The Alfred State women's indoor track & field team was only scheduled to compete on Friday at the ECAC Championships but stepped up to a helped a fellow runner during the 1 mile run on Saturday.
A quintet of Alfred State athletes, Veronica Dailey (Addison), Katherine Frascella (Franklinville), Emily Brigman (Lancaster), Marissa Sly (N. Tonawanda), and Julia Yanarella (Wappingers Falls/Roy Ketcham), competed in their scheduled ECAC events on Friday evening. As Friday events came to a close, they found out that the women's 1 mile run was going to be cancelled due to lack of qualifiers in the event and fellow competitor Grace Galligan (Franciscan University) was not going to be able to compete in her signature event even though she was ranked #1 in the ECAC and needed the race as her final chance to qualify for the NCAA's.
On Saturday morning, Alfred State head coach Steve Paternostro approached Galligan and told her that his runners would compete to ensure that the race would take place and Galligan would have her opportunity to compete in the event. Fifteen minutes before the event was scheduled to start the ECAC made the decision to allow the Alfred State entries and hold the event. The athletes quickly got warmed up and went to the start line.
Galligan went on to win the 1 mile race followed by the quintet of Pioneers. Galligan won the race in a personal best and school record 5:15.79. Her time was four seconds faster than her seed time. Dailey finished 2nd in 6:01.82, Frascella 3rd in 6:28.93, and Brigman 4th in 7:14.61. During the race the Pioneer quintet cheered on their competitor as they ran the course at the Armory in New York City.
Galligan's brother Liam also competed at the ECAC Championships and won the title in the 1 mile setting up a special family sweep of the event.
1 act of sportsmanship, 1 race, and 1 mile built a memory between these runners that will not soon be forgotten.