Jul 13, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A large and talented group of local athletes is set to make the pursuit of medals at the 31st edition of the Empire State Games from July 24 to 27.
Thousands of competitors from six regions (Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island) are headed to Binghamton and other parts of the Southern Tier, participating in more than two dozen sports.
Here is a summary of which athletes made Central region teams, and where they will be competing.
Fresh off back-to-back state championships, the West Genesee girls team has three players — Maria DiFato, Bre Hudgins and Karlyn Tupper — playing for the Central scholastic women’s team at Alumni Stadium behind Binghamton Middle School. Westhill stars Laura Zimmerman and Mackenzie Rainone join them.
Meanwhile, three players key to WG’s 15th boys state title — goalie Steve Mahle, defender Jack Conboy and midfielder Ryan McConnell — will key Central’s quest for gold in games played at SUNY-Binghamton. Unlike years past, when there was only round-robin play, there will be gold and bronze-medal games on Sunday to close out the tournament.
Inside Park Center at SUNY-Cortland, Westhill/Corcoran standout Liz Neddo will stay busy by swimming in the open women’s 400, 800 and 1,500-meter freestyle, with Camillus native Patrick O’Donnell going to the 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley.
Two current West Genesee stars, Ben Seketa and Carson Elias, are entered in six individual events between them. Both swim in the 100 breaststroke, with Seketa also in the 400 IM and 200 breaststroke, and Elias taking part in the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly. Connor Agen swims in the 800 freestyle.
Sisters from the WG program are also part of the show, as Kristen Pedrotti (now at Nazareth College) swims in the open women’s 100 and 200 backstroke and Kim Pedrotti goes in the scholastic women’s 1,500 freestyle and 200 breaststroke.
Track and Field
In the ESG meet at SUNY-Binghamton, Westhill graduate Abby Lee qualified for the open women’s 400-meter hurdles, with Solvay’s Heidi Armstrong throwing in the open women’s javelin. Heather Clancy will compete in the scholastic women’s 10,000-meter run.
On the men’s side, Ben Smith (Camillus) in the open men’s 1,500-meter run as Jordan-Elbridge alum Joe Sullivan takes his turn in the open javelin.
Two stars of West Genesee’s Section III Class AA title team of 2007, Jill Cleland and Morgan McDermott are headed for SUNY-Cortland. Cleland is with the Central open women’s team, while McDermott is a key player on the scholastic side.
Both Westhill and Bishop Ludden find themselves with places on the Central scholastic team that will play at Union-Endicott High School and Conlon Field. Warrior teammates Ryan Malley and Mike Mascari bring power to the lineup, while John Rooney has been a star for the Gaelic Knights in three sports — and he’s only beginning his junior year at Ludden.
On the mats at SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym, Camillus native Jose Cruz wrestles at 187 pounds in both freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines. Current West Genesee star Zeke Thompson is a medal favorite in the scholastic 123-pound division as Jordan native Austin Lee (who goes to Cato-Meridian) could medal at freestyle 275 pounds
In open competition, Scott Morton (Westhill), Terry Smith (Bishop Ludden) and Shane Williams (West Genesee) all made it to the Central men’s team, which will play at SUNY-Binghamton under the guidance of Onondaga Community Collge head coach Dave Pasiak. Westhill graduates Kristen Diglio and Lisa Olszewski bring an inside-outside presence to the Central open women that will play at Binghamton High School for OCC’s Mike Wheeler.
Jen Gabris, a veteran of past Empire State Games, returns for a Central open women’s squad that also includes fellow Camillus native Meaghan Shea. All ESG gymnastics events are at Broome County Arena in downtown Binghamton.
Erich Haney and Ryan Michel, both key figures in West Genesee’s run to last winter’s state Division I championship game, will see lots of ice time for the Central scholastic men at Broome County Community College. Warners native Emily Iamondo made the Central women’s team that will play at Chenango Ice Rink.
Imani Williams, a long-time star for the Westhill/Corcoran girls swim team, is entered in the scholastic women’s 3-meter springboard for events at SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym. Camillus native Jack Gibbons is one of the Central team’s coaches.
Barbara Bryant, from Elbridge, makes her ESG debut in the 126-pound open women’s division at SUNY-Binghamton’s East Gym. Louis Palmoeque, from Warners, serves as one of the Central coaches.
In a vast ESG tournament at SUNY-Binghamton, Westhill’s Vince Scaravillo will man the midfield for Central’s scholastic men’s team, while Solvay graduate Marisa Riverso (now at LeMoyne College) plays for the Central open women.