CNS, Liverpool track stars win big at state qualifier

Liverpool's Zavon Watkins and Cicero-North Syracuse's Chris Buchanan struck again with big wins during last Thursday's Section III track and field state qualifying meet at Bragman Stadium, advancing to this weekend's state championships at Caledonia-Mumford.

Conditions were far from ideal, with unusually cold temperatures for June and winds that gusted past 30 miles per hour. But that didn't keep Watkins from winning twice.

In the 800-meter run, Watkins again dueled with West Genesee's John DeLallo, and earned the victory in 1:55.42, beating DeLallo by 0.96 seconds as the Northstars' Jared Walther (2:03.26) was fifth.

Moving to the mile, Watkins, in 4:21.98, held off Jesse Garn (Marcellus) in the overall race by 0.38 seconds and beat Walther, who was third in Division I (large schools) in 4:32.20.

Buchanan, for his part, dominated the 3,200-meter run, his time of 9:19.58 nearly 10 seconds better than Fayetteville-Manlius' Nick Ryan (9:29.34), with Neil Gill fifth in 10:02.72.

CNS also won the boys 4x100 relay, where Ryan Connor, Andrew Johnson, Avery Yarn and Mark Broughton edged Utica Proctor, 43.63 seconds to 43.65, as Liverpool's quartet of Keewan Rondinello, Ryan Ronk, Steve Fiorello and Ryheim Lawes were fourth in 44.83 seconds.

Once again, the Northstars' tandem of Mike Hyde and Cameron Shaughnessy ruled in the pole vault. Hyde won by clearing 13 feet 6 inches, with Shaughnessy clearing 12 feet to ease into second place.

Rondinello qualified for the state meet by finishing a close second (57.28 seconds) to Baldwinsville star Andrew Hoover (57.26) in the 400-meter hurdles. Broughton helped Frank Volino, Shawn Webb and Alex Bottorff take fourth in the 4x400 relay (3:36.50).

CNS's Kareem Lee was close in the 110 high hurdles, finishing third in 15.02 seconds as Oswego's Cory Keefe won in 14.98 seconds. Liverpool's Justin McGriff was third (43 feet 4 inches) in the triple jump as Kameron Arnold got sixth in the 400-meter dash. The Northstars' Ken Ryan ran to fourth in the 3,000 steeplechase in 10:57.88 as Joel Brousseau was fourth (2,402 points) in the pentathlon.

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