Having already proven how superb they are as all-around athletes, Oneida boys track and field teammates Pat McLaughlin and Mike Rabbitt got to show everyone else during Saturday's Section III state qualifying meet.
On the same Cicero-North Syracuse track where the state championships will take place this weekend, McLaughlin and Rabbitt took the top two spots in the pentathlon, consisting of five events -- the 110-meter high hurdles, shot put, long jump, high jump and 1,500-meter run.
McLaughlin ran the hurdles in 14.73 seconds, went 38 feet 8 3/4 inches in the triple jump and cleared 6 feet 3 1/2 inches in the high jump on his way to 3,596 points.
Meanwhile, Rabbitt cleared 6 feet 5 1/2 inches in the high jump, better than anyone in the actual high-jump competition. But he couldn't keep up with McLaughlin in other events and had to take second with 3,296 points, exactly 300 points behind.
Oneida also saw Jeff Barres earn second place in the Division I (large school) 400-meter hurdles in 57.75 seconds as CNS's Alex Neumeister (57.07 seconds) prevailed. Jeb Stewart ran to third place in the Division I mile in 4:40.39
Vernon Verona Sherrill gained a spot in the state meet when Tyler Curtis beat the field in the Division II (small school) 100-meter dash, winning in 11.16 seconds as Eric Bzdick (Altmar-Parish-Williamstown) took second in 11.31 seconds.
In a tight 200-meter dash final, Curtis hit the line in 23.07 seconds, the exact same time as Wesetmoreland's Sean Bearse -- but Bearse got credit for the win.
The Red Devils also contended in the 4x400 relay. Curtis, Matt Femia, Dylan Guider and Neal Fahey finished in 3:28.43, edged out at the wire by Holland Patent, who won in 3:27.78. Femia, on his own, was third in the 400-meter dash in 51.36 seconds.
Mike Eichenlaub gave the Red Devils a fifth-place finish in the Division II 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:42.98.
Two days earlier, in the state girls qualifier, Oneida's Taylor Youngkrans was fifth in the Division I discus with a toss of 102 feet 5 inches, with Rachel Kline seventh (32 feet 8 inches) in the shot put. Jordan Armstrong was sixth (15 feet 2 inches) in the long jump. VVS's Lauren McDonald was fourth in the Division II 1,500-meter run in 5:10.32.