West Genesee’s Laura Leff, foreground, and Marcellus’ Rachel Garn head over a hurdle in the 2,000-meter steeplechase during Thursday’s Section III state qualifier. Both of them won their respective divisions and advance to next weekend’s state meet at Middletown.
Cicero The next destination for many of the area’s top track and field athletes is Middletown High School for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.
To get there, they first had to withstand the 90-degree heat at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium during Thursday’s Section III state qualifier, and many would flourish in the steamy conditions.
That included Marcellus senior Ryan Manahan, who posted the fastest time in the mile of four minute, 23.58 seconds in either Division I (large school) or Division II (small school).
Manahan also prevailed in the 800-meter run in 1:56.20, edging Mexico’s James Gowans (1:57.01) for that title. Jordan-Elbridge’s Bill DiRenzo was fourth in the 800 in 2:01.84, while teammate Jack Gugel was sixth in the Division II mile.
West Genesee’s Laura Leff, favored for a state title in the girls 2,000-meter steeplechase, didn’t go all-out in the heat, but still won in 7:08.24, more than 22 seconds ahead of other Division I runners.
Marcellus’ Rachel Garn won the Division II portion of the steeplechase in 7:08.24 as Westhill/Ludden’s Annibel Coolican (7:58.42) was third among Division I runners. Garn also was victorious in the Division II 800-meter run in a clocking of 2:17.87, holding off Hamilton’s Sage Hurta (2:18.85) and the field.
In the boys Division I 400-meter hurdles, senior Pete Richarsdon reached his ultimate goal of qualifying for the state meet, finshing in 55.86 seconds to hold off Fayetteville-Manlius’ Kyle Barber (56.02 seconds) and C-NS’s Pete Girardi (56.76 seconds) and get first place.
Solvay gained its own individual victories, thanks to Brian McLeod and Nick Cometti. McLeod won the Division II pentathlon, compiling 3,064 points to pull away from Little Falls’ Ben Delaney (2,721 points) and the rest of the field.
As for Cometti, he qualified for the 100-meter final in 11.15 seconds and won the final in 11.29 seconds, just ahead of Onondaga’s Keanan Glod (11.38 seconds), as Marcellus’ Nate Waite (11.79 seconds) was seventh.