Weekly Feature



2018-03-08 / Sports

Iroquois’ Donner wins indoor track state title in shot

by JASON NADOLINSKI
Reporter

Rachel Donner earned what Iroquois indoor track coach Tom Wood believes is the school’s first state title in that sport with her winning heave of 42-feet-1 in the shot put at Saturday’s annual state championships in Staten Island.

Donner, a senior, edged out Solvay’s Ashley Bosco by just three inches to claim not only the public schools title, but the Federation title – which includes athletes from independent, Catholic and New York City public schools in the mix – as well. Donner finished the high school season with the best shot put throw in the state, a heave of 43-10½ that she achieved at the Team Championships meet on Feb. 9.

Donner also finished 15th in the 20-pound weight throw at states, heaving that implement 43-1.

“Rachel’s been very focused on shot put since the end of her sophomore outdoor season,” Wood said. “She really concentrated on it with indoor this year -- last year she also played basketball -- and she added the weight throw to her repertoire. She kept track of her progress all year long, as well as tried to really get a feel for who her competition would be, and was just really focused on winning a state championship all year long.

“There was great competition just to get out of our section, but she’s a very good athlete with good feet who worked on her technique a lot and has gotten really strong too.”

Donner, who hopes to throw at the next level while attending Dartmouth, will compete in the championship division at this weekend’s national championships in New York City.

Donner wasn’t the only Chief to compete at states, though.

Iroquois was represented in one leg of both the boys and girls intersectional relays, with Ryan Mitchell helping the boys’ foursome place fourth and Leah Streety helping the girls’ foursome place 10th. Mitchell, who ran the mile leg of the relay, posted a personal best time of 4 minutes, 35.4 seconds for that distance, while Streety – whom Wood said was “running her first real big meet of her career outside of our section” – completed the anchor leg in 5:39.07. Streety earned her spot on the relay after placing third in the 600 at sectionals.

Kathryn Blair closed out Iroquois’ efforts by placing 19th in the 1,000 with her time of 3:00.45, just 15 seconds off the winning pace. Wood noted that Blair “ran a very strong race until about the final 100 meters, not holding back anything” and that she “was on pace for her personal best at the 800-meter mark.”

“I think this jump starts us really nicely for outdoors,” Wood said. “Indoor season is just a great way for us to hopefully jump into the game outdoors, and you’ve really got to come into the season ready to go if you want to be a competitor outdoors. A lot of our kids did well this indoor season, and I think a lot of them will be motivated to hit the ground running for outdoors.”

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