Alex Ryan Competes at NYSPHSAA Indoor State Track Meet
NYPHSAA, combined with the PSAL, et. al., Indoor Track and Field Championships, a.k.a. "States" was held on Staten Island at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex. The Cortland High School Athletics program was represented by Alex Ryan, who ran in the 600-meter event.
The track was a banked, six-lane track that could also be lowered to a flat eight-lane track (which they did for the wheelchair 1-mile race) on the second floor, creating a thundering sound when the athletes ran in front of the stands each lap.
Coach Paul Drexler and teammate Andy Ryan, along with Coach Luke Parker, Dan Ruggiero, Tyler Stevens, and family/friends accompanied Alex to States. Before Alex’s race, he used the “warm up track” to dispense of some nerves, literally warming up with some of the nation's finest athletes in history (look up Katelyn Tuohy).
The day saw many state records broken, national standards met, and even some national records broken. A 7th grader won the 300 meter dash, the men's shot put had to be moved to the weight throw arena because they were hitting the back of the cage, and the crowd was more than willing to clap to encourage the pole vaulter breaking his own state record.
Coach Paul Drexler said, “Alex had a tough sprinting race and did not do as well as he had hoped, but did a great job representing Cortland. It was a lot to take in and it will be a trip the boys will always remember.”
Alex Ryan said, “We went up Friday night with Coach Parker and Coach Drexler, as well as my friends Andy Ryan, Dan Ruggiero and Chris Tanner. Being there on Friday allowed me to get a practice in on a banked track- something I have never ran on before. The next day was a really cool experience to see all the talented student athletes. There are a lot of talented people running ridiculously fast times.”
Alex’s performance in states was not his best, but he remains motivated to improve and break school records in the outdoor season in the 800m and 400m. Alex said, “the school record in the 800m is around 1:58.7 and last year I ran a 2:02. I use the 400m as a practice run for the 800m. If I leave too much behind, then I am not going to get fast enough for the second lap. The school record in the 400m is 51 and last year I ran a 53.”
Alex is a senior this year and anxiously awaiting the outdoor track season. Next year, he will be attending college to study engineering. He is waiting to hear back from RPI, University of Rochester, Binghamton University and Clarkson.