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Local indoor track stars light up state qualifier

Zesky, Avery, Liebmann, Schug, Brower among winners

— Many of the area’s top indoor track and field teams are now practicing hard and gearing up for their trip to Cornell University’s Barton Hall for next Saturday’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet.

Before that, though, they first had to get through last Wednesday’s Section III state qualifier at SRC Arena, which featured a string of superb performances from athletes at four different schools.

East Syracuse-Minoa senior Nina Zesky was favored in the long jump, and had already won the event when she twice cleared her personal best, finishing up at 5 feet 6 inches, putting her among the list of medal contenders for the state meet.

In the girls 1,500-meter run, Fayetteville-Manlius junior Annika Avery ran a brilliant tactical race, overtaking West Genesee’s Laura Leff in the next-to-last lap and pulling away to win in four minutes, 41.19 seconds, with Leff second in 4:46.86. ESM’s Natalie Marra was third in 4:56.98.

Moving to the boys pole vault, Jamesville-DeWitt’s Zach Liebmann won the event by clearing 14 feet, while ESM’s Caiden Moynihan finished second (12 feet) to also earn a state meet berth. F-M’s Justin Jones (11’6”) finished fifth.

And CBA’s Anna Schug emerged victorious in the 55-meter dash, holding off Westhill/Bishop Ludden’s Tatiana Monds, 7.48 seconds to 7.55. Schug also finished fourth in the 300-meter dash in 41.79 seconds.

Schug’s teammate, Jack Brower, earned his own victory in the 600-meter run, pulling away in the homestretch to get a time of 1:24.68 over Baldwinsville’s Josh Perez (1:25.48) as ESM’s Jake Barker finished fourth in 1:27.95.

F-M won both of the 4x800 relay races. In the boys race, Bryce Millar, Andrew Berge’, Jon Abbott and Kyle Barber finished in 8:04.84, holding off West Genesee (8:06.90) at the wire. Avery, joining Alana Pearl, Jessica Howe and Jenna Farrell, posted 9:37.07 to roll past West Genesee (9:43.08) in the girls race.

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