Berube recognized for outstanding achievements

TICONDEROGA Lee Berube became one of the most decorated athletes in area history at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association track championships in Buffalo June 14 and 15. The Ticonderoga High School senior won the Division II titles in the 3,200 and 1,600-meter runs. Along with his title in last falls state Class D cross country championship, that gives Berube three state crowns. Im proud of my effort, Berube said of the state track meet. Its a good way to end my senior year. I think Ive had a good high school career. Not only did Berube win the Division II 3,200 and 1,600 races, he set a school record in the two-mile in 9 minutes, 8.37 seconds and set a personal best of 4:20.86 in the mile. Ironically, the old 3,200 record was held by current Ti High distance coach Jay Wells, who raced 9:10 at the state meet 10 years ago. Wells still holds the mile record at 4:16. I wanted both of Coach Wells records, but Im happy to have one and he can keep the other one, Berube said. The 3,200 record came as a byproduct. At the state meet distance events, runners from Division I Class A and B run along side runners from Division II Class C and D. Runners wear a 1 or 2 on their jersey so competitors know who they are chasing. That didnt matter to Berube in the 3,200. I was running to win the race, he said. I wasnt thinking about Division I or Division II or the time. I was trying to win. Berube ran with the lead pack most of the race and took the lead with 600 meters to go. Fairports Pat DuPont, a Division I runner, caught Berube and with 200 meters to go Berube made a final move and regained the lead. DuPont hung tough, though, and passed Berube with 60 meters remaining to win by less than a second in 9:07.57. Still, Berube had the Division II crown. Berube entered the race seeded third in the 3,200 with a best time of 9:24. I hadnt run better than 9:24, so people didnt expect me to do very well, Berube said. My training had gone really well the last two weeks, though, and Coach Wells told me I was ready to run a good race. Less than 24 hours later, Berube was back on the track for the 1,600. I was tired from the night before, Berube said. I just wanted to have fun and see what would happen. Berube ran in the pack most of the race. Coming off the final turn he looked back for Division II runners ahead of him. I didnt see anyone, he said. I made sure to finish hard; I didnt want to be passed in the end. He wasnt, claiming the state Division II mile championship. He was eighth overall in the race. Last fall Berube crushed the field at the Class D state championship race. He toured the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 14.5 seconds to win by 46 seconds. It was the largest margin of victory in any class. The year before he finished second, missing the state championship by 7/10th of a second. Despite winning three state championships, Berubes senior year has been up-and-down. He failed to reach the cross country national championship race and an injury slowed him during the indoor track season. Cross country was a little disappointing, Berube said. I won states, but I didnt get to Foot Locker (nationals) and that was a big goal I had set. Then I had a little injury during the winter. But overall its been a good senior year, he concluded. I finished with a couple of races Im pretty proud of. Berube will attend SUNY-Geneseo in the fall where hell join a pair of Ti High grads on the cross country and track teams. His brother, Jesse, and Lee Gabler are at Geneseo. Itll be a lot of fun running with them again, Berube said. Im hoping we do well in cross country. I want to go to nationals and win it. Ti High has produced two other state champions, both in track and field. Jeremy Hall won the boys discus about 15 years ago and Andrea Staepel won the girls 800-meter run in 1998. Ticonderoga has never had a team win a state championship.

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