Jul 26, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When the Empire State Games returned last week in Buffalo and its surrounding area, a host of local athletes went there in pursuit of medals.
They joined thousands from the Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island regions competing in more than 20 sports over four days. Here is a wrap-up of how those local stars fared.
Track and Field – On Thursday night at University at Buffalo Stadium, East Syracuse-Minoa’s Mike Coogan won the gold medal in the scholastic men’s 10,000-meter run, his time of 34 minutes, 14.90 seconds beating Western’s Ryan Bogdan by nearly three minutes. Two days later, Coogan added a bronze in the 5,000-meter run in 17:09.92.
Elsewhere, Ameena Dye (Jamesville-DeWitt) was seventh in the scholastic women’s 1,500-meter run and Samantha Schaefer (Bishop Grimes) took sixth in the heptathlon. Zach Cullen was 11th in the open men’s long jump.
Swimming – CBA star Ruthie Speidel brought home gold medals from Erie Community College’s Burt Flickinger Center, starting with a victory in Thursday’s scholastic women’s 800-meter freestyle as she posted a top time of 9:36.81. She added a silver medal in the 1,500 freestyle and a bronze in the 400 freestyle, plus a silver in the 4×100 freestyle relay.
On the men’s side, F-M’s Kevin Koh helped Central win the gold and set an ESG record in the 4×100 freestyle relay in a time of 3:41.81. This came after Koh got a silver in the 4×200 relay and a bronze in the 50 freestyle. Ryan Kelley nabbed the silver in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.32), while J-D’s Eric Jorgensen earned his own silver in the 200 freestyle in 2:05.88 and also was in that 4×200 quartet. Cole Speidel was seventh in the 200 butterfly.
Lacrosse – It looked like Central’s scholastic men’s team would end Long Island’s long reign at the ESG at Canisius College.
Ari Waffle (Fayetteville-Manlius) was an offensive standout, and J-D’s Tim Edwards dominated in the face-off circle as three more J-D players — Alex Hatem, Dan DiStefano and Matt Kopp — helped Central go 5-0, including a dramatic 8-7 overtime win over Long Island.
But in the final, Long Island got revenge. Despite Hatem’s pair of goals and more great work by Edwards in the face-off circle, Central squandered two different two-goal leads and took a 7-6 defeat, leading to another silver medal.
Meanwhile, at Niagara University, CBA teammates Taylor Gait, Caroline Webster and Taylor Poplawski, joined by F-M’s Mollie Caputo and ESM’s Katie Cook, helped Central go 3-2 in round-robin play before losing the bronze-medal game to Adirondack 11-6.
Basketball – ESM’s Olivia Luciani and the Central scholastic women’s team won the silver medal at Niagara University. Luciani had six points in a 74-40 win over New York City and seven points in a 102-51 romp of Adirondack. Central lost Sunday’s final to Hudson Valley 99-53.
J-D graduate Britanny Cohen, a star on Onondaga Community College’s national finalists last winter, helped the Central open women’s team to a bronze medal, beating Long Island 67-56 for third place. With J-D graduate Nick Pascale and F-M alum Brian Zapisek on hand, Central’s open men’s team went 0-3 at Canisius College.
F-M graduate Danielle Kennedy, Cassie Guerra (Jamesville) and Central’s open women’s team won two games at Amherst-North French Soccer Complex and reached Sunday’s final before taking a 2-1 loss to Western, leaving Kennedy to bring home a silver medal.
None of the other Central teams medaled, though CBA’s Caitlin McConnell led the scholastic women’s team with a pair of goals. F-M players Bri Dolan and Ken Chapman played on the scholastic sides, too, as former Manlius-Pebble Hill stars Dennis Smalley and Dan McGowan played in the open division.
Wrestling – ESM graduate Dustin Moss pursued the Greco-Roman open 187-pound title at Buffalo State and reached the final, but lost to Davon John (New York City) and claimed silver. Alex Moss reached the Greco-Roman scholastic 187-pound title match but had to default to teammate Dan Manganaro due to injury. Matt Letcher did not medal at 167 pounds in open freestyle competition.
Volleyball – Fayetteville resident Jamie McMullen and her Central open women’s team nearly nabbed the ESG title at UB’s Alumni Arena, making it to the final before Western pulled out a 25-23, 22-25, 25-19 win to leave Central with the silver medal. Mike Doolittle and Jason Hays played on the open men’s side that finished out of the medals.
Ice Hockey – Manlius native Will Kent and his Central scholastic men’s team started 2-0-1, but lost its last two games and had to settle for the bronze medal at Amherst-Audubon Ice Center after winning in 2008. Cindy McKee, also from Manlius, and Central’s scholastic women went 1-2-2 and missed the medals.
Gymnastics – Nick Abdo (Jamesville), D’Angelo Santiago (East Syracuse) and Jacob Seletsky (DeWitt) both helped Central’s scholastic men’s team earn a bronze medal at Buffalo State College Sports Arena with 170.500 points. And the Central scholastic women’s side also took bronze with Taylor Riley (DeWitt), McKinley Gray (Jamesville) and Chloe Weiss (Manlius) taking part.
Tennis – Despite F-M’s Sienna Susko earning several singles victories, the Central scholastic women’s team was unable to win a team match in five tries at UB’s Ellicott Courts.
Softball – J-D and LeMoyne College graduate Sarah Reed pitched in the Central open team’s only win, a 19-4 romp over New York City on Thursday at the Amherst-Audubon Complex.
Fencing – Up at Niagara Falls High School, neither of the Central teams could reach medal contention. Beth Kogut (DeWitt) and Lubomir Kalpatchiev (Jamesville) competed in the open division, while Leann Thayaparan, Jeff Kelish (both from Manlius) and Noah Adamitis (Kirkville) saw scholastic division action.