SYRACUSE The area’s boys and girls indoor track and field stars were gathered once more at SRC Arena last Wednesday, taking part in the Section III state qualifier.
Berths in next Saturday’s state meet at Colgate University were at stake, and the top two finishers in any single event earned automatic berths. That would include a host of local athletes, including Marcellus’ Rachel Garn and West Genesee’s Abby Uczen.
Garn competed in the 1,000-meter run against just two opponents, including Westhill/Bishop Ludden’s Annibel Coolican, but still pulled away late to win the race in three minutes, 1.48 seconds, with Liverpool’s Morgan Chewning-Kulick second (3:04.47) and Coolican third in 3:06.13.
Meanwhile, in the pole vault, Uczen and Clinton’s Hannah Shankman both cleared 9 feet 6 inches, the only competitors to so, but Uczen did so with fewer misses, so she won the event.
It was a tight race for the second state qualifying berth in the girls shot put behind Rome Free Academy’s Mariah Mays (41’10 ¾”), but Westhill/Ludden’s Bella Sterly earned it, her top throw of 34’4 ¾” edging out Cicero-North Syracuse’s Destiny Monica (34’3 ½”) by 1 ¼ inches. Marcellus’ Suzanna Sylcox finished sixth with 31’6”.
In the girls 55-meter dash, Westhill/Ludden’s Tatiana Monds went 7.55 seconds, edged out at the line by CBA’s Anna Schug (7.48 seconds), but still finishing second and reaching the state meet.
WG’s Brianna Richardson finished third in the 55-meter hurdles, going 9.02 seconds, and was fourth in the triple jump, going 35’1 ¼”, just missing spots in the state meet in both events. Richardson added a fifth-place long jump of 15’11 ¼” as Solvay’s Nicole Antonacci (14’4 ¾”) was 11th.
Garn also took seventh place in the 1,500-meter run in 5:13.40 as West Genesee standout Laura Leff led most of the race before Fayetteville-Manlius’ Annika Avery overtook her in the next-to-last lap, prevailing in 4:41.19 as Leff finished second in 4:46.86 and advanced to the state meet.