Area athletes post strong showings at states

Canajoharie's Andrew Towse competes in the Division 2 400-meter hurdle preliminaries at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School on Friday. (Photo contributed by Spencer Tulis)

CICERO — Several area athletes posted strong showings on the opening day of competition at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships on Friday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

Amsterdam juniors Gabby Stanavich (100 hurdles) and Lauren Santiago (400 meters) qualified for the finals in their respective events, along with the Lady Rams’ 4 x 400 relay team. Fonda-Fultonville senior Brittany Castelluccio advanced to the second day of competition in the long jump.

Castelluccio won the Division 2 (small-school) long jump with a leap of 18-10, while Cobleskill-Richmondville’s Olivia Chamberlain (18-5 1/4) was second.

Castelluccio also was eighth in the Division 2 triple jump with a leap of 36-5 3/4. Wayne’s Kaitlyn Bonczyk won with a leap of 38-2 1/4.

Stanavich posted a time of 14.61 seconds in the Division 1 (large-school) 100-hurdle preliminaries to place fourth and qualify for today’s final. Stanavich finished second in her heat. Sophia Myers of Queens High School of Teaching posted the fastest time of 13.97 seconds.

Johnstown's Abigail Gottung competes in the Division 2 400-meter hurdle preliminaries at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School on Friday. (Photo contributed by Spencer Tulis)

Santiago was sixth in the Division 1 400-meter prelims with a time of 57.42 seconds. Cardozo’s Paris Peoples won with a time of 55.77 seconds. Santiago will compete in today’s final.

The 4 x 400 relay team of Brenda Santana, Stanavich, Olivia Lazarou and Santiago posted a time of 3:59.63. Rush-Henrietta posted the top time in preliminaries with a 3:52.52.

Also in action today will be Canajoharie senior Andrew Yacobucci and Galway sophomore Rachel Wnuk, who will compete in the boys and girls high jump, respectively.

Also competing Friday were Canajoharie’s Andrew Towse, Broadalbin-Perth’s Sean Meher and Chris Wagner, Johnstown’s Abigail Gottung, Amsterdam’s Brenda Santana, Broadalbin-Perth’s Ava Tyler and Dolgeville’s Emma Bilinski.

“Today three athletes concluded Broadalbin-Perth’s best ever track and field season in remarkable fashion,” Broadalbin-Perth coach Jeff Richards said. “All three of them truly epitomized this season. They refused to settle for mediocrity and instead strived for greatness. What an amazing season for these three and all of BP track and field.”

Wagner, a senior, set a new school record with a height of 14-6 to place third in the Division 2 pole vault. Wagner placed 10th overall. Central Square’s Joe Weaver was the overall winner with a height of 16-0, while Trumansburg’s Dom Mikula was the Division 2 winner with a height of 15-0.

“Chris Wagner capped off his senior year and high school career with a huge PR and new school record of 14-6. As a seventh-grader, Chris showed tremendous potential and I said to myself, this kid will be on the state podium one day,” Richards said. “Chris ensured that this happened, as he truly was dedicated to the pole vault. He worked so hard for the last six years for this day and it was awesome to see him be rewarded for it.”

Towse, a senior, was 13th in the Division 2 110-meter hurdle preliminaries, posting a time of 15.89 seconds. Sullivan West’s Michael Mullally had the fastest time of 14.21 seconds.

Towse also posted a time of 58.11 seconds in the Division 2 400-meter hurdles to place 10th. Mullally won with a time of 52.81 seconds.

Santana, a senior, was 17th in the Division 1 200 meter preliminaries with a time of 26.23 seconds. Rush-Henrietta’s Lanae-Tava Thomas posted the fastest time of 23.64 seconds.

Tyler, a freshman, was 22nd overall in the pole vault with a height of 9-0. She also was ninth among Division 2 competitors. Averill Park’s Alana Carroll was the overall winner with a height of 13-0, while Lansing’s Meghan Matheny was the top Division 2 finisher with a height of 12-0.

“The fact that [Ava] is at the state championship as a freshman is a big enough accomplishment in itself. The experience she gained today is invaluable and I am certain this will not be her only trip here,” Richards said. “She is a special talent and her time will come.”

Meher, a junior, was sixth in the Division 2 triple jump with a leap of 45-3. Southampton’s Sebastian Pereira won with a leap of 49-1 3/4.

“Sean Meher also made the podium with a new PR of 45-3 in the triple jump. He is an athlete who literally has sacrificed his body for our team. Thus it was so nice to see him finally get the individual accolades he so deserves,” Richards said. “He is a junior and already made the state podium.”

Gottung, a junior, was seventh overall and sixth among NYSHPSAA athletes in the Division 2 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:06.14. Mount Sinai’s Kayleigh Robinson won with a time of 1:03.03.

Bilinski was 12th in the Division 2 discus with a throw of 91-2. Iroquois’ Rachel Donner won the Division 2 title with a throw of 138-4.

Yacobucci won the boys Section II Sportsmanship Award, while Santana claimed the girls Section II Sportsmanship Award.

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