Conor Lundy’s hands immediately went to his head instead of in the air as he envisioned.
The New Balance High School Boys’ Mile at the Milrose Games unfolded exactly as the Fordham Prep star had planned until the final lap.
Lundy couldn’t hold off the field.
The lead he took two laps earlier and held at the belt was erased around the first tur and dropped to third in late in the final straight. He ultimately placed fourth, just like a year ago, in a time of 4:10.68 after Isaac Cortes of Great Oak (Cal.) surged past everyone late to win with a mark of 4:09.87 at the Armory on Feb. 20.
“That was exactly my plan, take it out with three to go and try to keep on pushing,” Lundy said. “Unfortunately I got outkicked. You can’t ask for anything more, but you wish you couldn’t have done better.”
He was trying to become the first New York City runner to win the prestigious event since Kevin Jermyn of Tottenville in 1993 and become just the third overall. Lundy was the favorite after running the second fastest time in the nation this season (4:08.25) at the New Balance Games in late January.
“I wanted to win this,” Lundy said. “So much history behind it.”
It appeared he might do so. He sat in second and third for much of the race waiting for the right moment to push forward. When he did, Lundy tried to push the pace of the race, but the field was able to hang with him until they had a little more left then he did.
“Once I took over I was like, ‘I am in a really good position,” he said. “But I just got outkicked.”
Kennedy boys win PSAL 4×200 relay: The Knights like to get ahead and stay ahead. Lead leg Tajle Nelson ensured that was the case.
The junior gave Kennedy a 50-meter lead it would not relinquish as he, Kelly Hernandez and Albis Almanzar cruised to a victory in the Milrose Games’ PSAL 4×200 meter relay in a time of 1:32.71. Erasmus Hall was second in 1:33.02 and Truman third in 1:33.50.
“We usually want to stay in the front so they have to come catch us,” Nelson said.
For that reason, Kennedy – unlike most teams – try to put its best runners early in the race. It also allows them to put more care into the baton passes, which has been an issue at times this season.
It is not that the Knights are incapable of rallying for a win, but why change a strategy that works. Hernandez was able to extend the advantage and keep his team from playing catch up.
“As you try to pass [runners] usually block us off in lane two and lane three” Nelson said. “If you have to go around them you have to run more and I makes our time slower.”
Late push not enough for Gallagher: Former Fordham standout Kerri Gallager surged to the front of the pack in the final lap of the Women’s Wanamaker Mile, but had to settle for a second place finish with a time of 4:26.18. Defending champion Shannon Rowbury won in 2:24.39.