It proved the perfect culmination to the decorated high school track and field career of Jamesville-DeWitt senior Alexandria Payne.
With a comeback in the final event, Payne prevailed in the pentathlon during last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championships at Cicero-North Syracuse’s Bragman Stadium.
Payne went to the front in the first event, the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 14.65 seconds. Then she cleared 5 feet 4 ¼ inches in the high jump and threw the shot put 30’ 11 ¾” before going 17’ ¾” in the long jump.
Even with that, Payne trailed Uniondale’s Zaria Fuller entering the final event, the 800-meter run. Payne then ran the 800 in 2:25.73, fourth-best among the 32 competitors and good for 747 points, while Fuller finished in 2:31.47 to get 675 points.
Thus, in the final standings, Payne, with a Section III-record 3,513 points, beat Fuller’s total of 3,461 points. Baldwinsville’s Adriana Straughter was fourth with 3,288 points.
Yet Payne was far from the only local athlete to medal at the state meet. Fayetteville-Manlius had its 4×400 relay team of Fiona Mejico, Cady Barns, Phoebe White and Susan Bansbach go 3:58.38 for sixth place in Division I, but then, in Saturday’s Fedration final, improve to 3:56.68 and rise to third place, trailing only Medgar Evers (3:50.50) and Rush-Henrietta (3:55.07).
Individually for the Hornets, Claire Walters made it to fourth place in the Division I part of the 3,000-meter run (fifth overall) in 9:56.77 as North Rockland’s sophomore superstar, Katelyn Tuohy, set a state record in 9:09.71 and would set another state mark in the 1,500-meter run a day later in 4:14.45.
In the 4×800 relay, Claire Walters, joined by Rebecca Walters, Alex Villalba and Grace Kaercher, gained eighth place in Division I with a time of 9:26.01.
J-D’s David Fikhman went 22.09 seconds to qualify for the Division I (large school) final of the 200-meter dash, where he didn’t go as fast but still got seventh place in 22.65 seconds as Carl Hosten (Taft Educational ) won in 21.29 seconds.
Also, Fikhman was part of the Red Rams’ 4×400 relay team, joining Joey Armenta, Mike Potamianos and Haberle Conlon as J-D finished ninth in 3:26.42. Washingtonville took the top spot in 3:18.32.
F-M’s Garrett Brennan ran 3,200 meters in 9:42.85 to finish 12th in Division I, while Peyton Geehrer got 12th place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:02.07. East Syracuse Minoa had Gabe Holloman finish 10th in the shot put with a toss of 45 3 ¾”. The Spartans’ Gavin Stevens fouled in all three of his attempts in the discus.
Christian Brothers Academy runner Olivia Morganti was ninth in the Division II (small school) portion of the 2,000-meter steeplechase in 7:11.43, while the CBA boys’ Avion Othman was 16th in the Division II 100-meter dash in 11.51 seconds. Wenjing Chen represented Bishop Grimes and gained 13th place in the long jump, going 16 feet 2 ¾ inches.
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