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Brown, Petersen named to Hall of Fame

Dave Petersen is among the 2020 inductees for the Greater Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

ALBANY – The old and the new — Ray Trail, who set world interscholastic records for Mont Pleasant more than 80 years ago, and Izaiah Brown, an Amsterdam speedster chosen in his first year of eligibility, are among the 2020 inductees for the Greater Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.

Albany’s Ysanne Williams, who competed in the 2008 Olympic Games for Jamaica, prominent hurdler Jeff York of Troy and veteran coaches Dave Petersen (Fonda-Fultonville), Frank Myers (Colonie) and Roberto Vives (University at Albany) are included in the list of 11 for the third class of inductees.

The induction dinner and ceremony are scheduled for Sept. 26 at the Albany Marriott on Wolf Road, but ticket sales will be announced later, pending advice from the CDC and state Department of Health.

Trail, a Native American who lived near the Canadian border before landing in Schenectady, was already a running legend in the North Country as he hitch-hiked his way to win races in AAU meets throughout the region, and even gained a reputation by racing against harness horses in county fairs.

Compiling a near-perfect cross country record, Trail scored consecutive victories in the American Interscholastic Championships in New Jersey from 1935-36, setting a meet record the first year.

Izaiah Brown, left, among the 2020 inductees for the Greater Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

In his only year of eligibility on the track, he broke two world interscholastic mile records, indoors (4:24.8) and out (4:24.4) and lowered the latter mark to 4:22.3. No Schenectady athlete would run a faster mile for 74 years.

Brown set a state freshman class record in the 400-meter dash in 2012 and kept going, racking up six state titles and setting all-time Section 2 bests of 46.40 in the 400, 21.10 in the 200 and 3:17.01 in the 1,600 relay. He was voted the outstanding performer in four straight Eddy Meets, and in between set an area record of 47.32 for the 400 while placing second in the indoor nationals.

Brown also had a strong career at Rutgers University, winning the 400 in the Big Ten Indoor Championship meet four straight years and adding an outdoor title. He left Rutgers with six school records and lowered his personal bests to 10.49 in the 100, 20.68 in the 200 and 45.27 in the 400.

Williams won eight state championships for Albany High School in the late 1990s and dominated the Section 2 leaderboards. She earned a full scholarship to UCLA and had a second-place finish in the 1,600 relay in the NCAA Championships. Winner of both the U.S. Junior Championships and Pan American Junior Championships in 1999, Williams lowered her 800 meter time to 2:02.28 before competing in Beijing.

A solid hurdler in high school, York’s career flourished at the University at Albany, where he was a five-time NCAA Division III champion in the 1990s and was called “the most celebrated men’s track & field athlete in University history.” From there, York went on to reach the semifinals in the 2000 Olympic Trials with a time of 13.49 seconds. He now serves as coach at Hudson Valley Community College, where he was named Region III Junior College Coach of the Year in 2019.

Petersen, the Section 2 boys’ track coordinator since 1981, has coached for nearly 50 years at Fonda after setting a Section 2 record for the high hurdles at Johnstown and finishing second in the 1965 state meet. He has chalked up nearly 500 dual meet victories as coach of the boys’ and girls’ programs at Fonda, along with a combined 36 Section 2 and 46 Tri-Valley titles outdoors.

In more than 50 years at Colonie, Myers-coached teams have won 353 dual meets and 82 championship meets. He led the girls to state cross country championships in 1986 and 1999 and has also had numerous individuals and relay teams earn state titles. Myers is a longtime track official who founded the popular Colonie Community Track Meets.

Vives has racked up a combined 57 men’s and women’s America East Conference team championships during his 35-year tenure at Albany, along with IC4A and ECAC crowns. He is an eight-time USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year and an 11-time College Track Conference Coach of the Year.

Rounding out the 2020 inductees are hurdle/spring star Madalayne Smith of Saratoga Springs, distance runners Katie Twarog Moulton (Colonie) and Krissy Haacke (Shaker) and pole vaulter Jared O’Connor of Shenendehowa.

Smith won three state outdoor and two state indoor hurdle honors from 2008-10, as well as a pair of indoor sprint titles, then went on to excel at Connecticut. Haacke won the scholastic division of the Fifth Avenue Mile in 1990, was a state indoor 1,500 winner and ran on an NCAA championship cross country team at Providence College.

Twarog Moulton also landed at Providence, helping the Friars to a third-place cross country finish at the NCAAs, after an accomplished career at Colonie that included first-place finish in the 1998 cross country meet and both individual and relay state crowns on the track.

Named Athlete of the Meet at the 2004 state indoor meet, O’Connor soared to a state-record 15-10 and went on to clear 17-7 five years later at the University of Washington. He placed second in the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

2020 Inductees

Izaiah Brown

(Amsterdam ’15, Rutgers ’19)

— Set a state freshman record for 400 meters in the Eddy Meet, won three straight state titles in the 400, one in the 4 x 400 relay and set all-time Section 2 bests of 46.40 in the 400, 21.10 in the 200 and 3:17.01 in the 4 x 400 relay (45.11 anchor split).

— Holder of 10 Amsterdam school records, he won two indoor state 300 titles and was runner-up in the indoor nationals 400 with an all-time area record of 47.32. His 34.30 in the 300 ranks second.

— Posted four indoor victories in the 400 and one outdoors for Rutgers in Big Ten championship meets. Set Rutgers school records in four indoor events and two outdoor, lowering his PRs to 45.27 in the 400, 20.68 in the 200 and 10.49 in the 100.

Dave Petersen

(Johnstown ’65, Wisconsin ’69)

— Established all-time area best of 14.3 in the 120-yard high hurdles and finished second in the state meet for the Sir Bills. Earned a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin.

— Veteran coach of nearly 50 years, he started the boys’ and girls’ track programs at Fonda-Fultonville. They combined for 36 Section 2 championships and 46 Tri-Valley League titles under his leadership and compiled an aggregate dual meet record of 483-23.

— Has been the Section 2 boys’ outdoor track coordinator since 1981 and was an inaugural class inductee of the Fonda-Fultonville Athletic Hall of Fame.

Jeoffrey York

(Troy ’89, University at Albany ’96)

— Holds Troy HS records for indoor (50 and 55 meters) and outdoor hurdles (110 meters). 1989 NYSPHSAA Indoor Hurdle Champion.

— Five-time NCAA Champion, 55 hurdles, 110 hurdles, 4 X 400 relay at the University at Albany. Holds school records for the 55- and 110-meter hurdles. Was chosen University Male Athlete of the Year 1994-95.

— Semi-finalist, 110-meter hurdles 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials. Established all-time NCAA Division III fastest 110 Meter hurdles (13.56). Post collegiate PR of 13.28.

— USTFCCCA Region III Junior College Coach of the Year, 2019, Hudson Valley Community College.

Ysanne Williams

(Albany ’98, UCLA ’03)

— Placed second in the 800 in Jamaica’s 2008 Olympic Trials. Lowered her PR to 2:02.28 the year before. Won the Pan American Junior championship and U.S. Junior Championships in the 800 in 1999.

— Won eight state championships while competing for Albany High School (400 three times, 600 twice and 800 three times). Still sits in the top 10 in nine events, indoors and out, on all-time Section 2 lists.

— A five-time All-American at UCLA, she ran the leadoff leg on the 4 x 400 relay team that finished second in the 1999 NCAA championships and had numerous other placings in NCAA and Pac-10 championship meets.

Roberto Vives

(Cardinal Hayes ’73, Seton Hall ’78)

— Director of the University at Albany’s Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country programs, 1985 to present (35 years). Served as National Coach for Team USA, 2015 and Puerto Rico, 2016 to Present.

— Thirty-three America East Conference Men’s and 24 Women’s Team Championships. Men’s IC4A Indoor champions 2009, 2010 and 2017. Outdoor IC4A champions 2009. Women’s ECAC champions, Indoor 2017, Outdoor 2018 and 2019.

— Eight-time USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Coach of the Year, 11-time Collegiate Track Conference Coach of the Year, Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, University at Albany, 1994

Ray Trail

(Mont Pleasant ’35-’36, Syracuse)

— Before arriving at Mont Pleasant after living along the Canadian border, he had already gained a reputation as a runner who hitch-hiked his way to AAU races all over the region, almost always winning.

— He had two spectacular cross country seasons, culminating with a course record in the American Interscholastic Championships in Newark, N.J., and a repeat as national champion in 1936.

— He set two world interscholastic mile records, 4:24.8 indoors then Glenn Cunningham’s outdoor standard of 4:24.7. He went on to lower that standard to 4:22.3, and no Schenectady high school athlete would run a faster mile for the next 74 years.

Madalayne Smith

(Saratoga ’10, Connecticut ’14)

— New York State Indoor Track Champion in both the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles 2009 and 2010

— New York State and Federation Champion in the 100m Hurdles three consecutive years, 2008-10. Section II record holder in 100 hurdles, 13.78.

— At Connecticut, highlights included fourth place in Big East Conference outdoor championships junior year, first in New England Indoor Championships 60m hurdles with a meet record.

Jared O’Connor

(Shenendehowa ’04, University of Washington ’09)

— New York State indoor track champion in pole vault in 2004 with state- record 15′ 10“. Was selected as “Athlete of the Meet.”

— His performance of 15′ 10″ was the Section 2 indoor record for 15 years, and currently ranks third all-time on the leaderboard.

— Finished second in the 2008 NCAA Division I Championships with a jump of 17′ 2.75“. Achieved a personal best of 17′ 7” in 2009.

Katie Twarog Moulton

(South Colonie ’01, Providence ’05)

— Won the Class A state individual cross country championship in 1998 and led the Raiders to state and Federation team titles the following year, when they were ranked third in the nation.

— Five-time All-American in indoor track, winning the state indoor 1,500 title in 2000 and twice participating in state championship 4 x 800 relay teams. Outdoors, she took a state 3,000 title in 2000 and led Colonie to two 4 x 800 relay crowns.

— Earned a full scholarship to Providence College, where she helped the Friars finish third in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Frank Myers

(Colonie ’63, Albany State University ’68 )

— Coached all levels of boys and girls track and cross country at Colonie High School uninterrupted for 51 years, amassing a total of 353 dual meet and 82 invitational meet victories

— Led 1986 and 1999 girls’ cross country teams to state championships, and has coached numerous individual and relay state champions

— Charter member of the Capital District Track Officials (47 years), longest-tenured President of the Tri-Country Indoor Track league (19 years), created and directed Colonie Tuesday night Community track meets, 51 years.

Krissy Haacke

(Shaker ’93, Providence ’97)

— Finished in the top 10, Class A state championship cross country meet 1989-1992. Federation Meet champion in 1990.

— Won the scholastic division of the Fifth Avenue Mile in 1990, 4:55.71. Placed second in that race at 4:54.47 the following year.

— Numerous placings in conference championships while at Providence University. A member on the Friars’ 1995 National Championship team.

Previous Inductees

— 2018: Arthur Allen, Tracy Baskin, Nicole Blood, Andy Bloom, Shelly Choppa, Cheri Goddard Kenah, Miles Irish, Linda and Art Kranick, Tim Lewis, Dan Olson, Kyle Plante, Barbara Palma, Aliann Pompey, Diana Richburg, Rhonda Phillips Scott, Deshaya Williams, Rudy Winkler.

— 2019: Barry Brown, Gary Connor, Tom Dalton, Cliff Lehman, Elizabeth Maloy DeBole, Heidi Mann Vittengl, Vince McArdle, Sarah Palmer, Jen Petersen Jette, Ed Springstead, Klarrisa Ricks.

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