Liverpool and Cicero-North Syracuse sent a large contingent of top athletes to last Saturday’s state championship meet at Cornell University’s Barton Hall, and emerged from the meet with plenty of top-10 finishes, including one second-place effort.
That came from Juliana Basla, who was part of Section III’s Intersectional Medley Relay team. Paired with Anna Schug (CBA), Annibel Coolican (Westhill/Bishop Ludden) and Natalie Marra (East Syracuse-Minoa), Basla, who ran the third leg, helped Section III finish second in 10 minutes, 34.35 seconds, trailing only Section XI (Suffolk County, Long Island), who won in 10:32.79.
Basla’s teammate, Ore Akinpelu, was a top contender in the 300-meter dash, and did not disappoint. She qualified for the final in 40.96 seconds, winning her heat, and in the championship race Akinpelu improved to 40.65 seconds and earned the fifth-place medal. New Rochelle’s Symone Darius won in 38.90 seconds.
Moving to the boys indoor meet, C-NS earned a medal in the 4x400 relay. Morgan Austen, Pete Girardi, Nate Hilt and Evan Russell qualified for the finals in 3:31.83, and then went 3:34.07 in the finals.
That put the Northstars in fifth place overall and third among the New York State Public High School Athletic Association sides. St. Anthony’s won the Federation side in 3:23.70 and Baldwin (3:29.56) prevailed in the public-school portion.
Austen and Girardi also competed in the 55-meter hurdles, where Austen finished 21st in 8.06 seconds, just missing out on advancing to the semifinals, while Girardi went 8.12 seconds to gain 23rd place.
With Ryheim Lawes unable to compete, Mark Vanmarter stood out for Liverpool, finishing fourth in the long jump with a top leap of 22 feet 7 inches. That missed the state title by less than half a foot as Vestal’s Mike Egotanda prevailed with 22’11 ¾”.
Alex Christensen ran 1,000 meters for the Warriors, taking 15th place in 2:35.09, while Nick LeClair gained 23rd place in 2:39.11. In the mile, Dylan McCarthy finished 17th in 4:28.44 and Connor Buck (4:30.64) was right behind in 22nd place. Geoffrey Bell was 20th in the shot put, throwing it 46’9” for his best effort of the afternoon.
Liverpool’s Morgan Chewning-Kulick won her 1,000-meter girls heat and finished 20th overall in 3:06.34. C-NS’s Javielle Fanizzi was 26th in the long jump, with a top leap of 15’7 ½”, while Jilliann Norris made her way to 29th place in the 600-meter run in 1:44.90.