Watkins, Warriors win state track honors

Many athletes from Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse came home with medals from last weekend's New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Vestal, just west of Binghamton.

Of them, no one ended up more decorated than Liverpool sophomore Zavon Watkins, who twice produced gold -- one by himself, the other with his celebrated mates on the Warriors' 4x800 relay team.

First came the individual 800-meter run, where Watkins won Division I (large school honors) in one minute, 51.28 seconds. Had Watkins not clipped the heel of Marcellus star Mike Quercia as he entered the final turn, it might have been an overall title as Quercia won in 1:50.27.

As it was, Watkins and Colin Savage both medaled, as Savage claimed fourth in Division I (fifth overall) in 1:53.72. A day later, no one would catch this duo.

In Saturday's steamy conditions, Watkins and Savage, along with Alex Wilke and Chris Clemons, dominated the 4x800 relay. Clemons' 1:58.5 split left the Warriors in sixth, but Wilke (1:57.2) kept them close, Savage (1:51.4) moved Liverpool to second and Watkins, with his 1:51.1 anchor leg, put the Warriors on top once more.

With an overall time of 7:38.78, Liverpool broke its own nine-day-old Section III and school marks, beating runner-up Warwick Valley (7:42.97) by more than four seconds.

As for Cicero-North Syracuse, Maria Lamontagne finished her season with a memorable turn in the girls 1,500-meter run. Her time of 4:31.67 put her in sixth place but, more importantly, set a new state record for eighth-graders, and Lamontagne beat Fayetteville-Manlius rival Courtney Chapman (4:32.96), who finished seventh. Taylor Wendler was eighth in Division I (and 12th overall) in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:10.70.

Lamontagne's veteran teammate, Jasmine Thompson, contended for a medal in the pentathlon, but second-day struggles left her in ninth place overall with 2,833 points, sixth among Division I competitors. Katie Osborne scratched and was unable to participate. Valerie Langevin was 11th in the discus with a toss of 100 feet 8 inches.

Back on the boys side, CNS's Chris Buchanan earned a medal in the Division I side of the 3,000-meter run, claiming fifth place in his division and eighth overall with a time of 9:12.91 as Otis Ubriaco (Burnt Hills) won in 9:04.75.

Liverpool's Jason Osborne was eighth in the shot put, heaving it 50 feet 5 inches, while Joer Spernyak finished 13th in the 110-meter high hurdles (15.35 seconds). CNS's Cameron Shaughnessy cleared 12 feet in the pole vault.

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