Jul 29, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
In many different venues, and with many different methods, local athletes displayed winning form during the 31st edition of the Empire State Games in Binghamton and other parts of the Southern Tier.
As thousands of competitors from six geographic regions (Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island) vied for medals in more than two dozen sports, many local stars came up golden. Here is a summary of how they fared.
Two West Genesee teammates, Ben Seketa and Carson Elias, combined for three gold medals in scholastic (15 and under) races at SUNY-Cortland.
Seketa won twice, starting Thursday with the 100-meter breaststroke, where he prevailed in a time of 1:11.13, and moving on Friday to win the 200 breaststroke in 2:33.10, beating the field by more than three seconds. He also got a silver medal in the 400 freestyle in 4:22.43, missing out on a third gold by just 0.13 seconds.
As for Elias, he earned his victory in the 100 butterfly, zooming through it in 1:02.28 after taking a bronze (behind Seketa) in the 200 breaststroke. He also joined Seketa to earn a bronze in the 4×100 medley relay.
Another WG swimmer, Connor Agen, gained a bronze medal in the 800 freestyle in 9:27.93. On the open (16 and over) side, Liz Neddo (Westhill/Corcoran) claimed a bronze in the 4×200 freestyle relay and was fourth in the 800 freestyle, while Patrick O’Donnell finished fourth in the open men’s 100 backstroke. WG’s Kim Pedrotti swam to fourth place in the scholastic women’s 1,500 freestyle as her older sister, Kristen, competed on the open side.
As Western’s long hold on the scholastic men’s division broke at Broome County Community College, Central worked its way to the top, going 5-0 to earn the gold medal.
WG teammates Erich Haney (at right wing) and Ryan Michel (on defense) both played key roles as Central beat Long Island 4-2, blanked Adirondack 4-0, edged Hudson Valley 2-1, topped New York City 4-1 and used a late goal to beat Western 3-2 Sunday and complete its sweep.
Emily Iamondo (Warners) played on the Central scholastic women’s team, which went 0-4-1 at Chenango Ice Rink and struggled on offense throughout the tournament.
Track and Field
On Friday morning at SUNY-Binghamton’s track, Solvay native Heidi Armstrong earned a gold medal in the open women’s javelin. Her toss of 119 feet 9 inches beat runner-up Kristen Serkstad (Long Island) by more than four feet.
Westhill’s Heather Clancy ran to fourth place in the scholastic women’s 10,000-meter run in a time of 43:34.68, while Joe Sullivan (Elbridge) was ninth in the open men’s javelin. Abby Lee could not make it to the scholastic women’s 400-meter hurdles final.
Glen Mihal, a graduate of Bishop Ludden, played on the Central open men’s team that won the gold medal. Central beat New York City 2-0 in the championship game.
Westhill’s Vince Scaravillo and his Central scholastic men’s team finished fourth in SUNY-Binghamton, dropping the bronze-medal game to New York City 2-1 after a solid 2-1 run through the early part of the tournament. Scaravillo picked up a goal in Central’s 2-0 win over Western on Saturday.
Four West Genesee players — Steve Mahle, Jack Conboy, Joe Fletcher and Ryan McConnell — were part of a Central scholastic men’s team that won the silver medal at SUNY-Binghamton.
In round-robin play, Central went 3-2, but survived a three-way tie-breaker with Western and Hudson Valley to reach the finals, where it ran out of gas and lost to Long Island 14-3.
Across town at Alumni Stadium, Central’s scholastic women claimed the bronze medal. Bre Hudgins, Karlyn Tupper and Maria DiFato all represented WG as Laura Zimmerman and Mackenzie Rainone joined them from Westhill. DiFato had two late goals in Central’s come-from-behind, 9-6 win over Hudson Valley Sunday that secured the bronze.
Bishop Ludden graduate Terry Smith sank the two winning free throws with 3.1 seconds left as Central’s open men’s team fought past Hudson Valley 78-76 Sunday at SUNY-Binghamton’s Events Center to earn the bronze medal. Westhill graduate Scott Morton and WG alum Shane Williams also played on this squad, coached by OCC’s Dave Pasiak.
After an opening win over Long Island, the Central open women’s team, which included one-time Westhill stars Kristen Diglio and Lisa Olszewski, got sent home when team members got caught violating ESG conduct rules.
Morgan McDermott, who starred on West Genesee’s 2007 Section III and regional Class AA championship team, helped Central win a bronze medal in scholastic women’s competition at SUNY-Cortland. Central went 5-4 overall, denied a shot at the gold in a semifinal loss to Long Island.
McDermott’s one-time WG teammate, Jill Cleland, was in the open division, where Central went 3-4 and settled for fourth place.
Jordan native Austin Lee, who attends Cato-Meridian High School, won the bronze medal in the scholastic 275-pound freestyle division at SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym when he beat Keith Domeruth (Adirondack) with a 47-second pin in the third-place match.
Jose Cruz, from Camillus, wrestled in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines at 165 pounds in the open division. He finished fourth in freestyle, falling in the bronze-medal match to Central teammate Paul LeBlanc in a third-period pin. WG’s Zeke Thompson, in the scholastic freestyle 123-pound division, also missed the medal podium.
Westhill teammates Mike Malley and Mike Mascari, along with Bishop Ludden’s John Rooney, were on a Central scholastic squad that went 3-2 in round-robin play, but lacked offense at times and lost the bronze-medal game to Western 3-1, leaving them in fourth place.
In the ESG open women’s competition at Broome County Arena in Binghamton, Meaghan Shea and Jen Gabris both helped Central to a fourth-place team finish, less than five points from a medal. In individual events, Shea took eighth place in the vault with a score of 8.075.
Imani Williams, who competes for Westhill/Corcoran, finished eighth in the scholastic women’s 3-meter springboard at SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym with 287.25 points.
Elbridge native Barbara Bryant lost all three of her matches in the 126-pound division at SUNY-Binghamton’s East Gym. Kim Carpenter (Adirondack) won the gold medal.