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Molloy, Queens schools come up short at finals

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They came into the CHSAA city championships at Mount St. Michael Saturday with high expectations. After dominating the Brooklyn/Queens championships two weeks ago — taking five of the top six spots — the Archbishop Molloy hurdlers had their sites set on city gold.

But it wasn’t meant to be. Paul Pace, who won the Brooklyn/Queens 400-meter hurdles, was the Stanners highest finisher as the Woodside resident took third in the 110-meter high hurdles in 16.01. Xavier’s Jerrey Alcoser took first (15.30), while Monsignor Farrell’s Jerrod Pedone was second in 15.40.

Pace, who is heading to the University of Rhode Island in the fall, said the wet track affected his race.

“My shoes were soaked. Every time I landed my foot would slide,” Pace said. “But I thought I had a chance for at least second.”

Molloy teammate Dan Chapeatou, who won the event in the Brooklyn/Queens championships, took fourth in 16.25.

The Stanners also had a clean sweep of the 400-meter hurdles in the Brooklyn/Queens championships, but struggled in the city, as Pace was the lone finisher, taking fifth in 59.25. Mount St. Michael’s Rich Villanvega won it in 56.15. Chaminade’s Peter Garafalo (56.63), Jose Fernandez from Fordham Prep and McClancy’s Robert Lawson (57.25) followed.

Molloy took fifth place at the city championships, tied with Mount St. Michael with 24 points. Fordham Prep won its first city outdoor crown with 47.5 points, ahead of Kellenberg and Chaminade, which were tied for second with 39 points, and St. Anthony’s, which finished fourth with 31 points.

Other top finishers for Molloy were Dan McGrath. The Manhattan College-bound senior took second in the 3000-meter steeplechase in 10:01.90 behind Chaminade’s Collin Martin (9:49.20), Roland Varriale, who finished second with a throw of 154'00, and Matt Waldron, who was second in the high jump with a mark of 6'00. The 4x100 relay ‘A’ team placed third in 44.86, while the ‘B’ team was fifth in 48.06.

A lot was also expected of Christ the King’s Craig Nelson. In just his first year on the track, the Royals starting running back edged out Holy Cross’ Brian Chiantella to win the 100-meter at the Brooklyn/Queens championships and was the top seed heading into Saturday’s race.

But as the St. Albans native was quick to learn, the competition at the city championships was much tougher, as was the rigors of running five times in one day, as Nelson took second in the 100-meter in 11.20, just behind Fordham Prep's Obaro Emenike, who won the race in 11.16. Molloy's Shawn Edwards was fourth in 11.40.

“It was a rough day, a lot of runs,” said Nelson, who also placed sixth in the 200 in 22.93. “I guess I have to get into a bit better shape because fatigue killed me.”

The Holy Cross 4x100-relay team also came into the city championship with high hopes. They entered the race as the favorites, owners of the fastest time in the city (42.85). And with two seniors on the team, the Knights wanted to cap Brian Chiantella and Ashawn Knight’s career with a gold medal.

Chiantella and Knight did their job to give Cross a slight lead heading into the third leg. But Knight was just a bit slow in handing Victor Parsley the baton, and that was all it took. While Parsley and Mike Davenport did run well, Holy Cross was edged out by Fordham Prep (43.90) by three-tenths of a second.

“Everything wasn't perfect,” said Davenport, a junior from Bayside. “In the 4x100, everything has to be perfect. I’m not mad though. We just have to practice hard and do better. We should bounce back and do well next year.”

Chiantella, who earlier in the day graduated from Holy Cross, ran his best time of the year to finish second in the 200-meter in 22.39, behind Holy Trinity’s Dwight Vincent (22.34). Davenport was fifth in 22.92.

“I got out good, I had a good reaction to the gun,” the Bayside resident said. “I’m very happy, very satisfied.”

Holy Cross garnered nine points to take 10th place and Christ the King and McClancy finished tied for 16th with four points.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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