ITHACA- The area will be well-represented today at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships at Cornell University.
Gloversville's Chanel Thomas and Mike Budka, Fonda-Fultonville's Ryan Park, and Amsterdam's Izaiah Brown, Julian Gallup and Lucas Dorr all qualified for individual events, while the Amsterdam 4 x 400 relay team also qualified for the state meet.
Broadalbin-Perth's Jake Coveney also earned a qualifying spot in the 55-meter hurdles, but he will be playing with the B-P basketball team in the Section II Class B championship against Voorheesville today at the Glens Falls Civic Center.
Amsterdam’s Izaiah Brown crosses the finish line at the Feb. 16 Section II Indoor Track and Field Championships at the University at Albany. Brown, the defending state champion in the event, will look to repeat as champion today at Cornell University. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Thomas qualified in three events for Gloversville, earning spots in the long jump, triple jump and 55-meter hurdles.
At the Section II state qualifier at the University at Albany on Feb. 16, Thomas placed first in the long jump, second in the triple jump and third in the 55-meter hurdles.
Thomas set a new school record with her second-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 35-8. She won the long jump with a distance of 16-11 1/2 and placed third in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.8 seconds.
Thomas qualified for the outdoor state championships last spring in the pentathlon.
She is seeded 20th in the 55-meter hurdles, 11th in the long jump and 23rd in the triple jump heading into today's meet.
"I think both athletes we be competitive and have a descent shot at making the podium at the state meet," Gloversville coach Stephen Wendt said. "Athletes going to states allows for others in the program to understand what type of credentials and dedication one must have in order to achieve similar feats. It sets a standard for all programs as a whole."
Brown qualified in the 300 meters and will defend his state title today for the Rams.
"This will be Izaiah's fourth state meet; he has competed at nationals, and has gone and won several major invatations this season at the Armory in New York City," Wilary said. "Although Izaiah is a seasoned state athlete, he knows he must have a great day if he is going to win in this stacked field. Izaiah's focus and his hard work this season will show this weekend."
Brown cruised to victory in the 300 meters at the state qualifier with a time of 37.16 seconds.
Brown is seeded sixth heading into the state meet.
"Izaiah [Brown] is the sixth seed, but the runners ahead of him have run every weekend on the fast-banked track at the Armory in New York City," Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary. "We run on four-turn flat tracks. I feel Izaiah will be more comfortable on the flat track while the others are more out of their comfort zone on the flat track."
Brown also will anchor the 4 x 400 relay team, where he will be joined by David Gravely, Julian Gallup and Andrew Druziak. Jared Gallup and Edgar Maldonado are the alternates for the team.
Brown helped Amsterdam edge Schuylerville in the final 10 meters at the state qualifier, helping his team post a time of 3:38.39 after making up a large deficit in the final leg.
Amsterdam is seeded 10th in the event at the state meet.
Gallup also earned a qualifying berth in the long jump, winning the event at the Section II state qualifier with a leap of 20-11.
"Julian [Gallup], a rookie track athlete has shown his athleticism in the long jump," Wilary said. "Only competing five times during the season, Julian was the top long jumper in Section II. He has a lot of desire to be the best he can be. He is a hard worker."
Gallup is seeded 27th heading into this weekend's meet.
Budka and Park finished second and third, respectively, in the pole vault to earn spots on the Section II team.
"We're hoping he can end the season on a good vault," Fonda-Fultonville coach Mark Therrien said of Park. "We hope he has a crack at 13 feet, and then head into outdoor with some momentum. We haven't had anybody at states in a while, so it's good for our program."
Park is seeded 20th, while Budka is seeded 23rd heading into the state meet.
Dorr qualified in the 55-meter dash for the Rams, placing third at the state-qualifying meet. He is seeded 32nd headed into the state meet.
"Lucas [Dorr] worked really hard to get to the state meet. He has been running track since he was in ninth grade," Wilary said. "Coming off a pulled hamstring last track season, Lucas has earned his trip to the meet through his hard work."