Both new and familiar faces were crowned Section III Track & Field champions as teams competed in their respective class championships last week.
Class A1 and A2 was combined to form one class this year with Jamesville-DeWitt sweeping Class A. The boys team bested the Tri-Valley League champions of New Hartford to win the Class A Championship. Senior Patrick Dye tripled in the 4 x 800m relay, 1600m, and 3200m placing 4th, 2nd, and 2nd, respectfully. New Hartford’s Josh Farmer was the individual champion in the 1600m and 3200m. Dye shared his thoughts on competing against Farmer, “Racing Josh has really been great. I think we push each other to do our best and improve every race. He’s a great competitor and neither of us want to lose.”
The girls of Jamesville-DeWitt took the Class A title by almost 50 points. Alexandria Payne had a perfect day winning the 100m hurdles, 100m, 200m, and long jump contributing 40 points to the team total. This was the 9th consecutive year the girls have won the Section III Championship. When asked how the girls continue to be so strong year after year, head coach Jim Lawton said, “I used to marvel at Skaneateles and Chittenango because they had some girls that could run all the events well. I suggested to the boys coach, who works with the sprinters, to try to get more girls that usually just ran the 100 and 200 to train for the 400 and get some distance runners to also do some 400s. That and getting a modified team as a feeder has made the difference.” Coach Lawton continued, “I think that the size of our teams has also helped. There are times when kids get injured or sick, but if you have a lot of athletes, you can put in a good substitute easily.”
The Phoenix Firebirds won the boys Class B1 Championship. Jacob Marr swept the hurdle events with times of 16.60 in the 110m hurdles and 1:00.05 in the 400m hurdles. He also ran a leg of the 4 x 400m relay, which placed 1st overall.
Skaneateles repeated as the girls Class B1 champions by over 50 points over runner-up VVS. Raenah Campbell was dominate in the hurdle races winning the 100m hurdles by .78 seconds and the 400m hurdles by over five seconds. She also won the 200m in a time of 26.80. This was the girls 7th Class B1 title in the 13 years Rob Tuttle has been head coach and the 5th year in a row that they have won. “I really have to give all the credit to the athletes. They are dedicated to the sport. They work hard and obviously have talent. They recruit other kids in the school for our program. Success breeds success. Once you win a few titles, kids want to be part of that,” Coach Tuttle reflected on his tenure at the helm.
The Clinton program did not skip a beat since indoor taking home honors in Class B2 for the boys over Canastota and the girls over Holland Patent. Andrew Ford came up big for the Warriors earning the dub in the 3200m and a pair of 2nd place finishes in the 1600m and 800m. Ford’s teammate, CJ Militello got the win at 1600m.
The distance crew of Eva Borton, Emma Novak, and Taylor Harvey earned 54 points for the girls. Sophomore sprinter Elyse Jackson added another 26 points in the 100m, 4 x 100m relay, 200m, and long jump. The Class B2 girls runner-up finished with 74 points.
The Clinton boys and girls have won every Class B2 Championship since 2014.
Class C had two programs that took home all the hardware in their respective divisions as well. Tully repeated as champions in Class C1, and Beaver River earned the titles in Class C2. Tully’s Ryan Hanson competed in all four of the open distance events placing 2nd in the 3200m and 3rd in the 1600m, 800m, and finally, the 3000m steeplechase. Fellow teammate Daniel Bort scored in the 4 x 800m relay (1st place), 1600m (4th place), 3200m (3rd place), and 3000m steeplechase (2nd place).
The Tully girls had impressive performances from Brooke Rauber in the distance events and Jessica Donald in sprints. Rauber became individual champion in the 1500m with a sub-5:00 performance, in the 3000m with a sub-11:00 performance, and in the 2000m steeplechase in 7:23. She finished 2nd in the 800m. Donald won the 100m, 400m, 200m, and long jump.
The Beaver River boys won the Class C2 title by 1 point over Weedsport. The distance runners proved their dominance winning every distance event. Connor Demo, Erik Campeau, and Colton Kempney took the first three places in the 1600m, 3200m, and 3000m steeplechase.
The girls matched the boys every step of the way claiming all of the distance events led by Taylor Moore, Sierra Kempney, Rylee Campeau, and Shauna Rice. Not to be outdone, Sierra Neddo earned the “w” in the 100m hurdles, 200m, long jump, and triple jump.
Class D competed on Tuesday with the West Canada Valley program winning both titles. The boys beat Faith Heritage while the girls finished on top by 10 points over the 2016 champion, New York Mills. After the meet was over, the West Canada boys only won one event—the long jump. The girls won the five events with senior Cora Maxwell winning three of them.
The runner-up of New York Mills had impressive performances in the distance events by freshmen Sarah Sharpe and Abbey Copperwheat and senior Adriana Perretta. Sharpe earned individual honors in the 1500m, 3000m, and 2000m steeplechase.
In Class AA action, it was déjà vu for the boys as the top three schools finished in the same order as they did in 2016. CNS repeated as champion; Liverpool placed 2nd; and Baldwinsville showed 3rd. The three teams traded 1st place in 8 of the 12 running events.
For the AA girls, the first two spots remained the same as last year with Fayetteville-Manlius defending their championship and Liverpool placing 2nd. Rome Free Academy moved up one spot to finished 3rd this year. FM placed at least three girls in the top 6 in each of the distance events.
Event champions and athletes that met the qualifying standard will compete again this Friday, June 2nd at the Section III State Qualifier hosted by Cicero-North Syracuse High School