Devan Kipyego has brought a lot of hype to the Manhattan College High School Invitational. The storied Van Cortlandt 4k course has not been seen since the days of Edward Cheserek himself, and for good reason. Kipyego has talked about breaking this record for weeks leading up to the race. He had no reason not to believe he was ready to do it either. As a 4:00 miler last season, as well as breaking current Stanford freshmen Gavin Sherry's Ocean State Invitational record; Kipyego looked primed to give the record a run for its money. Although Kipyego gave his best efforts, he came up just short of the record but still secured the win. He still managed to run 12:14.4, good for 14th in course history and a 193-speed rating. He also smashed the state record of 12:30 set by former La Salle great Max Dimuccio.
Bishop Hendricken also ran in the Eastern States Race. Although the team's start was towards the back of the field, they passed runners throughout the hills and final stretch culminating in a 4th place team finish with 201 points (330 in the merge). They were led by Troy Silvestri with a strong 12th-place finish in 12:48.10 and a 180-speed rating. Andrew Frezza and Keegan Tierney placed 38th and 39th respectively in 13:17.7 and 13:18.1. Jack Moretta and Ollie Ide rounded out the top 5 both dipping below 13:40 in 54th and 77th place respectively.
La Salle Academy decided to run in the letter race where, although he was 3rd on the team, Marshall Vernon shined. The freshmen ran 13:27.3 for 4k to place 9th overall. That is a 166-speed rating. He was the second-fastest freshman on the day only after Ryan Tuohy. If that name sounds familiar, that is because he is the younger brother of Katelyn Tuohy, the GOAT of high school girls runners in cross country and long-distance track. Ray Flores and Phil Simas Jr. both ran 13:19 and a 169-speed rating to take the team title for La Salle with 56 points over Brooklyn Tech's 87. They finished 9th in the merge as the top non-Eastern States team with 524 points.
In the JV, Sophomore, and Freshmen Races Bishop Hendricken and La Salle showed their depth. The Hawks saw Brayton Gazzero take individual honors in 13:55 as his team finished 3rd overall with 86 points. La Salle saw a similar result taking 3rd in JV B with 91 points. Hendricken and La Salle runners also saw the old 1.25 course extended 400 meters to 1.5. This cements Max Dimuccio's 2k xc state record of 5:46.5 from 2016.
On the girl's side, Erin VonHousen of Chariho took the in the Girl's Varsity A race in 15:21 which was good for a 122-speed rating. She had the fastest girls' time on the day in the merge placing 26th. Just .3 behind was Caroline Cummings of La Salle. The future Georgetown Hoya took 5th place in her race in 15:21.3. Teammate Mia Bettez placed 7th in 15:48.8. The team finished 6th in the Varsity C race while missing Maeve Casey.
Other top performances in letter races included Keaney Bayha of Pilgrim finishing 7th dipping under 16 minutes with a 15:56.6 in the Varsity A race. Varsity B saw Saint Raphael's duo of Rory Sullivan and Chandaniey Boyce take 6th and 12th overall in 15:44.4 and 16:06.6 respectively. Emmy Belvin of Mount Saint Charles placed 15th in Varsity C with a 16:28.7, and Grace Doyle of Classical took 10th in Varsity D with a 16:21.7.
La Salle's freshmen girls' took second as a team in the freshmen race with 42 points to Syosset's 18.
All eyes turn to Rhode Island as the Freshmen State Championships and Class Champions approach in a few weeks.