MANHATTAN, N.Y. – The bright lights of New York City shined upon two of the area’s three track stars Friday night as they competed in the New Balance Nationals Indoor Championship Meet.
Triton’s Kerstin Darsney and Newburyport’s Tom Graham and Nick Carleo made the trip to nationals. Darsney and Graham competed in the event’s opening night, while Carleo will run the one mile race on Sunday.
Graham’s would record his best performance in the biggest meet of his life, where he ran a personal best in the 800-meter run.
“The meet was really good,” Graham said. “I ended up running a personal record of 159.01, so it was great. I had higher expectations of myself and wished I could have shaved a couple of seconds off of my time, but it was a great. I’m definitely pleased with the result.”
Factoring in experience level makes Graham’s accomplishment at National’s that much more impressive.
“Tommy has only run a couple 800-meter races so we are hoping he runs the best race of his life,” Newburyport coach Tim Foley said before the race. “He’s obviously a novice in the 800 and is running against some of the East Coast’s top runners. We are hoping for a time below 158.
To put Graham’s time in perspective, last year’s top finisher in the 800-meter race recorded a time of 1:51.37.
While Darsney would have an off night in the meet, clearing 5’2’’ in the high jump, it was still a worthwhile experience for the Triton track star headed to the University of Massachusetts Lowell next year to compete at the Division I level.
The United States high school girls record for the high jump is 5’11.5’’.
“I think it was an unfamiliar environment for her,” said Triton head coach Joe Colbert. “It was the first time at a meet of this stature for her and it was just an unfamiliar surrounding. I think it was a valuable experience for her to come down, though. She was loving the fact that she was around the best athletes in the country for her level.”