Watkins leads local charge to state indoor meet

Wherever he seems to go, Liverpool indoor track and field junior Zavon Watkins seems to set new standards that are difficult to follow.

So it was again when Watkins broke a two-year-old Section III record in the 1,000-meter run during Saturday's sectional state qualifying meet at Colgate University's Sanford Field House.

Pushed hard by West Genesee's John DeLallo, Watkins covered the 1,000 in two minutes, 26.13 seconds. That topped the mark of 2:26.44 that Alex Hatz (Fayetteville-Manlius) set in this same meet in 2009, as Watkins beat DeLallo by 1.16 seconds.

That was just one part of a successful qualifier as several Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse athletes earned trips to Cornell University for this Saturday's New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

The Warriors' Joe Spernyak got a win in the 55-meter hurdles, blazing to a time of 7.84 seconds as no one else could break the eight-second mark. In the 4x200 relay, Kameron Arnold, Keewan Rondinello, Steve Fiorello and Ryan Ronk prevailed in 1:34.36, more than a second ahead of Utica Proctor (1:35.46).

Kameron Arnold was second in the 300-meter dash in 37.05 seconds as teammate Keewan Rondinello took fourth in 37.61 seconds. Justin McGriff, with a triple jump of 41 feet 9 1/2 inches, claimed fourth place, ahead of CNS's Morgan Austen in seventh.

As for the Northstars,Chris Buchanan got fourth place in the mile in 4:43.33, while Mike Hyde cleared 11 feet for fourth place in the pole vault. Joel Brousseau tied for fourth in the high jump, clearing 5 feet 10 inches.

Neill Gill was sixth in the 3,200-meter run (10:08.12) and Ryan Connor took eighth (6.89 seconds) in the 55-meter dash. Alex Bottorff, Anthony Lupia, Derek Helser and Jared Walther were sixth (8:57.53) in the 4x800 relay.

Looking at the girls state qualifier, CNS cleaned up in field events, where Katie Osborne, with a long jump of 17 feet 2 inches, beat Phoenix's Ashley Palmer by half an inch. Osborne also was third in the 55 hurdles (9.03 seconds), with Jessica Wheeler fourth (9.31 seconds). Mariah Thomson won the weight throw with a toss of 26 feet 5 inches, as her teammate, Janae Price, took fourth place.

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