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Ticonderoga hurdler eighth in national meet

Hebert caps championship season

Jay Hebert of Ticonderoga finished eighth in the 60-meter hurdles at the New Balance Indoor Track & Field National Championships March 10 in New York City.

Jay Hebert of Ticonderoga finished eighth in the 60-meter hurdles at the New Balance Indoor Track & Field National Championships March 10 in New York City.

— Jay Hebert of Ticonderoga finished eighth in the 60-meter hurdles at the New Balance Indoor Track & Field National Championships March 10 in New York City.

The Ticonderoga junior was clocked in 8.08 seconds. Freddie Crittenden of Utica, Mich., won the race in 7.72 seconds with Marlon Humphrey of Hoover, Ala., second in 7.76.

Crittenden and Humphrey, both seniors, are considered two of the top high school athletes in the nation. Crittenden is the country’s top sprinter/hurdler, while Humphrey is rated as the top defensive back in the nation and will play football at the University of Alabama in the fall.

Hebert advanced to the championship race by taking second place in his preliminary heat and seventh place in the semifinals.

The Ticonderoga High School runner came into the national championship event at a disadvantage. The national championship hurdles are 60 meters, like most the indoor races in the country. Hebert raced in New York, where the race is 55 meters.

The Ticonderoga High School hurdler won a pair of state titles at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association indoor track championships March 2.

Hebert was clocked in 7.31 seconds in the state championship race (55 meters) at Cornell University, setting a new personal and Section VII record. In fact, he broke his own section and school records in both the preliminary and semifinal rounds.

The win gave Hebert both the NYSPHAA and Federation championships. The NYSPHAA includes all the state’s public schools while the Federation includes both public and private schools.

The hurdles is normally decided by hundredths of a second. A bad start, clipping a hurdle, mistiming the finishing lean can all be fatal to a hurdler, which makes Hebert’s feats all the more amazing.

Since finishing third at the state indoor meet last winter, Hebert’s only loses have come in national championship meets.

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