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Coogan wins gold, bronze at Empire Games

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 4x100 freestyle relay.

On the men's side, F-M's Kevin Koh helped Central win the gold and set an ESG record in the 4x100 freestyle relay in a time of 3:41.81. This came after Koh got a silver in the 4x200 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 4x200 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.

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