Saratoga's Ryan Bush edges Shenendehowa's Nathan Brimhall in the 3,200 meter run at sectionals

Saratoga's Ryan Bush edges Shenendehowa's Nathan Brimhall in the 3,200 meter run at sectionals

Big finishing kick in the final 200-meters helps secure his second distance win of the Tuesday's meet

Clifton Park 

On consecutive nights, the Bush family was well represented at the Group 1 outdoor track sectionals. 

Running in a steady downpour, Ryan Bush held to his strategy and, after staying with Shenendehowa’s Natham Brimhall for 3,000-meters, the Saratoga junior turned on a big finishing kick in the final 200-meters to score his second distance win of the night Tuesday at Shenendehowa. 

The win, along with an earlier victory in the 1,600-meters, matched his younger sister Emily’s performance for Saratoga Monday with her wins in the 1,500 and 3,000-meter runs. 

In the 3,200, Ryan Bush was part of a lead pack that included Brimhall and Julian Franjieh of Niskayuna before Bush and Brimhall gained separation to set up the eighth and final lap showdown.

“I was happy, I knew our team was going to have to bring it,” Bush said. “My job was to win both events and that is what I did. I was really tired after the mile, all I wanted to do was stay with them for seven laps and in the last lap, I waited until the 200 and knew that was the right way to go. I didn’t look back, I knew I had to keep fighting, he could have come back at me.”

As has become commonplace, Colonie and Schenectady waged another memorable showdown in the 400-relay as the Garnet Raiders took honors, though it took a rally from anchor Zaire Higgins, who kept battling to get by Patriot Che Samuel in the closing stages of the race. 

Higgins closed in the final 50-meters and crossed the line ahead of Samuel, who fell with less than five meters to go before the finish line trying to battle for the win.

“I was just thinking, gotta go, I was a step or two behind, it was hard at first, but I had to catch him,” Higgins said. “Had to stay persistent and catch him, that is what I did. Just relax, relax, open your stride and beat him.”

Higgins, a senior bound for SUNY-Cortland, served as a distraction to Samuel as the junior took notice of Higgins coming on his right side late in the race. 

“I was really focused on winning, I really wanted to win,” Samuel said. “I wasn’t keeping focused on one singular point, I caught him in my right eye, he was coming close and I tried to kick my legs up and my legs couldn’t keep up with my body. I have all next year, I’m only a junior now, I’ll use this for motivation.”

Thomas Davis led off the relay before turning the baton over to the senior Fabien De Silva before Ben Ross set up the anchor leg for Higgins. 

For De Silva, it was his second win of the night as he shook off a slow start before rallying for a win in the 100-meters in 11.02 seconds early in the meet. 

“I did not have a good start, did not get out of the blocks the way I wanted do,” De Silva said. “Luckily, I picked it up, I was down, it felt like two strides but about 70-meters, I picked up and finished, I just missed breaking 11 (seconds).”

The senior, headed to Cornell in the fall, developed muscle tightness following the 400-relay and was scratched as a precaution in the 400 and 1,600-relay, ending the chance at winning four events in the meet.

Sean Martin, a local freelance writer, is a frequent contributor to the Times Union