WEST POINT — Mike Ramos of Pine Bush made the most important discovery of his running career, and just in time.

WEST POINT — Mike Ramos of Pine Bush made the most important discovery of his running career, and just in time.

Trailing two of the finest distance runners in Section 9 on the final lap of the 3,200-meter run on Saturday, Ramos, a senior, managed to pass both Sean Egan and Martin Hehir and claim his first trip to the indoor state championships.

“I was like, this is my last race here at West Point, and I just have to go,'' Ramos said.

Ramos won in 9 minutes, 48.78 seconds. Egan, from Monroe-Woodbury, was second in 9:50.47. Hehir, from Washingtonville, was third in 9:51.17. All three qualified for next Saturday's state meet at Cornell University.

“This was one of my goals,'' Ramos said. “I've been training all season for this, the 2-mile. Now that I finally made it, it's such a relief.''

A bad start left Ramos at the tail end of the field in the 16-lap race at Gillis Field House. On the fourth lap, Ramos surged to the middle of the pack, giving him some peace of mind. By the mile mark, he had taken the lead, with Egan and Hehir in tow. Egan made the next move to the front, and when Hehir followed, Ramos ran on their heels with two laps to go.

Ramos did not have a state-meet standard coming into the race, so he knew he had to place first or second to advance to states. He made his move with 100 meters to go and carried his lead to the finish line.

Did Ramos know he had a strong finishing kick?

“I had no clue,'' Ramos laughed. “It surprised me. It felt good to run that way. It was a really good race.''
It was also the culmination of a long rehabilitation from a ligament tear in his left knee suffered during a cross-country race in the fall of 2009. Forced to the sidelines for a couple of months, Ramos was not allowed to run by order of his doctors and underwent serious weight-room training for rehab.

“It was extremely frustrating,'' Ramos said. “It was really hard for me. It was more of a mental challenge than it was physical.''

Ramos believes the whole experience made him a better runner.

“I had to train myself to focus more,'' he said. “I focused so much on my knee. Now I focus on my race. I am a lot mentally tougher because of my ACL.''

Ramos plans to make a visit to the University of Buffalo and is also considering SUNY Cortland. He has no academic major in mind quite yet.

Ramos finished third in the Section 9 Class AA cross country title race in the fall with a solid 15:46 effort over 3 miles at Bear Mountain – the first Pine Bush runner to run sub-16 minutes in quite some time.

Even with Saturday's win in the state qualifier and a Section 9 Class A title earned a week earlier, Ramos doesn't consider himself an elite runner.

“Winning gave me a lot of confidence that I can run with elite runners,'' Ramos said. “Because of the ACL injury and other injuries, I didn't have the mindset that I could run with elites. ... I don't consider myself an elite, not until I prove it to myself.''


First- and second-place finishers qualify for the state championships, as do third-place finishers who meet a state-meet standard (denoted by an asterisk).

Team key: Cornwall (Cor); Eldred (Eld); Ellenville (Ell); James I. O'Neill (JIO); Kingston (King); Liberty (Lib); Middletown (Mid); Minisink Valley (MV); Monroe-Woodbury (MW); Monticello (Mont); Newburgh Free Academy (NFA); Onteora (Ont); Pine Bush (PB); Pine Plains (PP); Port Jervis (PJ); Spackenkill (Spac); Sullivan West (SW); Tri-Valley (TV); Valley Central (VC); Wallkill (Wall); Warwick (War); Washingtonville (Wash)

55-meter dash: 1. Shane Jackson (Mont) 6.583; 2. Tyler Obryant (Ell) 6.589; 3. Webb Pierre* (Mid) 6.65 (result corrected after review of photo finish).

300: 1. Shane Jackson (Mont) 36.87; 2. Manny Mosley (Mid) 37.00; 3. Taariq Jones (King) 37.51.

600: 1. Shakoy Burton (Mid) 1:25.15; 2. Mel Mosley (Mid) 1:25.22; 3. Bryan Baldwin* (NFA) 1:25.42.

1,000: 1. Ryan Brennan (MW) 2:46.12; 2. Dan Paez (War) 2:46.15; 3. Hunter Proscia (Eld) 2:46.18.

1,600: 1. Devin DeJoode (PP) 4:30.91; 2. Derek Lake (PB) 4:31.73; 3. Martin Hehir* (Wash) 4:33.09.

3,200: 1. Mike Ramos (PB) 9:48.78; 2. Sean Egan (MW) 9:50.47; 3. Martin Hehir* (Wash) 9:51.17.

55 hurdles: 1. Adam Abdur-Rahman (Mid) 7.62; 2. Terry Martin (PB) 7.89; 3. Eric Wellmon* (Wall) 8.04.

800 relay: 1. Newburgh Free Academy (Darious Reynolds, Isaiah Valentine, Antione Davis, Roberto Joseph) 1:32.45; 2. Pine Bush 1:35.03; 3. Middletown 1:35.12.

1,600 relay: 1. Middletown (Manny Mosley, Adam Abdur-Rahman, Shakoy Burton, Mel Mosley) 3:39.09; 2. Wallkill 3:40.35; 3. Spackenkill 3:48.09.

3,200 relay: 1. Monroe-Woodbury (Sean Egan, Patrick Rooney, John Leonick, Ryan Brennan) 8:14.54; 2. Pine Bush 8:15.80; 3. Washingtonville 8:41.15.

High jump: 1. Jonathan Carpenter (JIO) 6-3; 2. Jimmy Stefanowicz (King) 6-2; 3. Alex Corrado (Wall) 6-2.

Long jump: 1. Ben Altshuler (Ell) 20-9.75; 2. Clive Ricketts (Cor) 20-4; 3. David Coles (Cor) 20-1.75.

Triple jump: 1. Terry Martin (PB) 42-8.75; 2. Jamal Bynum (Mid) 42-1.5; 3. Clive Ricketts (Cor) 39-8.

Shot put: 1. T.J. Servino (MW) 45-9.25; 2. Matt Kane (War) 44-5.25; 3. Brian Edwards (TV) 44-4.5.

Pole vault: 1. Nick O'Brien (PB) 14-6; 2. Nick Perez (MW) 14-0; 3. Anthony Galazzo* (PB) 12-6.

Weight throw (non-state event): 1. T.J. Servino (MW) 65-4; 2. Kyle Denman (TV) 48-10.25; 3. Rafael Ramirez (TV) 48-9.

Interrsectional relay lineup for states: Hunter Proscia (Eld); Taariq Jones (King); Shane Lopez (MV); Paddy Grandinalli (War); alternates, Pat Cahill (King), Tom Papazicos (Mid)

55-meter dash: 1. Jessica Dunnigan (Lib) 7.51; 2. Kalissa Caesar (PJ) 7.61; 3. Sharise Walker (MW) 7.78.

300: 1. Cassandra Bouton (King) 42.64; 2. Katie Klercker (Ont) 44.02; 3. Jillian Decker (Cor) 44.12.

600: 1. Christina Zelenoy (MW) 1:39.59; 2. Rachel Miller (Cor) 1:39.65; 3. Jillian Brooks (King) 1:39.76.

1,000: 1. Sabrina Brooks (MW) 3:00.16; 2. Lauren Hehir (Wash) 3:00.26; 3. Taylor Hock (PB) 3:11.11.

1,500: 1. Emily Waligurski (Ont) 4:43.73; 2. Holly Cavalluzzo (VC) 4:44.47; 3. Lauren Hehir (Wash) 4:58.55.

3,000: 1. Aisling Cuffe (Cor) 10:15.79; 2. Meaghan Ventarola (MW) 10:37.76; 3. Deirdre Dwyer (Spac) 10:43.32.

55 hurdles: 1. ToniAnn Werner (PB) 8.72; 2. Aliyah Matta (NFA) 8.99; 3. Danielle Coburn (PB) 9.40.

1,500 racewalk: 1. Rachel Deppa (SW) 7:38.75; 2. Michelle Hoffman (VC) 7:42.06; 3. Ashley Weintraub (TV) 7:45.44.

800 relay: 1. Newburgh Free Academy (D'Yanna McCaskill, Nicole McRae, Kristina Smith, Kayla Phipps) 1:49.64; 2. Liberty 1:49.80; 3. Monroe-Woodbury 1:52.15.

1,600 relay: 1. Newburgh Free Academy (Doris Little, Saleen Matta, Cadance Nicholas, Tiyi Boone) 4:16.89; 2. Washingtonville 4:25.03; 3. Warwick 4:26.46.

3,200 relay: 1. Cornwall (Rachel Miller, Megan O'Donnell, Michelle Lujan, Aisling Cuffe) 9:31.57; 2. Monroe-Woodbury 9:39.82; 3. Warwick 9:44.10.

High jump: 1. Jessica Armand (War) 5-4; 2. Alexandra Parise (PB) 5-0; 3. Tara Adams (Mill) 4-10.

Long jump: 1. Olivia Jebb (Cor) 17-5.25; 2. Jessica Dunnigan (Lib) 16-1.5; 3. Hannah Feinmann (SW) 15-5.75.

Triple jump: 1. Olivia Jebb (Cor) 36-6; 2. Tiyi Boone (NFA) 36-1.75; 3. Danielle Coburn (PB) 33-5.75.

Shot put: 1. Aaliyah Pittman (NFA) 38-0; 2. Natalya Neguch (MW) 37-8.25; 3. Dominique Darby (TV) 35-10.75.

Pole vault: 1. Megan Clark (JIO) 12-7; 2. Nicole Kulaga (PB) 9-6; 3. Alexandra Parise* (PB) 9-6.

Weight throw (non-state event): 1. Dominique Darby (TV) 46-3.5; 2. Heidi Furman (TV) 38-6; 3. Natalya Neguch (MW) 34-5.5.

Intersectional relay lineup for states: Taylor Hock (PB), Jillian Decker (Cor), Jillian Brooks (King), Lauren Hehir (Wash); alternates, Cynthia Gray (PB), Christina Schneider (VC).