CICERO - It was a roller coaster of emotions for the local athletes Friday on the opening day of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association track and field championships.
For Fonda-Fultonville senior shot putter Sarah Wyzomirski, the day was a success as she brought home a medal from her first trip to the championship meet.
For Amsterdam's Izaiah Brown his fourth-place finish in his 400-meter dash heat race ended painfully. The top-seeded freshman clocked a time of 49.2 before collapsing on the infield with a quadriceps injury. His time put him on the podium with a sixth-place overall finish.
Broadalbin-Perth’s Austin Becker (210) fights for position at the start of the 800-meter run Friday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Cicero-North-Syracuse High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Brown's teammate, Matthew White, is in the hunt for the Division I (large-school) pentathlon championship. White heads into the final two events of the five-event challenge - the long jump and 1,500-meter run - in second place, 15 points behind Hilton's Pat Meyer, 2,249-2,234.
Wyzomirski was one of three local female shot putters to reach the championship meet. She had a best throw of 36-0 to place fifth in the D-II (small-school) finals.
"I wish I could have done better but I made it here and that was one of my goals to just make it to the state meet," Wyzomirski said. "I made it and medaled, so I'm happy."
She was joined by Dolgeville's Nichole Bliss in the D-II competition, while Gloversville's Liz Hogan vied for the D-I title.
For Bliss, her second straight trip to the state meet did not end up the way she had hoped. The senior's best throw of 35-8 placed her seventh.
"My throws were better this year than last year, but it just wasn't meant to be," she said. "This is my second trip to the state meet so I can't complain."
Hogan, a second-year thrower, it was her second trip to a championship meet this year as she also qualified for the indoor championships in February.
Friday she had a best throw of 34-11 in the preliminary round but didn't advance to the final eight. Her throw placed her 12th in the D-I standings.
"It feels great to be here, a great experience," Hogan said. "I have thrown better, but I will take it. The year has been really fun."
Friday also marked the second-straight appearance at the NYSPHSAA championship meet for Broadalbin-Perth's Austin Becker and Mackenzie Ottati.
Becker's run in the top-seeded heat of the 800-meter run got off to a rough start as several runners bumped as they fought for position in the inside lane.
Becker turned in a first-lap split of 56.1 but was trapped mid-pack. Known for his late-race kick Becker tried to challenge on the second lap but came home ninth in the heat with a time of 1:57.57.
"Actually, it was a better start than last year," Becker said. "It got me in the middle of the pack. I pulled out to make a move, but there were kids already there. On the second lap, I tried making a move but then I hit the wind when I got out from behind the pack. I just didn't have it at the end.
"Coach Jeff Richards worked with me every day he is like a father figure to me," Becker said. "He pushed me every day and got me here. I can't ask for any more. The last six years running for him have been a pleasure."
Becker placed 20th overall and seventh in the D-II rankings.
Ottati also got off to a rough start but recovered to be involved in a tight battle down the stretch to finish fifth in her heat and 13th in the D-II standings with her time of 1:09.2.
"I had a bad start," Ottati said. "I stuttered at the first hurdle and that normally doesn't happen I usually have a strong start. From there, it was downhill."
The junior hurdler said being in last year's championship meet helped her prepare for this year's competition.
"It was much easier this year because I knew what to expect," she said. "My time wasn't what I expected it to be. It was kind of hot today and waiting around all day didn't help."
Fonda-Fultonville sophomore Lindsay Therrien made her first trip to the state meet as a competitor but came up short, finishing fifth in her 100-meter hurdle preliminary with a time of 16.70 but did not advance to the finals. Therrien's time was 14th fastest in the D-II competition.
"I didn't get that great of a start so my first hurdle was off, but I got pretty much back into it as I kept going. I hard to try extra hard," she said. "It was a good time, more of what my usual times are, so I was proud of what I did."
Therrien scored several quality victories this season against Section II competition. However, the state-meet level of competition was a new experience.
"It is a whole different animal," she said. "I know where I stand back home, but it's totally different here. Being able to run here today was a great opportunity. It was a very big reality check, but I hope I get to do it again."
Canajoharie freshman Mariah Pettit qualified for the D-II 100-meter dash and turned in a personal best time of 12.71, good for a fifth place finish in her preliminary but not to advance to the finals. Her time placed her 14th in the D-II standings.
"I am extremely pleased with Mariah's performance," Canajoharie coach Ellee Fichthorn said. "She has worked extremely hard every day at practice. We have been working on her starts because she has never used blocks before this year. She came out of the blocks very strong today . . . I would have to say her best start of the season. She went out and ran her fastest time by three-tenths of a second. You can't ask for more from a 15-year-old. I am just very proud of her."
The Fonda-Fultonville boys 3,200-meter relay team of Matt Hoffman, Michael Scott, Tyler Angioli and Cameron Gilligan, along with alternate Jacob Shave, will take to the track this afternoon for a run at the D-II championship.