Expect admiring crowds and chilly weather for this Sunday’s annual Shamrock Run, a two-mile Kingston road race beginning on the Academy Green and ending at the Strand.
Started in 1988, the annual fun run is popular in part because it doesn’t take itself too seriously, said Bob Carey, the Shamrock Run’s race organizer. In the spirit of the race’s slogan, “Flat, Fast and First-Class,” the densely populated event down ordinarily busy Kingston streets is kilt-heavy, family-friendly, and mercifully doesn’t offer official times for runners. Instead, it’s just a good time.
“We expect another great year,” said Carey. “I think it’s fun. I think everybody wants to run down Broadway. It’s a short distance of two miles, and it’s mostly downhill.”
Registration is currently open, and will remain so until just prior to the start of the race, scheduled to begin at 12:50 p.m. Registration fees are $25 through Saturday, and they jump up to $30 on race day.
Though runners aren’t timed, organizers will be paying close attention to the number of kilt-wearers. The goal is to break the road-race kilt-runner record currently held by the Perth Running Goats Club of Canada, which counted 1764 runners in the traditional Irish garb in Ontario, Canada for the Perth Kilt Run on June 23, 2012.
This year’s race was ushered in with a Shamrock Run Kickoff Party on Sunday, March 5 at the Irish Cultural Center of the Hudson Valley. Money raised at the party, along with a portion of proceeds from the race, will be donated to the Kingston Library children’s program in memory of Joyce Ellen Carey, a former librarian at SUNY Ulster and a member of the board at Kingston Library.
Post-race festivities will take place at the Rondout Neighborhood Center, with a raffle of a pair of airline tickets to Ireland up for grabs.
As of press time, Sunday’s high temperature is expected to be 32 degrees Fahrenheit under sunny skies. For information on this year’s Shamrock Run, visit www.shamrockrunners.org.
Great soccer tryout turnout
Over 100 soccer players from all over the Northeast showed up for last weekend’s open tryouts at Dietz Stadium in Kingston to try to earn a spot on the Kingston Stockade squad. Two closed tryouts are scheduled to help the coaching staff whittle down the player pool as it works toward its final roster. The tryouts will feature a mix of the Stockade 2016 squad, top recruits from college programs, and top prospects from the open tryouts, according to organizer Dennis Sheehan.
The closed tryouts will be held at the sports dome in Milton this Thursday and at Gold’s Gym in LaGrange on March 18.
Kingston High indoor track
Three runners from Kingston High School’s indoor track team raced in Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships, with two earning medals and the third recording a personal best. Held at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island, the state meet saw the Tiger trio competing against hundreds of other runners.
Kingston was led by Robert Becker, who picked up a medal in the 1600 with a fifth-place finish in both the state and federation race, setting a KHS record with a time of 4:19.71. Becker’s time was nearly five seconds ahead of his prior personal best at Kingston High.
Jayson Hines also earned a medal, placing seventh in the 3200 in state and federation competition with a time of 9:22.91. He moved up from twelfth to seventh place thanks to a 66-second sprint in the last quarter-mile of the race. It was Hines’ best personal time in indoor competition by twelve seconds, also besting his overall career best by four seconds. He was just shy of Thorr Trowbridge’s school record time of 9:22.02.
Lucas Lopez didn’t medal, but he did turn in a personal best in the 1000 with a finish in 2:36.35, earning him 21st place.
Becker, Hines and Lopez still have unfinished business indoors before the track season heads outside. They’ll be joined by Andy Lopez to complete in the 4 x 800 relay at the New Balance Indoor Nationals this Saturday, March 11 at the Armory in New York City. They beat their own school record in the relay at the Eastern States Championships last month, finishing in sixth place with a time of 8:00.34.
KHS girls’ basketball
Over the course of the 2016-17 season, the Kingston High School girls’ varsity basketball team overcame inexperience, a winless January and numerous challenges from very good teams. In their season-ending 51-28 defeat to Monroe-Woodbury in the Section IX, Class A semifinals, they were unable to overcome a team seemingly on a course with destiny.
The Crusaders came into last Thursday’s home playoff game with zero losses in 22 games, and despite a solid effort from the Tigers in the first quarter, there was little chance of the streak ending. Kingston gave it their best shot in the opening eight minutes, but still trailed 20-12 going into the second frame. By halftime there was a 35-15 disparity.
Jaid Harrell led the Tigers with nine points, with Chloe Chaffin (seven points) and Nicole Spinelli (six points) also contributing.
Defeat wasn’t exactly inevitable, but it wasn’t surprising. The Tigers’ January struggles made it seem likely they might miss the postseason for the first time in nearly two decades. Head coach Steve Garner made it clear in early February that the team would have to win one game at a time to turn their season around, and it did. After its anemic 0-5 run through January, Kingston won seven of its next nine contests, including a very impressive 58-47 win against Pine Bush in the sectional quarterfinals. That game put the Tigers on a collision course with a Monroe-Woodbury team that has yet to meet a challenge it couldn’t tackle.
For the Tigers, who finished the season with a 12-10 overall record, there’s always next year.