Jul 26, 2010 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Local athletes in many different sports brought medals home from last week’s Empire State Games in Buffalo as the annual summer festival returned from a one-year absence.
The ESG brought thousands from six regions (Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island) to the Western New York area to compete in more than 20 sports. Here is a summary of the local athletes’ efforts.
Swimming – Few did better than Liverpool girls swimmer Becky Evangelista, who had two gold and one silver medal in three individual races at Erie Community College’s Burt Flickinger Center.
Evangelista began her work Thursday by claiming the 200-meter individual medley in a time of 2:32.77, edging Marissa Watroba (Western) by half a second. Then she won Friday’s 400 IM in 5:29.47, beating the field by more than six seconds, before getting a silver in the 100 freestyle (1:01.91). She also got silvers in the 4×200 and 4×100 freestyle relays.
Also among local swimmers, Zoe McCauley gained a bronze in the 200 freestyle, was fourth in the 400 freestyle and joined Evangelista for the 4×200 silver. Shane Donovan was fourth in the men’s 400 IM as Madison Sestak and Nick Burdo swam, too.
Billy Werksman was fifth in the scholastic men’s one-meter diving event at University at Buffalo’s Alumni and sixth in the three-meter event, with Stacie DeCarr sixth in the women’s three-meter springboard.
Track and Field – In the scholastic men’s 110-meter high hurdles at University at Buffalo Stadium, Joe Spernyak earned the gold medal in a time of 16.32 seconds, edging Western’s Charley Kenyon (16.52 seconds) for the top spot on the podium.
Meanwhile, Cicero-North Syracuse’s Jasmine Thompson earned the silver medal in the scholastic women’s heptathlon, earning 3,579 points in seven events as Clay’s Samantha Schaefer finished eighth.
Fred Shattell won the silver in the open men’s 10,000-meter run in 33:16.73 as Dan Fritz got fifth in the open men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and Daniel Ver finished seventh. Tatiana Gladney took seventh place in the scholastic women’s shot put and Kyle Dudzinski was eighth in the open men’s javelin.
Basketball – Six local basketball stars earned silver medals in scholastic action — Zach Coleman, Connor Rogers, Elliott Boyce and Josh Williams on the men’s side at Canisius College, Kelsey Mattice and Brittany Paul on the women’s side at Niagara University.
Coleman was Central’s leading scorer in three straight wins and pushed Central to a 16-point lead in the final against Hudson Valley. But he and Rogers (who also started all four games) fouled out in the second half and, without them, Central lost 92-85.
Mattice and Paul were steady contributors as Central won all three games before a 99-53 defeat to Hudson Valley in the finals, leading to another silver. Mattice scored 20 points in a win over Adirondack.
Liverpool graduate Tyler Ash and CNS alum Marybeth Egan led the Central open women’s side to a 3-1 mark and the bronze medal as it beat Long Island 67-56 to earn third place. Jennifer Feher, who lives in Cicero, led Central in scoring three times during the tournament, including 21 points in an opening win over New York City.
Baseball – At one point during the ESG tournament, Central’s scholastic team was 0-2. But it rallied for three straight wins to earn the silver medal, though a possible final with Long Island got washed out.
Five local players contributed to the silver, including Liverpool’s Shawn Peake, whose double in the bottom of the eighth inning brought home the winning run in a 2-1 thriller over Western that put Central into the final before the rains hit.
Peake’s Warrior teammates, Mike Parsons and Alex Caruso, both had solid tournaments, while North Syracuse native Matt Pirro pitched his way to a win over Adirondack and CNS’s Joe Pokrentowski threw in relief during a victory over New York City.
Lacrosse – Joe Corapi had several key goals for the Central scholastic men’s team at Canisius as it swept through five round-robin games, including an 8-7 overtime win over perennial favorite Long Island. In Sunday’s final, though, Long Island got payback, edging Central 7-6 to seize the gold again and leaving Corapi to bring home a silver medal.
Another Liverpool lacrosse star, Alison Flood, played at Niagara with the Central scholastic women, who went 3-2, but lost to Adirondack 11-6 in the bronze-medal game.
Soccer – A host of local players, including Gabby Racines, Nicole Close, Kristin Henrich, Ashleigh Bowers and Chelsea Dunay, pushed the Central open women’s team to two straight wins at the Amherst-North French Soccer Complex and a spot in the finals. Central lost that title game to Western, 2-1, but still earned the silver medal.
Marcus DeBottis, Charles Schoening, Mike Vaughn, Jake Taber and Bogdan Yatsishin all played on Central’s open men’s side, with Dan DeBottis (CNS) and Amanda Heberger (Liverpool) seeing scholastic action. None of those teams would medal.
Gymnastics – Eric Vogt and Josh Smith, both from Liverpool, pushed Central’s open men’s team to a silver medal at Buffalo State College Sports Arena. Connor Catalano, from Clay, helped Central’s scholastic men’s team earn a bronze medal. Kailei Spoor (North Syracuse) competed in the open women’s divison, taking ninth in the balance beam.
Ice Hockey – Marc Cibelli and Anthony Eno both were on the ice at the Amherst-Audubon Ice Center as Central started 2-0-1, but could not defend its ESG title, settling for the bronze medal as it took late losses to Western (the eventual champions) and Long Island.
Shooting – Cicero’s Albert Desiderio teamed with Mike Connolly (Brewerton) to take the bronze medal in the rapid-fire pistol team match with 1,938 points. On his own, Desiderio finished seventh, while Brian Dallos (Liverpool) combined with Aaron Weaver for fifth in the 3-position rifle and was ninth among individuals.
Field Hockey – Emma Lamison (Liverpool), Katie Kennedy and Chelan Xue (both from CNS) played for Central’s scholastic team at UB’s Walter Kunz Field. Lamison had two goals and one assist in a 5-0 romp of Adirondack, but Central lost its next three games to fall out of medal contention.
Volleyball – Despite having three local stars — Adam Krahmer, Brian Bunch and Mike Freytag — on its roster, Central could not earn a medal in open men’s competition at UB’s Alumni Arena. Jennifer Street, Ethan Irish and Tyler Smith played on the Central scholastic squads.
Tennis – Sarah O’Hara played doubles with Baldwinsville’s Amari Pollard in the ESG scholastic women’s tournament at UB’s Ellicott Courts, though Central could post a team win.