STATEN ISLAND — Four athletes from Saratoga Springs teamed up to capture the NYSPHSAA Indoor Track State Championship in the 4x800 relay, capping off a weekend full of strong finishes.
The team of Alycia Hart, Sheridan Wheeler, McKinley Wheeler, and Emily Bush took home the state championship in the 4x800 relay with a time of 9:06.63, a new meet record. All four runners also helped Saratoga capture the cross country national championship at the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Oregon on Dec. 3.
“Just when you think you’ve done everything, something else pops up,” said coach Linda Kranick. “It’s been a very exciting year for them.”
Kranick has served as the longtime coach of the Saratoga girls track and cross country teams alongside her husband Art Kranick.
“These girls, they work so well together,” Kranick continued. “They’re so focused. We didn’t even think about the record ahead of time. It was a very exciting race. They led from the gun to the wire, the whole time.”
McKinley Wheeler also placed second in the 3000-meter run (9:37.50), with Sheridan Wheeler in third (9:37.67). Kranick said the times are two of the best in the event in team history.
“Those were just outstanding times that they ran,” Kranick said. “Number three and four all-time for our team, so that says a lot. … It was an amazing race, and they run so well together.”
Kranick also said it was “impressive” to see Bush, McKinley Wheeler, and Sheridan Wheeler all compete in multiple events over the weekend.
Bush finished third in the 1500-meter run (4:29.42), setting a new personal best. Anya Belisle also placed eighth in the 1500 (4:40.63). Amelia McBain placed fourth in the pole vault (12’ 0”).
“That was a personal best for Emily. To break 4:30 is something to be proud of,” said Kranick. “Amelia is just a super athlete, a super person. We’re so proud of her in the pole vault.”
McBain set the school record in the pole vault earlier in the season, Kranick said.
Next, the team will head to another national championship meet: The Nike 2023 Indoor Nationals from March 10 to 12 at The Armory in New York City. Kranick said the indoor season has been “very successful,” to this point, with the team looking to continue that success this weekend.
“We’re quite pleased with all the girls’ performances,” said Kranick. “There are other girls, not just the ones you see at the state meets and the headlines. But we have many other girls who are out there working hard. It makes it enjoyable for us.”