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Magnet’s Inico caps HS career with three state medals

The meet featured...

By Brian Towey

A clash between the state’s top track and field talent served as a showcase for some of the top talent in Queens this weekend at the New York State track and field championships at the Mitchell Field Athletic complex in Uniondale, L.I.

The meet featured two of the borough’s top sprinters, one in the twilight of his career, the other a burgeoning talent.

Kedar Inico, the PSAL 200-meter and 400-meter city champion, capped off a memorable four-year stint in the New York City track and field scene with a second-place finish in the 400 and a fifth-place finish in the half-lap sprint. Inico also ran the lead leg on the Campus Magnet 4x100 meter relay that placed third statewide.

Despite feeling sluggish the entire championship weekend, Inico clocked 48.5 in the 400 on Friday to earn a berth in Saturday’s final, while also qualifying for the 200-meter finale and the 4x100-meter championship the next day as well. Friday’s triple sapped the sprinter of much of his energy, but he vowed to close out the championships with a strong showing.

“I felt really sluggish today,” said Inico after his exploits on the track Friday. “My legs felt heavy and I didn’t have much turnover. But I’ll come back strong (Saturday).”

Inico stayed true to his word, blasting a 47.93 400 in Saturday’s final, nipped at the line by Suffern’s Chris Lolagne by less than 1/100 of a second. The senior returned to clock 21.89 in the 200 final for fifth place, while running the lead leg on Campus’ third place relay.

“Today I didn’t run up to my potential,” Inico said, despite his three medals. “But overall, I was satisfied with how the outdoor season went.”

Inico will take his 21.3/47.4 sprint credentials to junior college powerhouse Barton Community College in Kansas next season.

The Campus quintet of Inico, Bobby Saul, Ansel Wallace, and Trevor Nelson seemed content with their efforts Saturday.

“You won’t hear any complaints from me,” said Wallace. “The race went all right, the stick pass was good. There was just good competition today.”

While Inico closed out a stellar sprint career for Campus, another Queens native established herself as a one-lap threat for years to come.

Rosedale resident Natasha Hastins sped to a 54.28 finish in the 400 meters, putting nearly 10 meters between herself and her closest competitor. The AP Randolph freshman upstaged a field loaded with some of the state’s top talent, and unfortunately for the opposition, Hastings figures to be a mainstay on the PSAL and state scenes for years to come.

“The wind on the backstretch was kind of strong, but I think I did pretty well,” said Hastings. “My goal was to run 53.5, but my coach wanted me to run a 54, and I did that.”

Hastings’ pre-race strategy proved effective.

“I wanted to try and break the stagger before the backstretch,” said Hastings. “And I was able to do that.”

The only other Queens finisher of note was St. Francis Prep discus thrower Kristina Elrose, who notched 11th place with a toss of 92’06’’.

Reach contributing writer Brian Towey by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

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