Jul 29, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
A long string of top local athletes battled for medals during last week’s 31st edition of the Empire State Games in Binghamton and other parts of the Southern Tier- and some of them met with success.
Thousands of competitors from six regions (Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island) battled in more than two dozen sports. Here is how the local athletes fared.
Central’s open men’s team won the gold medal at SUNY-Binghamton, with a whole host of local players in starring roles.
Mawuena Agbossoumonde, John Pelligra (both from CBA), Marcel Perl, Dan Perl (both from Jamesville-DeWitt) and Dan McGowan (Manlius-Pebble Hill) all took part as Central went 3-0 in preliminary-round action, then beat New York City 2-0 for the championship on Sunday.
On the women’s side, Danielle Kennedy (Fayetteville-Manlius) and her Central scholastic women’s team took the bronze medal, beating Long Island 1-0 for that honor and finishing 3-1 overall. Current MPH player Jon Mangram played on the Central scholastic men’s team that lost the bronze-medal game to New York City 2-1. Christina Harrison (J-D) was with Central’s open women, who finished 0-3.
Dustin Moss became the latest East Syracuse-Minoa wrestler to earn an ESG gold medal in scholastic competition at SUNY-Binghamton’s West Gym, repeating his victory from 2007.
Moss, in the Greco-Roman division 165-pound final, shut out Central teammate Dan Secor 6-0, 6-0 for the title. This came after Moss got a silver medal in the freestyle portion of 165 pounds, dropping the final to Billy Coggins (Long Island) 1-3, 3-2, 6-0.
Neither Mick Letcher (open division, 152 pounds) nor Matt Letcher (scholastic division, 143 pounds) could medal. Mick finished fourth in freestyle and fifth in Greco-Roman, while an injury kept Matt out of the Greco-Roman portion of the tournament.
With F-M’s Matt Esposito present, Central won the scholastic men’s gold medal, going 5-0 at Broome County Community College. By Saturday night, Central had clinched the title with four straight wins, but it still beat Western 3-2 with a last-second goal on Sunday to complete its unbeaten run.
F-M teammates Matt Taylor and Mike Poppleton, along with CBA’s Casey Lasda, were leading scorers for the Central scholastic men’s team that earned a silver medal at SUNY-Binghamton.
Central went 3-2 in round-robin play, dropping one-goal decisions to Western (6-5) and Long Island (7-6), but still beating Western and Hudson Valley in a three-way tie-breaker to reach Sunday’s final. There, Long Island took out Central 14-3, meaning a second-place finish.
With Morgan Axenfeld, Meg Helmer (both from F-M) and Katie Webster (CBA) on the field, Central’s scholastic women took the bronze medal. Just like their male counterparts, Central lost by a single goal to Western and Long Island, yet ended up in the third-place game, where it scored the last six goals to rally past Hudson Valley 9-6 and get the bronze.
Both of Central’s scholastic teams won silver medals with a heavy local push.
On the men’s side, F-M’s Brian Zapisek had big performances early in the tournament, scoring 20 points against Hudson Valley and 17 points against Adirondack. He cooled off later (eight points against New York City, nine in the 88-65 finals loss to Western), but Zapisek still had a strong showing.
So did F-M’s Torie Lee and CBA’s Leanne Ockenden on the scholastic side. Lee never had less than 13 points in any of her four games, peaking with 20 against Western and putting up 17 in Sunday’s 69-62 overtime loss to Hudson Valley in the finals. Ockenden hit double digits three times (including 10 points in the final), while another F-M star, Emily Trapani, scored in all four games, too.
Central’s scholastic men’s team earned a silver medal at SUNY-Binghamton, going 4-1 in team competition with lots of help from some local stars.
In fact, the F-M duo of Vivek and Vikram Nayar did not lose any of their five doubles matches, while singles star Matt Izant also went undefeated in three outings and Josh Mulligan (CBA) helped out, too. CBA’s Lianna Artessa played in scholastic women’s singles, where Central finished with a 1-4 mark.
All through Central’s run to a bronze medal at the BAGSAI complex, J-D and LeMoyne College great Sarah Reed and her one-time J-D teammate, Amanda Barnett, led the way.
Reed accumulated hits and a win on the mound as Central went 3-2 in round-robin play, with Barnett often her battery mate. On Saturday, Central used three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to come back and beat Hudson Valley, 6-5, in the third-place game.
F-M’s crew program hit the podium when Elizabeth Aiello and Alyssa Ponfrey teamed with Maria Breckin (Ithaca) and Cecelia Madsen (Freeville) to finish second and gain a silver medal in the women’s quad event. Josh Silverman was fourth with his Central boat-mates in the men’s quads.
East Syracuse native MaryAnn Lacy teamed with Mia Smith, Ashlie Braman and Shannon Hogan as Central won the bronze medal in the women’s 500-meter quads at Dorchester Park in Whitney Point in a time of 2:34.65.
Track and Field
Christine Peltier, from DeWitt, came within less than two seconds of a medal in the open women’s 5,000-meter run at SUNY-Binghamton but had to settle for fourth place in a time of 20:14.90. Jade Germany, an ESM graduate, cleared 4 feet 11 3/4 inches and took fifth place in the open women’s high jump
Amy Kneale (DeWitt) rose up for a sixth-place finish in the open women’s time trial in a time of 26 minutes, 58.98 seconds, her best finish. In three events, Manlius native Jacob Gorke had his best finish of 36th in the criterium.
McKinley Gray (J-D) and Rachel Rosenbaum (F-M) helped Central’s scholastic women’s team claim a bronze medal at Broome County Arena. Meanwhile, in the open division, Terissa Magnicca (J-D) and her Central mates finished fourth, just out of the medals.
In scholastic 15-and-under competition at SUNY-Cortland, J-D’s Eric Jorgensen was sixth in the men’s 200 freestyle and eighth in the 400-meter freestyle. F-M’s Brian Robinson had three top-10 efforts, none better than a seventh in the 200 backstroke. Kathryn Coughlin was eighth in the women’s 100 breaststroke.
Drew Zipprich (F-M) played on the scholastic side of the ESG tournament at SUNY-Cortland as Mike Doolittle and Matt Coleman (from DeWitt) played with Central’s open men as they both finished out of the medals.
Hailing from Fayetteville, Struan Shrimpton competed in the epee for Central’s scholastic men’s team at Davis College in Vestal, unable to medal.