Francis sets national record, Ford places second

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Phyllis Francis blazed through the 600 meters and had her own meet record in sight as she approached the finish line. But it was not to be.

“I slowed up at the line,” Francis said.

The decision cost the Catherine McAuley junior the chance to eclipse her mark of 1:29.65, which she ran last season at the meet, but it didn’t stop her from breaking another record at the CHSAA indoor intersectional championships at the Armory Saturday.

Francis’ first-place time of 1:29.92 is the fastest time ever run by a junior in the United States. Not a bad consolation prize. It is also the fastest time the two-time defending indoor 600-meter state champion has run this season. She later placed third as a member of the McAuley 4 x 400 relay team.

“I felt I could do better,” Francis said. … “I thought I was right at 1:28.”

She has also learned her lesson for the future. “Next time I won’t slow down at the end,” Francis said.

Bishop Ford’s Corrine Williams, sporting Michael Johnson-like gold shoes, looked like she was barely tired after winning the 55-meter dash in a comfortable 7.28. With the race over, no sweat appeared on Williams’ brow and she showed no sign of needing to really catch her breath.

“A lot of adrenaline,” she said. “Keep pushing and keep moving.”

Williams, whose Bishop Ford team placed second with 36 points behind St. John the Baptist, which had 51, in the meet, made sure not to warm up too much in between the 55 trials and semifinals.

“I knew going in I had the fastest time so all I had to do was hold on,” she said. Teammate Malekah Holland placed second in the 1,500 in a time of 4:54.74 and Shanique DaSilva was third in 5:57.83 for the Falcons, scoring important points toward their team’s second-place finish. It was just the second time Holland had run the 1,500 this season.

DaSilva also played third in the 1,000 in a time of 3:01.79. She led most of the way and said she was happy with the paces of her start, but faded on the final lap.

“I was wondering,” the sophomore said. “I don’t know when they are going to come, but I know they are going to come.”

Adrienne Alexander won the shot put with a toss 38 feet 5.25 inches for Bishop Loughlin.

Updated 3:33 pm, October 19, 2011
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