Guilderland's Brian Rhodes-Devey and Colonie's Steve Crouse won individual events at last weekend's New York State High School Track and Field Championships in Kingston.
Rhodes-Devey a University of Texas-bound senior capped his high school career by winning the Division 1 (large school) boys 800-meter race Friday with a time of 1:52.37, while Crouse took first place in Saturday's Federation triple jump with a distance of 46 feet, 10 inches.
It was Rhodes-Devey's first state outdoor track title, though it didn't look like he had won the race at first glimpse. Six runners starting from the lower-seeded outside box crossed into the lanes Rhodes-Devey and the other higher-seeded runners were in 20 meters too soon.
"I guess some people wanted to run the 780 instead of the 800," Rhodes-Devey said. "It really threw me off because when that happens, you have to adapt, but I had to throw my game plan out the window."
Rhodes-Devey was able to pass most of those runners, but he couldn't catch all of them before the finish line. It wouldn't matter because in the end, the six offending runners were disqualified, leaving him with the state title.
"I definitely can't complain about that," said Rhodes-Devey. "It's my first state title in track, and I'm happy about that."
Rhodes-Devey struggled a bit in Saturday's Federation 800, but he hung on for third place with a time of 1:54.12.
"It was a really physical race," said Rhodes-Devey. "Right from the start, I got cut off in lane three. I spent most of the time trying to push the leaders, and I got outkicked at the end."
Crouse had a similar experience. He struggled in Saturday's Federation triple jump by comparison to his effort in Friday's Division 1 event. The difference was that while Crouse's distance of 47 feet, 3.25 inches was only good enough for fourth place Friday, his distance of 46 feet, 10 inches Saturday earned him the Federation title.