Halie Snyder on the podium.
All those runs up the hill on Camp Dudley road from Cub Beach to the entrance to the YMCA boys’ camp paid off for EKMW senior track star Halie Snyder.
Snyder ran the Division II 400-meter sprint at the Cicero-North Syracuse high school track in 54.96 seconds, almost six-tenths ahead of the next closest finisher (55.55) to win the Division II NYSPHSAA Championship June 6.
“I am so happy,” Snyder said. “My teammates have been so supportive of me all season and the Moriah community is so supportive of us a athletes that it pushes you to do better.”
Snyder credited her runs up the hills in Westport, where the members of the combined team of E(lizabethtown-Lewsi)K(eene)M(oriah)W(estport) trains, as vital.
“It works on strength as endurance, and that is what you need for these events,” Snyder said. “I have done hundreds of those to get better and faster.”
“Halie is one of the most competitive athletes I have been around in my 56 year being involved in Track and Field,” EKMW coach Howard Hammonds said. “She works hard, and competes even harder. She had to make up for the years where she really had no coaching or proper instruction of running fundamentals and no athlete works harder than Halie Snyder.”
Snyder went into the 400 Federation championship June 7 as the top seed in the event, but was bested by Zola Golden of Arlington, who cut her time from over 55 seconds to a 54-flat run. Snyder finished fourth in a time of 55.11.
“This was just an honor to get the chance to run with these girls,” Snyder said. “No one was catching the winner today.”
Snyder said she was concerned early during the second day of the meet, showing up barely on time to take to the starting line of the 200-meter Division II final. Snyder had qualified for the finals with the third-best time of 25.57. In the finals, Snyder placed third while improving her preliminary time with a 25.46 second run.
“My legs were pretty tight because I was late for the event,” she said. “I knew I had the 400 federation meet after and I decided I had to just run my race and see where it takes me.”
In her third event of the state meet, Snyder placed 12th in the preliminary rounds of the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.63 seconds.
Hammonds said Snyder has had a career to be proud of.
“She now holds all the sprint records indoor and outdoor for Section VII and some of which will stand for a long time,” Hammonds said. “She has been an absolute joy to coach.”
As a senior, Snyder will now start to weigh her options as to where she will continue her track and field career in college.
“I have some schools that have talked to me,” she said.