Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame Announces Scholastic Award Winners

For additional Information, Contact GCRTFCCHOF President Peter Sheridan

518.399.1419 (h), 518.860.7721 (c),

Visit or

Taconic Hills senior Neil Howard and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake junior Alexandra O’Rourke, who both excelled in national meets earlier this month, are among this year’s Scholastic Awards recipients selected by the Greater Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.

Also chosen were state champions Thomas McConnelee of Cobleskill-Richmondville, a senior, and sophomore Ava Weiss of Columbia, as well as the coaching staff from Coxsackie-Athens High School.

The Scholastic Award winners will be honored on Oct. 5 at the Albany Marriott when the GCRTFCCHOF inducts 10 new Hall of Fame members in the seventh class.

Howard, also a 2023 recipient of the award, set a state record in the decathlon for the second straight year with 7,448 points in defending his title in the Nike Outdoor Nationals in Oregon. A couple weeks earlier, he broke the state record in the pole vault by clearing 17-1 1/4.

Headed to the University of Michigan next year, Howard also established an all-time Section 2 best in the 400-meter hurdles (51.91) and finished high up on the leaderboards in the 100 (10.72), 200 (21.54), 400 (47.01), long jump (23-9 ½) and pentathlon (3,615 points). He was a triple winner in both the Eddy Meet and Loucks Games and a state champion in the 400 hurdles.

O’Rourke surprised in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals by finishing second in the 800-meter run in 2:04.98, which ranks second on the all-time Section 2 list behind the 2:03.7 produced by Olympian Diana Richburg in 1982. O’Rourke anchored the Spartans to a Section 2 best of 3:56.73 in finishing second in the New Balance sprint medley relay.

In addition, O’Rourke helped Burnt Hills repeat as Federation Champion in the 4 x 400 relay in 3:58.05. She excelled in both the 1,500-meter run, winning the state qualifier in 4:31.2, and 400-meter dash with a 57.32 for the Section 2 Division 1 title in a strong postseason.

McConnelee won the state Division 2 discus title with a heave of 181-4, then came back to take the Federation crown with a 178-2. He was runner-up in the state Division 2 shot put with a 55-8 ½ and posted a fourth in the Penn Relays discus competition.

Earlier this spring, McConnelee’s winning discus throw of 188-6 in the Eddy Meet placed him fourth on the all-time Section 2 list. He swept the weight events at the Queensbury Invitational and also took the discus in the Shenendehowa Invitational, Colonial Council meet, Ballston Spa Field Challenge and the Sectionals.

Weiss captured the state Federation title in the 400-meter hurdles, clocking a 60.81 after taking the state Division 1 title in 61.48. Both her 400-meter hurdle and 400-meter dash (55.29) rank fourth on the all-time area list.

Other 400-meter hurdle victories came in the Eddy Meet, Guilderland Frigid Cup, Colonie Relays and Niskayuna Spring Classic. In addition to her quarter-mile time, Weiss had a strong effort of 25.08 in the 200.

Head coach Jake Colwell and Coxsackie-Athens assistants Brandon Wolbert, Henry Goca, Joe Allard, Joe McFerran and Liz Conrad had a banner spring season, including the school’s first sectional title in a running sport and first state meet participant in 15 years.

The girls were unbeaten in dual meets and won the Patroon Conference meet and Stillwater Relays. The Coxsackie-Athens boys dropped only one dual meet. School records were broken in five relays and eight individual events.

Loading Conversation

Partner Clubs

Partner clubs offer group runs and local races to the Capital Region running community

Create Account

Log In Your Account