SAUQUOIT, NY– Every now and then, a young middle schooler shines bright in the middle of a bunch of upperclassmen.
For Westmoreland’s Cheyenne Smithson, that moment happened on one of the biggest stages for track and field in the Mohawk Valley—the Center State Conference Championship.
The eighth-grader sped past the older competition in the 100-meter dash preliminaries and outjumped her older competitors at the Division II level of the girls’ competition, which included runners, jumpers and throwers from seven schools across the Mohawk Valley. Smithson took first in the long jump as well, with a winning jump of 15 feet, three inches to earn ten points for the Bulldogs.
While Smithson did win her preliminary heat by over 1/10th of a second, she was able to manage a third place finish in the final, just behind Marissa Jones of host Sauquoit Valley and Amberlyn Robertson of Sherburne-Earlville. The first-year varsity runner, who transferred from West Canada Valley, also placed behind Jones in the 200-meter dash, dominating her heat, but in the end, taking home a sixth-place ribbon.
With all her success, Smithson remains humble. “It was very difficult…I tried my hardest,” she said after her 100-meter final.
When asked about the level of competition, Smithson was determined to make her name known in the Center State Conference.
“It kind of worries me,” Smithson said, “but it gives me more competition. It feels amazing…there’s not many words to describe it.
However, the transfer from Newport—and to a new class of runners (from Class D to C)– believes the move to Westmoreland has helped her.
“I felt I did well last year,” Smithson said, “but moving from D to C, I feel better than I did [at West Canada Valley].”
While one star was shining bright on the track at Sauquoit Valley High School, another one was just about to fade away. Hamilton’s Andrew Meeks was competing in his final CSC meet on Tuesday in four events: the 100-meter dash, the 4×100 meter relay, the 200-meter dash, and the 4×400 meter relay. However, the senior does not intend to run track in college, instead opting to focus on his studies.
However, he intended to end his Center State Conference track career with a bang, taking first place and thirty big points for his Emerald Knights. Meeks started out by taking the CSC Division III 100-meter title, running away with the win with a time of 11.65 seconds, over two-tenths of a second faster than second place, Shane Tinney of Oriskany. Meeks’ partner in the 4×100 meter relay, senior Sam Soucy, would place third.
Both Meeks and Soucy would get a short rest before representing Hamilton in the 4×100 meter relay, along with fellow seniors Ryan Tuttle and Schyler Lemal-Brown. All four of them have been running as a team since they were sophomores, and Meeks was quick to heap praise on his three partners.
“It’s always been a team effort,” Meeks said. “Everything we do is together. We warm up together, we practice together, we cool down together, and that’s important for a relay team.”
The togetherness certainly showed for the quartet of Emerald Knights, as they rounded out their Center State Conference career with a time of 46.91 seconds and another first-place ribbon.
Meeks wasn’t done, however. He had another short rest, and then went out and ran the 200-meter dash for his Emerald Knights. Like he had done in his previous races, he blazed through his preliminary, beating out his closest competition by over 2/10 of a second. Then, just like his previous races, he went right back out and did it again.
With a time of 24.10 seconds, Meeks was able to garner another blue ribbon, his third of the night. However, Meeks still has one more goal in mind for the venerable Hamilton track and field team: a New York State championship. So far the senior has qualified for Sectionals, to be held next week at Sauquoit Valley, but the State Open Qualifier is the ultimate goal as Meeks prepares to take his final bow as a Hamilton Emerald Knight.
“It would be really good to go out with a bang at States,” Meeks said.
If his and Smithson’s runs at Sauquoit on Tuesday were any indication, the rest of the section should look out for two speed demons wearing green. One may be on the way out, but one is just getting started.
Other Notable Results:
- New York Mills captured the title in the girls’ Division III 4×800 meter relay. The team, consisting of freshmen Sarah Sharpe and Abbey Copperwheat and seniors Megan Crist and Natalie Ciaccia, won 10 points for the Marauders, winning with a time of 10:26.35. Sharpe would pick up another ten points for New York Mills, as she won the Division III 1500-meter title with a time of 5:07.34.
- Emilie Phillips would earn a ribbon for Waterville in Division II’s shot put competition. Her winning distance of 29 feet, 6 ¾ inches would earn her the win for the Indians. In Division III, New York Mills’ Caitlyn Mackay would pick up the win with a distance of 32 feet, nine inches.
- Morrisville-Eaton’s Dale Lake would take home Division III honors in the 110-meter hurdles, taking the event with a time of 16.92 seconds. Cooperstown’s Josh Briggs would take home the honors in Division II, with a time of 17.38 seconds.
- Sauquoit Valley’s Marissa Jones won the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter dashes to lead the hosts to the CSC III Girl’s Team Title
Check back later for complete results from today’s competition!