HOUGHTON—Nick Abdo set a Springville-Griffith Institute school record in his first-place finish in the 600 meter dash at the Section VI State Qualifier Feb. 23.
Abdo finished with a 1:24.60 school-record time and now heads to the New York Public High School Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships at Ocean Breeze Sports Complex on Staten Island March 3 as Springville’s lone representative from the boys team.
“Two weeks ago at Team Champs, I was able to hit the qualifying time for states so I was really happy about that,” Abdo said. “Coming in here I knew I only needed to get top-three [to earn an official invite to state competition], but top-three just doesn’t suffice for me.
“I was able to power through a couple kids that were on my tail or ahead of me in the last hundred [meters] and get the win here and now I’m on a trip to the states and I couldn’t be more happy about that. I’ve been working really hard so this is all I’ve really wanted this season,” Abdo said.
He offered thanks to his competition who helped push him to the next level, including Aaron Jones, Hutch Tech; Josh Peron, Frontier; Seth Connor, Cheektowaga and Elijah Kerner, Lancaster. Jones and Peron finished just behind Abdo.
But the senior wasn’t finished with setting records as he also set another as part of Springville’s 4x200 meter relay team. Teaming with Topher Elkins, Jared Reese and Masin Field, the foursome set a new school record at 1:37.83 and finished fifth in the event.
Abdo, who has a self-described obsession with a need for speed that dates back to his dirt-biking days, will go to any length in athletics to be faster, as evidenced by being the only Springville bowler to throw the bowling ball with two hands because it makes the ball goes faster. But no one knows better about the senior’s passion to be the best than assistant indoor track coach Chad Russell.
“[Abdo], who also ran cross country, has sacrificed as he tried hard to split his time between bowling and indoor track. He often needed to use both days on the weekends to get his key workouts in,” Russell said. “His focus in prepping for races and during races helped him become a sectional champion. In the last few weeks he was making all the right moves, making sure to rest properly and eat wholesomely. He also has moved the school record to a new mark that will be tough to beat and I’m grateful that I have had the chance to work with him.”
Elkins also finished fifth in an individual event, the 300 meter dash, with his second-best time at 37.12.
One other member of the boys track team also competed at the Kerr-Pegula Field House at Houghton College with Brett Russell running the 3,200 meter run with a 11:15.67 time.