Lakers gain wins at state track qualifier

Perhaps Rachel Hosie is returning to full speed just in time.

Injured early this season at a meet in Jordan-Elbridge, Hosie has literally ran her way back into form, and that culminated with an outright victory in the 2,000-meter steeplechase during last Thursday's Section III state qualifying meet at Cicero-North Syracuse's Bragman Stadium.

Hosie took the early lead, only to be chased down in the middle stages by CNS's Lindsay Raulli as the pair dueled all race long.

However, Hosie reclaimed the lead in the final lap and pulled away, finishing in seven minutes, 17.97 seconds, nearly nine seconds clear of Raulli (7:26.62). Katie Weisenberger (Pulaski) was second among Division II (small school) competitors.

Skaneateles had a series of strong efforts, winning the 4x400 relay as Christie Barnett, Victoria Sakal, Cassie Berg and Eileen Ford earned a berth in the state meet with a time of 4:10.10, beating runner-up Beaver River by 3.66 seconds.

This atoned, a bit, for a 4x800 where Amanda Gray, Carly Strods, Beatrice Walton and Grace VanderVen finished in 9:47.33, second to CBA (9:38.86) in Division II and third overall.

Barnett, on her own, claimed fifth overall (and fourth among Division II runners) in the 800-meter run in 2:23.09, while Sakal got sixth in the 100-meter dash in 12.96 seconds.

Gabby Eckles was fourth in the high jump, clearing 5 feet. Madison Eckles tied for sixth in the pole vault (9 feet 3 inches) as New York Mills' Linda Hadfield broke her own Section III record, clearing 12 feet 6 inches. Caroline Walton took ninth in the shot put.

Two days later, the Skaneateles boys team took its turn in the state qualifier, and nearly had its own set of victories.

Pat Rooney did prevail, in the triple jump, going 44 feet 4 1/2 inches to beat Sauquoit Valley's Dan Purcell by 10 1/2 inches. He was also third in the 400-meter hurdles in 57.43 seconds, not far behind Phoenix's Mitchell Switzer, who won in 56.92 seconds. Calvin Davis was 11th in the 800-meter run in 2:07.75.

Drake Hill nearly continued his win streak in the shot put. Already, Hill had won at the Section III Class B-2 meet on May 29, earning the title with a toss of 46 feet 8 1/4 inches to beat Solvay's C.J. Brooks by 4 1/4 inches.

In their rematch at the state qualifier, Hill improved by more than a foot, to 47 feet 10 inches, his best mark of the season -- and still finished second because Brooks threw it 47 feet 10 1/2 inches, winning by half an inch.

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