NEW YORK CITY — Jay Hebert capped a sensational winter season Sunday by earning All-American honors at the New Balance National Indoor Championships in track & field.
The Ticonderoga senior, a four-time state champion, came in sixth in the boys’ 60-meter hurdles final at the New Balance Track & Field Center in New York City. The top six finishers received All-American recognition.
He was the top northern hurdler in the eight-man field with a time of 8.04 seconds. Isaiah Moore of Burlington, N.C., won in 7.79 with Grant Holloway, Chesapeake, Va., second, in 7.93 and D’Ante Yarborough of Ashburn, Va., third in 7.95.
The 60-meter distance presented a new challenge to Hebert, who has been running 55 meters indoors this season.
“A lot of the southern schools run 60 (meters) so some people considered that an advantage for them, but I don’t know about that,” Hebert said. “My concern was finishing strong. I’m used to coming off the last hurdle at 55 meters and having the race over. This weekend, I tried to remind myself to keep going through to the finish.”
Hebert’s time of 7.986 in the semifinals was one of the fastest of the day Sunday.
“My time in the semifinals was faster, but I felt like I ran a better race in the finals,” he recalled.
The Sentinel standout had one goal in mind entering the national meet — to finish in the top six.
“I finished eighth last year,” Hebert recalled. “I just missed out on All-American; so that was one of my goals from the first day of practice this season.”
Like many northern athletes, Hebert had to be content with training in school hallways during the winter months.
“School hallways can only accommodate so much space for the hurdles. You just have to make it work,” he related.