, clocking a personal best 37.09 seconds.
The Women’s 300m is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, Donn Cabral, Ford Palmer, Kyle Merber and Colby Alexander are aiming at the all-time world best in the indoor 4xMile relay time of 16:16.67, which the New York Athletic Club achieved in 1993.
The foursome of athletes, coached by Frank Gagliano, would like to go well under the record and put it under 16 minutes. That would be a sub-four minute per mile average.
Merber and Alexander, who were third and fifth, respectively, at last Saturday’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, both have personal best times of 3:54. Palmer has a lifetime best of 3:55 and Cabral, a 2016 U.S. steeplechase Olympian, has run 3:56.
“It’s a fun thing to do during indoors, keep the motivation up and the training fun,” Merber said.
The group has been plotting a run at the record for months.
“As a credibility issue, we want to get it under 16 (minutes). Our best times altogether say 15:45. If we don’t get under 16, it will be a disappointment,” Palmer added.
The Men’s 4×1 Mile Relay is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
Incidentally, Artie O’Connor coached Fordham to the 1963 4xMile Relay title at the Penn Relays. Armory Foundation President Dr. Norb Sander was a member of the famed ’63 Fordham squad.
Friday’s meet is primarily a college meet and features a schedule built around athletes trying to achieve qualifying marks for upcoming championship events.
TEAMS ENTERED: Adidas Garden State Track Club, Albright, Army Prep, CC of Philadelphia, CCNY, Columbia, Connecticut, CPTC New Balance, Delaware Valley, Dominican (NY), Drexel University TC, Eastern, ECC-unitt, Essex CC, Harcum, Hofstra, ISAA, Kcc Wave, KIing’s (Pa.), Kingsborough CC, Lehman, LIU Post, Medgar Evers, Monroe College, Nassau CC, Neumann, New Horizon TC, Next Level Athletic Club, Northwood Athletic Club, NYAC, Nyack, NYU, Pratt Institute, Queens, Shore Athletic Club, St. John’s, St. John’s Track Club, Syracuse Track Club, Team Legacy, Temple, Towson, Virginia Union, Virginia Wesleyan, York (NY), Zenith Velocity.