VALHALLA, N.Y. – Woodlands High School's Keturah Smalls sprinted and hurdled to victory and teammate Jonathan Albert raced to his own first-place finish Wednesday in the Section 1 Class C Track and Field Championships at Valhalla High School.
Smalls clocked a personal record 15.6 seconds to win the competitive 100-meter low hurdles and also won the 400-meter hurdles event, while Albert won his first Class C title in his first-ever appearance as a rookie track athlete for the Falcons, winning the 100-meter dash.
"I've always known I should be running because I had some talent," said the junior Albert, who was timed in 11.6 seconds over the sprint distance. "I have concentrated on my music and school work, but now I have track also. I was nervous because it's a big meet. It was a test because there were few heats before the finals."
Smalls, who runs with her signature eyeglasses, thought she had run an incomplete race until she heard her time was a personal best.
"I thought I slowed down some on a hurdle, but I pushed myself at the finish," Smalls said. "In the hurdles you have to have your steps right and not hesitate but run through each hurdle. I prefer the 400 hurdles because you have more space between the jumps. I guess i did okay though."
Albert, also a trumpet player who is a novice at track competition, said he hoped to improve and have a strong year as a senior.
"I have good grades, which is most important, and I will try to work hard on the track to get better and faster," Albert said. "I enjoy school, my music and now running. It's a great experience being an athlete."