|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • Lightning-fast Lyttle

  • Christine Lyttle still has a half a season of indoor track and a full season of outdoor track left in her high school career, but she already has her name all over Canandaigua’s record books.The senior holds indoor records in the 55-meter dash (7.60), 55 hurdles (8.61) and ran a leg on the record-setting 4...
    • email print
  • Christine Lyttle still has a half a season of indoor track and a full season of outdoor track left in her high school career, but she already has her name all over Canandaigua’s record books.
    The senior holds indoor records in the 55-meter dash (7.60), 55 hurdles (8.61) and ran a leg on the record-setting 4x200 relay (1:51.9). On the outdoor surface, Lyttle owns records in the 100 (12.82) and 110 hurdles (15.12).
    Arlene Devinney is in her 16th year of coaching track at Canandaigua. She said Lyttle is one of the top athletes in the history of the program.
    “I rank her up there with Derrick Frenney, he holds the records in sprinting from in the early 2000s,” Devinney said. “She’s going to hold these records for a long time.”
    Lyttle comes from a family of track stars. Her father Jim, a 1970 Canandaigua graduate, was a sprinter, and her older sister Rachel held the school indoor long jump record before Julia Gleason bested it earlier this season.
    Christine Lyttle started track as an eighth grader and coaches tried her at hurdles due to her height. She was three-stepping hurdles even then, which is rare. Hurdling quickly became Lyttle’s favorite event and she made the leap to varsity as a freshman.
    In the first meet of the 2012-13 indoor season, Lyttle broke her old hurdle record of 8.61.
    “That’s my fastest time so far,”  she said. “That was our first meet, so that was really exciting. I’ve kind of been consistent lately being around the 8.6s and 8.7s. I’d like to get into the 8.4s and 8.3s.”
    Lyttle believes she can improve her time as she gets to more competitive events such as sectionals. The senior has run the fastest 55 hurdles time in all of Section 5 this season. Teammate Samantha Carro is second with 9.05. Lyttle encouraged Carro to go from four-stepping hurdles to three-stepping this season.
    Last year, Lyttle won a Section 5 Class B title in the 55 hurdles and placed second in the 55. The 4x200 team she ran on also won a title. Lyttle won the hurdles at the state qualifier meet and finished 25th at states. To end the indoor season, she competed at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York City.
    The senior wants to improve her times and lead Canandaigua to another Section 5 team championship.
    Devinney records Lyttle practicing on video to try to perfect her technique in going over hurdles. A change the coach made to the senior’s hurdle routine was going from eight steps to reach the first hurdle to seven.
    “Sometimes she was not feeling confident about getting to the first hurdle,” Devinney said. “Well, Ikey Ajavon didn’t take seven steps to the first hurdle, so we moved her to eight steps and it’s made all the difference in the world with confidence. We did that midseason last year and since then she’s dropped a lot of time.”
    Page 2 of 2 - The coach believes Lyttle could claim another outdoor record before graduating — Cathy Fellows’ 200 record of 26.3, which was set in 1981. Lyttle came as close as 26.6 last spring.
    Lyttle also trains and attends track camps with her friend Isabel Hirtelen-Booker, who runs for Harley-Allendale Columbia.
    “She has wicked-good form,” Lyttle said. “She’s super aggressive going over the hurdles, so I’m watching that and trying to emulate that. She’s one of the people I look up to.”
    Lyttle has been recruited to run for a few colleges. She hasn’t made up her mind on where to go yet, but Lyttle wants to study political science.
    “I feel like I’m not done running yet,” she said. “I feel I haven’t reached my potential. I’m excited to keep pushing the envelope, keep dropping my times and get stronger and faster.”

        calendar