Jul 29, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Many of the area’s top athletes found themselves collecting hardware of the gold, silver and bronze type during last weekend’s 31st Empire State Games in Binghamton and other parts of the Southern Tier.
Representing Canastota, Allison Lasnicki gave the Central region a gold medal with her masterly performance in Saturday’s scholastic women’s 5,000-meter run.
In what was the first race of the morning at the SUNY-Binghamton track, Lasnicki pulled away from the field steadily over the course of the three-plus miles. Her time of 17 minutes, 58.48 seconds was enough to beat silver medalist Jessica Fingers (Hudson Valley) by more than 25 seconds.
Another local hero, Oneida’s Pat McLaughlin, came home with two silver medals. First, in the scholastic men’s long jump, he went 21 feet 9 inches, finishing second to Western’s Brian Archie Jr., who won with 22 feet 3 1/2 inches.
Then, in the 110-meter high hurdles, McLaughlin won his semifinal heat and came within inches of the title. He finished in 14.96 seconds, nudged at the wire by Long Island’s Iton Anderson (14.88 seconds) as he also tied for fifth in the high jump. Nick Harrison (Vernon-Verona-Sherrill) was seventh in the scholastic men’s 400-meter dash in 52.36 seconds.
Two stars on the VVS boys basketball team, Evan Croll and Adam Kemp, helped Central’s scholastic men’s team to a silver medal at SUNY-Binghamton’s Events Center.
During early-round play, Central went 3-0, beating Hudson Valley 84-68, Adirondack 90-69 and New York City 103-85. Croll got 13 points, seven of them from free throws, against New York City, this after six points in the Adirondack game. Kemp had 10 combined points in those games — six of them against New York City.
Only in Sunday’s final against Western did Central stumble, as a nightmarish first half ended with Central down 48-18 on the way to an 88-65 defeat. Croll still came up with 13 points for the second game in a row as Kemp added a field goal of his own.
In scholastic men’s tennis at SUNY-Binghamton, Oneida star Trevor Haskell helped Central to a 4-1 record and the silver medal. Haskell played singles in all five of Central’s matches, though individual wins proved to be elusive.
Two more VVS athletes found themselves in the ESG wrestling tournament at SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym, where Dylan Kavanaugh and Dan Walts both made trips to the medal podium.
Kavanaugh, at 98 pounds, earned a bronze medal in the Greco-Roman discipline after being out of the medals in freestyle. In the third-place match on Saturday, Kavanaugh met Tom Page (Western) and won both periods by equal 4-3 margins to take the bronze.
Walts only wrestled in freestyle at 123 pounds, but also fought his way to a third-place match, this one against Western’s Joe Kalinka. When Kalinka withdrew on Friday, Walts finished with his own bronze medal. Chittenango’s Wes Blanding (Chittenango) did not reach medal contention in that same 123-pound freestyle category.
Beth Kann, also from Oneida, earned a bronze medal with Central’s open softball team in an exciting ESG tournament at the BAGSAI complex just north of Binghamton.
Central started 2-0 on Thursday, as Kann had an RBI and scored a run in a 6-1 win over Hudson Valley, then did the same (adding a hit) as Central routed 10-1.
Losses to Adirondack and Western followed, though, and Central had to beat New York City 10-2 to get a shot at the bronze medal. In a dramatic rematch with Hudson Valley, Central scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to prevail 6-5. Kann had hits in both of Saturday’s contests.
From Oneida, Central weightlifter Amos Hall claimed a fourth-place finish in the open men’s heavyweight division at SUNY-Binghamton’s Chamber Hall, while Canastota native Josh Lewis settled for ninth place, tied with Central teammate Steve Stechyshyn, at 169.75 pounds.
Despite the presence of Phil Pendleton on the open side and David Watson on the scholastic side, neither of Central’s men’s volleyball teams were able to climb up into the medal picture at SUNY-Cortland.