Jul 30, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
By the time the 31st edition of the Empire State Games had wrapped up in Binghamton and other parts of the Southern Tier, many of Syracuse’s best athletes had some golden hardware to bring home.
In venues ranging from the track to the soccer field, from the wrestling mat to the rowing course, the Salt City’s finest came up with wins. Here is a recap of how they fared.
On the field at SUNY-Binghamton, no one could touch the Central region open men’s team as it blazed its way to the gold medal — and two Nottingham graduates, Shaman Mason and Brandon Jackson, led the way.
To start with, Jackson had two goals and Mason scored once as Central beat Western 4-1, and both of them scored again in a second-half rally to beat Hudson Valley 3-1. Mason would strike once more in Sunday’s championship game, his first-half goal the game-winner as Central blanked New York City 2-0 for the championship.
Emmanuel Chanelo (Corcoran) played on Central’s scholastic men’s team, which finished fourth as it lost the bronze-medal game to Western 2-1. Brooke Barbuto (Corcoran), Melanie Cathcart (Faith Heritage) and Nikki Dudley played with the Central open women, who could not win a game in three tries.
Track and Field
Fresh off a great track career at Henninger, Andre Britton earned a gold in the open men’s 200-meter dash at SUNY-Binghamton.
Overtaking New York City’s Adrian Crichlow down the stretch, Britton won with a time of 21.80 seconds to Crichlow’s 21.89. A day later, Britton just missed a medal in the 100-meter final, finishing fourth in 10.90 seconds, just 0.04 seconds from reaching the podium.
Collise Ray finished sixth in the open men’s 110-meter high hurdles in 15.54 seconds. Britton’s one-time teammate, Greg Spears, reached the 200-meter scholastic men’s final but was forced to scratch. Dwight Hicks (Nottingham) took eighth in the shot put and Krystal Boyd helped the Central open women’s 4×100 relay team finish in fourth place.
Over at SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym, Fowler’s Elijah Graham grabbed the gold in the scholastic freestyle 275-pound division. Undefeated all the way to the finals, Graham secured his title by beating John Wilkinson (Long Island) 3-1, 2-0. David Minney could not make it to the medal round at Greco-Roman 154 pounds, while James Chaplin met the same fate in the open freestyle 275-pound division.
Working on her own at Dorchester Park in Whitney Point, Marilyn Hartman won the open women’s singles title. Hartman claimed her gold medal with a time of eight minutes, 12 seconds, beating Rosa Kemp (Hudson Valley) by a healthy 14-second margin.
LeMoyne College star Laurence Ekpirigin and former Faith Heritage standout Aaron Hall keyed the Central open men’s team’s run to a bronze medal at SUNY-Binghamton’s Events Center.
Ekpirigin had 23 points in both of Central’s first two games, which were split, then 15 points in a loss to New York City. Hall had at least seven points in all four games, including Sunday’s 78-76 win over Hudson Valley that produced the bronze.
Central’s open women, which included former Syracuse University star Fantasia Goodwin and Katie Kelley (Corcoran), routed Long Island 92-45 in its opener — but then got sent home after some players violated conduct rules while housed on the SUNY-Binghamton campus.
A Central open team that featured, among others, LeMoyne stars Sarah Reed and Lindsey Spaziani, went 3-2 in round-robin play, then used a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday to beat Hudson Valley 6-5 and win the bronze medal.
With Nick Burger on the roster, Central’s open men’s team earned a silver medal at Broome County Arena with 251.10 points, not far from Western’s winning total of 255.80 points. Burger was also 12th in the all-around competition.
Kelsey Cook helped Central’s open women take fourth place, less than four points out of a medal. Peter Bovalino, Neil Damron and Jamal Holmes all took part with Central’s scholastic men as they also finished fourth, as Damron, on his own, placed fifth on the pommel horse (8.60) and seventh in three other individual apparatus events.
At SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym, Zach Hisert combined with Chris Osterwald (Greene)for a bronze medal in synchronized diving with 209.64 points, this after an 11th-place finish in the individual three-meter springboard. Justine Miller-Khanzadian gained sixth place in the open women’s three-meter springboard with 243.80 points.
Corcoran star Steve Boronczyk saw action throughout the ESG tournament. Central went 3-2 in round-robin play, which helped them earn a place in the bronze-medal game before Western beat them, 3-1, for that honor.
Derek Magno and Jeremy Macri represented Syracuse at Owego Bowl, where they participated in a variety of events. Macri finished 12th among individuals with a total of 715, while Magno was 15th with 698.
Brad Crosby rode on the streets of the Southern Tier in four days of competition. Individually, Crosby’s best finish was a sixth in the individual time trial, which he covered in 23 minutes, 33.87 seconds.
Even though Shannon Flattery and Aubrey Fischer had solid all-around efforts, the Central scholastic women’s team went 0-4-1 at Broome County Arena, only salvaging a 2-2 tie with New York City.
In the ESG meet at SUNY-Cortland, Summer Schmitt earned sixth place in the scholastic (age 15 and under) 200-meter individual medley in a time of 2:51.30, then got seventh in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:40.74. She also helped the 4×100 medley relay team finish fourth.
Peter Neiner was an at-large member of Central’s open men’s team, which again had difficulty finding a medal as it went 0-6 at Davis College in Vestal.