Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame Announces Its Seventh Class of Inductees

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Kelsey Chmiel has always been on a fast track. She won an international cross-country championship at the age of 16, broke the state two-mile record for freshmen and the national 3,000-meter mark for sophomores, and finished her undergraduate degree at North Carolina State in two and a half years.

It’s no wonder that the former Saratoga Springs High School standout is only the fourth athlete selected in her first year of eligibility (five years removed from high school) to the Greater Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame and will be among 10 honored during the annual induction banquet on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Albany Marriott in Colonie.

Fitting for an Olympic year, the seventh class of inductees includes Shenendehowa’s Jillian Shippee, who is vying for a spot in the Paris Games in the hammer throw this summer; Albany hurdler Ellakisha Williamson O’Kelley, who just missed qualifying for the 2000 Games; Christian Brothers Academy product Harry Marra, who coached Olympic decathlon gold medalists Dan O’Brien and Ashton Eaton; and Colonie’s Jennifer Kramer Mortimer, who participated in the U.S. Olympic 5k Trials in 2004.

Also chosen were two record-breaking horizontal jumpers from decades ago, Rudy St. Pierre of Glens Falls and Antonio Delgado of Mont Pleasant; Taconic Hills shot putter John Dunn, a state champion who set the Section 2 record 50 years ago; Dave Byrd, whose outdoor 400 time of 47.51 for CBA stood as the area record for 19 years and whose indoor times of 21.45 in the 200 and 33.54 in the 300 have never been bettered; and Averill Park’s Alana Carroll, holder of area girls’ pole vaulting records indoors (13-6) and out (13-6 ¼).

They will join another 69 outstanding athletes, coaches, officials and contributors who were inducted during the first six years of the Hall. Tickets for the banquet, $65, may be purchased by visiting .

Chmiel’s victory on the world stage came in the Great Edinburgh International X Country Challenge in Scotland in January 2018, shortly after she was named the Gatorade New York State Cross Country Runner of the Year. In addition to finishing in the top five in the Nike Cross Nationals all four years she competed in the Oregon event, Kelsey rewrote the Section 2 track distance record books, indoors and out.

Despite injuries, Chmiel also excelled at North Carolina State as an 11-time All-American who finished sixth and third in consecutive NCAA cross country championships when the Wolfpack won team titles. The two-time Atlantic Coast Conference indoor championship meet 5k champion wrapped up her undergraduate degree a year and a half early and continued to run for North Carolina State through this spring.

Shippee, also a multiple ACC meet champion for North Carolina, finished fourth in the hammer throw at the U.S. Championships last year and competed in the World Championships in Hungary. She is the state high school hammer record holder.

Williamson O’Kelley finished fourth in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2000 with a 12.81 in the 100-meter hurdles. That still stands as a school record at South Carolina, where she was the first woman to win both the 100 and 400-meter hurdles in a Southeast Conference meet.

In addition to coaching Olympic decathlon champions, Marra has a strong coaching resume that includes many years at the University of Oregon. Kramer Mortimer found her stride at Boston College, where her 15:47.83 for the 5k in 2004 still ranks second on the Eagles’ all-time list.

St. Pierre was the first Section 2 athlete to break 23 feet in the long jump back in the 1930s, and his 24-1 7/8 college mark has stood as the Fordham University record for 85 years. Delgado also eclipsed the 23-foot mark in the long jump and set the section triple jump record of 48-11 ¼ in 1969. A few years after that, Dunn took down the Section 2 standard with a 62-11 in the shot put.

2024 Inductees, Greater Capital Region Track, Field, and
Country Hall of Fame

David Byrd (Christian Brothers Academy ’95, Syracuse ‘00)

● All-time great Capital Region long sprinter who as a junior won the state outdoor state 400-meter title. Was a high school track and field All-American in 1993 and 95.

● In 1995, established a state record of 33.54 in the 300-meter dash to win the state indoor track championship. At the time it was the second-fastest U.S. time ever run in the event by a scholastic athlete.

● National champion in the indoor 200-meter dash, his indoor time of 21.45 continues to rank No. 1 on the all-time Section 2 leaderboard. Outdoor time of 47.51 for the 400 meter was the Section 2 record for 18 years and continues to rank No. 2 on the all-time leaderboard. Ran collegiately at Syracuse University.

Alana Carroll (Averill Park ’18, Harvard University ’22)

● Graduated from Averill Park High School in 2018 as the greatest girls’ pole vaulter in Section 2 history with an outdoor jump of 13-6 1/4. Her Indoor jump of 13-6 is also the Section 2 record.

● In 2018 was the William F. Eddy Meet champion for the third consecutive time, State Meet champion, the Penn Relays champion and the New Balance Outdoor Nationals champion. That year also placed first in the long jump at the sectional championship meet.

● Continued her pole vaulting career at Harvard University with multiple 13-foot jumps and is the second-best vaulter of all time for the Crimson with a mark of 13-5 1/4.

Kelsey Chmiel (Saratoga Springs ’19, North Carolina State ’22)

● Won the junior division of the Great Edinburgh International X Country Challenge at 16 in Scotland. Her brilliant high school cross country career included state and federation championships and top-five overall finishes in each of her four years at the Nike Cross Nationals. Kelsey was the Gatorade New York State Cross Country Runner of the Year as a junior.

● The 12-time high school All-American and multiple state champ broke national outdoor 3,000-meter mark for sophomores and the state freshman two mile run standard. Holds six all-time Section 2 bests, indoors and out, including the state record of 16:18.57 in the outdoor 5k.

● First five-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree in North Carolina State history, she achieved numerous athletic and academic awards and was an 11-time All-American. Finished sixth and third in the 2021 and 2022 NCAA cross country championships as the Wolfpack won team titles.

Joseph Antonio Delgado (Mont Pleasant ’69, Siena College ’73)

● In 1969 set the Section 2 record of 48-11 3/4 in the triple jump as well as the Section 2 record of 23-6 ¾ in the long jump. Was the first Section 2 athlete to ever jump over 48 feet in the triple jump and only the third to clear 23 feet in the long jump.

● Won the 1969 William F. Eddy Meet in the triple jump and placed second in the long jump. At the state meet that year, placed second in the triple jump to Zach Gillon from Peekskill, who soared to a national record of 50-5.

● Was recruited by Villanova, the University of Kansas, the University of Florida and San Jose State, but decided to give up track and field and play basketball at Siena College.

John Dunn (Taconic Hills ’74, Penn State University ’78)

● Was the 1974 Indoor State Champion with a throw of 60-10 which is still No. 2 today behind Olympian Andy Bloom from Niskayuna, who broke his record in 1991.

● Was the 1974 outdoor state shot put champion with a heave of 62-11 which stood for 17 years until broken by Bloom. His outdoor mark also stands at No. 2 in the section 50 years after high school graduation.

● Continues to hold Taconic Hills indoor and outdoor shot records. Coached in college and served as a strength and conditioning coach in the NFL for 25 years.

Harry Marra (Christian Brothers Academy ’65, Mount St. Mary’s Univ. ’69)

● Served as the Head Track and Field Coach at both San Francisco State (1981-1993) and Springfield College in Massachusetts. Served as assistant track and field coach at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1975-77 and assistant coach for multi-events at the University of Oregon.

● Head Coach of the U.S. National Decathlon Team from 1990 to 2000. Team members set several world records in the decathlon, highlighted by Dan O'Brien's gold-medal victory in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Has coached eight decathletes to scores of more than 8,000 points.

● Coached Ashton Eaton to Olympic Gold medals in 2012 and 2016 and World Championships in 2013 and 2015. Was named the Nike USATF Coach of the year in 2012 and IAAF International Coach of the Year in 2016.

Jennifer Kramer Mortimer (Colonie ’00, Boston College ’04)

● At Colonie High School, scored in New York State Championships nine times as a member of powerhouse cross country, indoor and outdoor teams. Was an indoor track high school All-American four times.

● Holds six individual Colonie indoor/outdoor school records and is a member four record-holding relay teams. Ranks high on many Section II all-time leaderboard distance event lists. Her outdoor time of 4:32.31 in the 1,500

Was second only to Hall of Fame member Cheri Goddard when she ran it in 2000.

● Scoring member of the Boston College cross country teams that placed fourth in the 2000 NCAA Championship and sixth in 2001. Set a school record in outdoor 5,000 meters and was an Olympic Trials qualifier in 2004 in Sacramento.

Ellakisha (Williamson) O’Kelley (Albany ’93, South Carolina ’00)

● Narrowly missed qualifying for 2000 Olympic Games, finishing fourth in the 100-meter hurdles at the U.S. Trials. Was ranked as high as 15th in the world, placed fifth in the 2001 World University Games and returned to compete in the Olympic Trials in 2008.

● Appears seven times on all-time Section 2 leaderboard, but when setting her marks for Albany High School in 1992 and 93, she was in the top three in short dashes and both hurdle disciplines, indoors and out.

● Found her niche at South Carolina where she was a six-time All-American in hurdles and sprint relays from 1999 to 2000. Was the first woman to sweep the 100-meter hurdle and 400-meter hurdle titles in the Southeast Conference Championships. Set two school hurdle records and still holds the 100-meter mark of 12.81.

Ralph “Rudy” A. St. Pierre (Glens Falls ’36, Fordham ‘41)

● First Section 2 athlete to break 23 feet in the long jump; his mark of 23-1/4 for Glens Falls High School in 1934 stood as the record for more than two decades. Was also the first area athlete to better 10 seconds in the 100-yard dash and won nine Section 2 championships.

● Leaped to an outdoor career-best 24-1 7/8 in 1939, and 85 years later, that still stands as the school record at Fordham University. His indoor mark of 23-1 also held up for decades. Led off a Rams’ mile-relay team that set a world indoor record of 3:15.2 at Dartmouth and a 1,600-meter squad that broke the national AAU mark.

● Before accepting a scholarship to Fordham, competed for Manhattan Prep School where he won the 60-yard dash at the National Indoor Prep Championships at Madison Square Garden and was Metropolitan AAU long jump champion.

Jillian Shippee (Shenendehowa ’17, North Carolina ’21)

● Placed fourth in the hammer throw at the 2023 U.S. Championships to compete in the World Championships in Poland and will vie for a U.S. Olympic Team berth this year. PR of 245-10 ranked fifth in the country and eighth in the world.

● Earned three national high school championships at Shenendehowa, two in the hammer throw outdoors and one in the weight throw indoors. Holds the New York State record of 196-2 in the hammer and sits second on the all-time state weight throw list at 65-6 after setting the record in 2017. Her shot-put mark of 44-8 ½ ranks second in Section 2 history.

● Holds school records for North Carolina in the hammer throw and weight throw. Captured the hammer championship three times in the Atlantic Coast Conference meet and once in the NCAA East Qualifier. Placed third in the NCAA Championship meet in 2021 and finished fourth in the World Junior Championships in Finland in 2018.

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