While again proving a worthy host for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association track and field championships, Cicero-North Syracuse made sure that some of the prizes stayed at home.
Junior Jeremiah Willis won the NYSPHSAA titles in both the long jump and triple jump, while on the girls side junior Liliana Klemanski proved triumphant in the Division I (large school) portion of the high jump.
Willis had won the Federation events of the long jump and triple jump in the 2017 state meet at Union-Endicott. Here, though, he concentrated on the NYSPHSAA Division I events and conquered them both.
First, in the triple jump, Willis went ahead for good with 49 feet 3 ¼ inches, but after getting matched by Uniondale’s Jadan Hanson, he answered the pressure and, on his final attempt, Willis improved to 49’9 ¼”and earned the state title.
The long jump took place a few hours later. On his first attempt, Willis went 23’7”, but then went 24’3” on his third attempt and no one caught it as Saratoga Springs’ Kirk Francis finished second with 23’5 ¾”.
Also competing in the 100-meter dash, Willis set a school record with 10.77 seconds, the third-fastest qualifying time, advancing to Saturday’s finals, where he settled for eighth place with 11.53 seconds as Carlton Hosten (Taft Educational) won in 10.61 seconds.
In Saturday’s girls long jump, Klemanski had cleared 5’5” during the season, and reached that height here, but then topped 5’6” on her second attempt to claim the Division I state championship when Hewlett’s Anyia Wilson could only reach 5’4”.
Overall, Klemanski was tied with Emma Willard’s Sharde Johnson, only to see Johnson top 5’7” on her third and final attempt. Cooperstown’s Julie Ford was third overall, clearing 5’5”.
Joe Williams was favored in the boys 110 high hurdles, and he ran his qualifying heat in 14.27 seconds, best in the field. But in the final, Williams only managed 14.86 seconds and took sixth place as Midwood’s Tai Brown won in 14.29 seconds.
Williams also was 14th in the long jump (21’7 ½”) behind Willis, and that pair, joined by Malcolm Christian and Connor Hayes, set another school mark in the 4×100 relay, getting eighth place in 42.94 seconds as Cardinal Hayes (42.28 seconds) won overall and New Rochelle (42.36) had the top NYSPHSAA time.
Liverpool had several of its top track athletes competing in the state meet, and Madison Neuner earned a silver medal in the Division I part of the 2,000-meter steeplechase.
Neuner finished in six minutes, 51.25 seconds to take second place as Tully’s Brooke Rauber won the NYSPHAA title in 6:45.34 (a national best time for a freshman) despite falling at one point in the race.
Marissa Baskin was 16th in the 100-meter dash in 12.50 seconds, improving from her 12.61 during the season but still finishing 16th as it took 12.25 seconds to advance to the final.
Baskin also finished 14th in the long jump, going 16’1”, while Sarah LaValley, expected to contend in the discus, only could throw 101’3” here for 17th place as Bay Shore’s Imoniri Aghomoon won with 128’8”, less than the 129’1” LaValley had thrown during the season.
The Warriors’ Nathan Reeves ran the boys mile in 4:25.34 and finished 12th in Division I, a day after blazing to a time of 1:56.87 in the 800-meter run, which led to another 12th-place finish. Nazir Murray was unable to complete his heat in the 400-meter hurdles.
Among the many top athletes at the state meet was North Rockland’s sophomore sensation, Katelyn Tuohy, who broke two state records in less than 24 hours, winning the 3,000-meter run in 9:09.71 and the 1,500-meter run in 4:14.45.