Indoor track athletes excel at sectionals
Three individuals and three relays earned Section VI titles Thursday thanks to their efforts at the indoor track sectional championship meet, held at Fredonia State College.
Kaitlin McCadden and Katelyn Tresino took first in the girls’ top distance events, the 3,000- and 1,500-meter races, with automatic state-meet qualifying times of 10:59.90 and 5:00.21, respectively. Emily Garrett’s time of 11:07.39 not only gave the Lady Red Devils a 1-2 sweep in the 3,000 race, but also gave Clarence a second state qualifier in the event.
“It was great to see both Kaitlin and Emily qualify for states after running as great a race as they did,” coach John Hunt said.
The girls team’s other winning effort came in the 4x800 relay, as McCadden and Tresino were joined by Emily Garrett and Jacquie Huben in qualifying for states with their first-place time of 9:56.96.
The boys’ team, meanwhile, saw Brian Cummiskey win the 600 — in 1:26.32 — by beating the same runner from Jamestown who he had to chase down in the anchor leg of the 4x400 relay to earn the win in that event. Cummiskey was joined on the victorious 4x400 relay, which won in 3:34.48, by Ben Reinhardt, Dan Rogers and Jon Kuberka.
“There’s no question Brian’s a racer, as proven by that fast time on a 160-meter track for this event,” Hunt said. “I think that kid from Jamestown is sick of seeing Brian. Brian ran an unbelievable leg to help the relay get the win. It was a fight all the way, but Brian caught him in the home stretch. His race in that relay was a testament to the fact that Brian’s the ultimate chaser.”
The boys’ 4x800 foursome of Reinhardt, Justin Bender, Dan Huben and Alex Eaton also won, posting a time of 8:32.80 that was just six-hundredths of a second quicker than second-place Hamburg.
Eaton also qualified for states with his second-place time of 3:43.64 in the 1,000.
“We’ve got five girls and 10 boys going to states this weekend, which is the most we’ve had in a long time — possibly ever,” Hunt said. “The kids deserve everything they’ve gotten so far.”
Other top efforts on the day were posted by Dan Huben (second, 3,200 run, 9:58.54), Ted Okon (second, high jump, 6-foot-4), Kuberka (third, triple jump, 41-9¼), the girls’ 4x400 relay of Alyssa Dewes, Sydney Saccone, Kristen George and Tresino (third, 4:19.07), the girls’ 4x200 relay of Saccone, Dewes, Jessica Dadswell and LeeAnn Le (sixth, 2:01.26), George (fourth, 55 hurdles, 8.85 seconds; sixth, 300, 45.77) and Sam Bonk (eighth, boys’ shot put, 42-4).
“Sectionals honestly was a very difficult situation because we had just run in the Team Championships on the previous Saturday, and here we were turning around and competing at sectionals five days later,” Hunt said. “Running the same events in such a short amount of time isn’t the best thing for some kids. But, I think we did as well as we could under those circumstances.”
For those who have qualified, states will be run Saturday at Cornell University.
“We’d like to place in a couple of events, but New York is so loaded when it comes to indoor track — and we’ll be running against kids who normally compete on a 200-meter track — that it could be hard to pull off,” Hunt said. “Our seeding times will suffer a little from running on a 160-meter track, but hopefully running on a 200-meter track at Cornell will help us improve our times.”
(Reporter Jason Nadolinski contributed to this article.)