Local athletes ready for state championship meet

Broadalbin-Perth’s Jeff Derwin top seed in shot put and discus

Broadalbin-Perth's Jeff Derwin prepares to launch the discus during the championship round at the Section II Championships on June 1 at Shenendehowa High School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

BROADALBIN — Jeff Derwin knows that one good throw is all it takes to win or lose a championship.

At the 2016 state championship meet, he led the the Division 2 discus competition with a throw of 151-02 until Nick Kocienda unleashed a 160-08 attempt on his final attempt to take home the gold.

That loss has been a driving force this season for the Broadalbin-Perth senior as he dominated the discus and shot put competition, putting him at the top of the Section II and state leaderboards.

Derwin will try to complete his journey today as he makes his third straight trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Union-Endicott High School outside of Binghamton.

Derwin is listed as the top seed in the Division 2 (small school- under 600 BEDS count) shot put with a season’s best throw of 60-08 and is also No. 1 in the Division 2 discus with a throw of 169-03 recorded at last week’s Section II championship meet.

“The experience thing, I think, is going to be my biggest strength going this year,” Derwin said. “The nerves aren’t going to be there. I am going there with one goal in mind and that is to win it. My sophomore year I was just happy to be there. Last year was still a little bit nerve racking but I was still excited. Now this year it is just another meet.”

Derwin placed sixth in the shot put in his sophomore season with a throw of 49-03 and improved to fourth in 2016 with a toss of 52-06.

His main competition in the shot put will come from defending champion Jack Zimmerman of Briarcliff. He is seeded second with a season’s best throw of 60-01.75. He won last year’s meet with a best throw of 58-05.5.

Derwin and Zimmerman also threw against each other at the 2015 championship meet at UAlbany with Derwin placing fourth with 49-03 and Zimmerman was 12th with a 42-05.75.

It is his second trip to the states in the discus and his 169-03 throw is 9-04 better than second-seeded Kilian Lewis’ 159-11. Lewis placed eighth in the 2016 championships with a best throw of 142-01.

“Hopefully, that is all it is going to take for me is one throw,” Derwin said. “In both, I have that capability that if I pop one that is going to be it.”

Being the top seed also comes with the pressure of expectation and having everyone gunning for you.

“To a certain extent, I like it, but it does mean the pressure is on,” he said. “But I am all right with it. I use the term running away lightly because you always have to be on offense but I like to be ahead of the pack.”

Heading into today’s meet Derwin said he is better prepared physically than he was the past two years.

“I had knee surgery in August but I have been fortunate this year not to have any set backs,” he said. “My junior year I broke my hip and my sophomore year I had knee surgery right in the middle of the year. I have been fortunate to be able to train from November straight through to now without any serious setbacks. I honestly think that is why I am seeing the marks I have been seeing this year. I have finally had a full year to prepare myself and get to where I want to be.”

Derwin’s explosive moves across the circle in both events has helped generate the power needed for the record-setting throws. It is something he credits a close friend with helping him with.

“I have one buddy in particular, Riley Martin, who is my workout buddy and he is actually a cross-trainer,” Derwin said. “It is kind of strange that a big thrower like me doing a strange workout like that but the explosiveness that you build from that and the cardio vascular activity you build from that is phenomenal. I honestly have to say that he is a big reason that I am where I am at.”

Following graduation from Broadalbin-Perth, Derwin will be moving on to compete at the college level for Division I Binghamton University., just a few miles from where the state championships are being held.

“That is pretty cool. I can get the feel of the area and hopefully meet some of the coaches and people I will be seeing next year,” he said. “Hopefully, I can impress them.”

Derwin is not the only Broadalbin-Perth athlete making the trip to the state meet.

The Patriots 4×100-meter relay team of Chris Wagner, Jacob bunker, Zach Johnson and Ivan Roberts along with alternates Sean Meher and Joey Vitalis won the Section II championship with a school-record time of 44.53, good enough to earn them the ninth seed among the D-2 teams.

“I watched them run on Friday and I think I was more excited watching them win,” Derwin said. “It is going to be great having them there this year. It will be special having your teammates there.”

Canajoharie’s Mike Hartlieb also is making his second-straight trip to the state championships in the D-2 discus.

Hartlieb, who won the prestigious Eddy Meet discus event earlier this season, finished second to Derwin at the Section II championship meet and is seeded sixth in today’s meet with a throw of 153-02. He placed 12th in the 2016 state meet with a best throw of 126-09.

Tyler Brado will be making his first trip to the state meet this weekend, representing the Fort Plain-Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville track team in the high jump.

Brado set a Section II leading mark of 6-06 to win the D-2 event last Friday and is shares the third overall-seed and second seed in the D-2 competition with Southampton’s Nakia Williams. Brandon Burke is the top D-2 seed with a height of 6-07.75, while Smithtown East if the top overall and D-1 seed with a height of 7-01.75.

The high jump competition is set for Saturday morning.

Amsterdam’s Kevon Boucaud heads to the championship meet for the second straight year to battle for the D-1 championship in the 100-meter dash and the long jump.

Boucaud, who is seeded fourth in the 100 meters with a time of 10.73. Last year he turned in a time of 10.90 in his preliminary but did not advance to the semifinals.

In the long jump, Boucaud finished ninth in the D-1 competition with a best jump of 21-10 3/4. He is seeded third in today’s D-1 competition with a jump of 23-03.0. Huntington’s Kyree Johnson is the top-seed with 23-09.0, while Jeremiah Willis of Cicero-North Syracuse is the No. 2 seed with a leap of 23-04.0.

On the girls side, after missing last year’s state meet, Fonda-Fultonville’s Brittany Castelluccio returns to the championship meet as the sixth seed in the D-2 long jump competition with a best jump of 17-04.5.

Castelluccio reached the championship meet as a freshman and placed ninth in the D-2 long jump with a best jump of 16-08 1/4.

The Fonda-Fultonville junor qualified for the indoor state championships in the long jump and finished 13th overall with a jump of 16-09 1/2.

Amsterdam’s Gabby Stanavich is making her first trip to the outdoor state championships and is the co-fifth seed in the D-1 100-meter hurdles with Warwick Valley’s Penny Greibesland with a time of 14.65.

The Amsterdam sophomore also ran in the state indoor championship meet this year and placed sixth in the NYSPHSAA 55-meter hurdles with her time of 8.58, which was also good for a ninth-place finish in the Federation standings.