Girls Wildcats take second at Bob Grieve Invitational

Westhill/Ludden fifth as Sterly claims victory in pole vault

— After all the delays and starts and stops, something resembling a normal schedule resumed for the area’s indoor track and field teams, which meant back-to-back boys and girls portions of the Bob Grieve Memorial Invitational at SRC Arena.

In the girls event on Wednesday night, West Genesee again nearly went to the top. Wins by Laura Leff and Abby Uczen helped push the Wildcats to 57 points, putting them in second place behind Fayetteville-Manlius, who won with 85.66 points.

Not only that, but Westhill/Bishop Ludden made a big statement, getting to fifth place with 28.33 points, while Rachel Garn helped Marcellus tie for 12th with 16 points, while Jordan-Elbridge settled for four points.

Leff dueled with Liverpool star Ore Akinpelu in the 600-meter run and won it, her time of one minute, 38.69 seconds edging Akinpelu (1:39.28) by 0.59 seconds. She also helped Valerie Pirro, Allison Iles and Nicole Paone as WG finished third (4:20.22) in the 4x400 relay.

Uczen, meanwhile, dominated the pole vault, clearing 9 feet 6 inches as no one else topped 8 feet. Katherine Doherty cleared 7’6” to give Westhill-Ludden a fourth-place finish.

Garn, who was third in the 600 in 1:39.42 behind Leff and Akinpelu, had her big moment in the 1,500-meter run, where in a time of 4:54.22 she pulled away from East Syracuse-Minoa’s Natalie Marra, who was second in 4:59 flat. Westhill/Ludden’s Annibel Coolican was fourth in 5:01.57, and took seventh place in the high jump, tied with Marcellus’ Mary-Catherine Coon.

Westhill/Ludden gained its lone victory thanks to Bella Sterly in the shot put. Sterly’s top heave of 32’7” beat Liverpool’s Nelilah Watkins (31’2 ½”) by nearly a foot and a half.

WG’s Brianna Richardson nearly won twice, her time of 9.25 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles trailing only Pulaski star Breann Burns (8.63 seconds), and also getting second in the triple jump with 33’6 ¾”, a leap only Jamesville-DeWitt’s Patrece Martin (34’6”) could top.

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