RONDOUT VALLEY - Dynasties are all about maintaining superiority.
In small school athletics, such consistent winning ways are even more impressive, given the toll that graduation exacts each year …
RONDOUT VALLEY - Dynasties are all about maintaining superiority.
In small school athletics, such consistent winning ways are even more impressive, given the toll that graduation exacts each year and the need to keep the program thriving with younger motivated stars eager to replace the exiting seniors.
For the Tri-Valley boys, winning their sixth consecutive Section Nine Class D track and field title attests to the solidity of the program. Under former legendary coach Joe Iatauro who was ably assisted by his wife Missy, the Bears reigned supreme for years. Now led by one of Coach I’s former proteges, Chip Furman, the program has reignited with a conflagration from cross-country, through indoor and on into spring track and field.
The Bears outlasted a powerful Sullivan West squad by a margin of 28 points to carry the day once again. Coach Furman noted, “We are very happy with how the athletes competed today. While we did have some setbacks here and there, other athletes stepped up when we needed them and scored some valuable points. Throughout the season, all the athletes have been progressing steadily. Coach Eckhoff and I set up our training so that most of our athletes will peak during the Section Championship, and it paid off. This is the sixth consecutive Section Championship for the Tri-Valley boys team and we are very proud of them. It is also worth noting that we have many underclassmen that will be returning next year.”
On the girls side of the story it was another perennial winning program’s day as Sullivan West evinced a 174-125 dominating performance over a young Lady Bears team. With the addition of a few more leaders, T-V girls could further challenge the Lady Bulldogs’ supremacy in coming years. After all, the Lady Bears have a very rich history too under its former coach Missy Iatauro. But now, with the savvy and affirming leadership of coach Tyler Eckhoff, the future looks bright once again.
As for Sullivan West, first year coach Skylar Musa has done an outstanding job of rebuilding the team and mentoring her girls to the zenith of Section Nine Class D. It was the sixth SW title in the past seven competing seasons.
Musa said, "We are fortunate enough to have some depth and I was able to fill each event with the exception of two (I had two entries instead of the max of three). We had a number of athletes win their event that day and have lifetime bests, which is always rewarding for them to put it together when it matters most."
Last year’s ten-point loss to Pine Plains under the last SW coaching season of guru Joe Seidl actually deserves an asterisk. The Lady Bombers’ win was made possible by the bizarre elimination of the steeplechase and the pentathlon, two events SW would have clearly dominated. Section Nine’s decision to hold the sectional meet at regional locations was the bugaboo. Only SW and Millbrook had volunteered to host the event, but just one day prior to sectionals, Millbrook announced it had no pole vault mats and Pine Plains jumped in to host despite not having a steeplechase water pit and eliminating the pentathlon. That unfair point swing broke the SW streak that had amassed five consecutive Section IX titles from 2015-2019.
There was no Sectional in 2020 because of Covid-19. But this year the Lady Westies brought their depth and great leadership to the forefront. Track and field owns the unique distinction of being both an individual and team sport. Each athlete strives to do his or her best, while collectively adding their accomplishments to the team point tally. Placing in the top six of an event accrues points, so the placement of athletes is akin to a chess match aimed at maximizing team scoring. Team leaders are those runners, jumpers or throwers who bring the most points to the cause.
For the T-V boys, that depth came from Adam Furman, Van Furman, Craig Costa, Noah Jucha, Caleb Edwards, Armaan Butler, Brandon Kaplan, Dayne Wall, Collin Mentnech, Reese Shelmadine and Thomas Houghtaling. Van Furman’s win in the steeplechase with the fastest freshman time in NYS was just part of the coming attractions for the Bears who will return nearly the entire team next year.
For the Sullivan West girls, the team’s depth factored strongly into the victory. The point pile up was led by Grace Boyd’s 36 points with firsts in the 3000 and steeplechase and seconds in the 400 hurdles and the 1500. Violla Shami’s great PR in the triple jump helped the scoring, abetted by Paige Parucki in second and Ella LaBagh in sixth. Those 19 points combined with a 1-2-3 sweep in the steeplechase evinced by Boyd, Ella Herbert and Brooke Nunnari amassed another 24 points. Other Lady Westies added more points including Abby Parucki, Madison Eisma, Sam Everett, Jamie Hendrickson, Keely Schock, Rosalyn Tanner, Katelyn Smith and Charlotte Cooper. As expected, iconic thrower Kathryn Widmann swept first in both the shot and the discus. Much can be said about the team runner ups, the TV girls and the SW boys. Both teams had great performances from their leadership.
SW’s Kathryn Widmann set a new PR and school record in the discus with a throw of 100-11 at the Marlboro Throw Off meet on May 21. Autumn Thiele was the prior record holder with a throw of 96-11 in 2016. Widmann took third overall. Chris Campanelli finished first in the shot put with a heave of 48-07.50. He placed third in the discus with a mark of 138-10.
For the T-V girls it was Kendall McGregor and Amelia Mickelson, Mackenzie Closs, Brynn Poley and Grace Gozza, Joyce Brooks, Lily Siciiliano, Brook Mulholland and Emily Hornbeck.
For the Sullivan West boys the day featured sterling performances as Tarrell Spencer amassed 34 points with wins in the triple jump, long jump, a second in the 200 and a third in the 100. Great job by thrower Chris Campanelli who won the shot put and the discus and thrower Dillan Hanslmaier. Pole vault winner and 400 hurdler champion Dylan Sager had a great day. Others factored in as well including Danny Shami, Jared Kratz, Landon Volpe, Will Nearing, Landon Boyd and Karl Swanson. Kudos to SW boys coaches Steve Rogers and Will Schlott. Eldred’s Trai Kaufmann, Lindsay Zgrodek, Kesenia Sosnowski and Dominick Furlipa all scored for the Yellowjackets, while Zachary Dertinger and the Wildcats 3200 relay garnered points for Livingston Manor. The Section Nine meet is the last track and field endeavor the vast majority of runners, jumpers and throwers who do not meet the standards to compete at the Section Nine state qualifier.
Section 9 Class D championships
Girls Section 9 Class D championships
Liberty and Fallsburg individuals register strongly in Class C clash
The Class C pool of schools features a strong array of talent. For both Liberty and Fallsburg in the midst of rebuilding their programs, that means concentrating on individual performers without concerns about winning the meet. Liberty took fifth in the boys’ fray, while the Liberty girls had to settle for ninth. Outstanding efforts from Liberty girls came from Anna Payton and Sydania Foster. Liberty boys Shaun Coles, Gabriel Desroshers, Wayne Kratz, Ivan Rodriguez and Eric Lianos were impressive. Fallsburg only managed two points in the boys meet but the girls finished eighth with 22. Head coach Danielle Halikias has done a tremendous job of attracting athletes to the burgeoning ranks of the track team. The girls’ efforts were led by standout Gisella King who took first in the long jump and set PR’s in the 400 and high jump with second and third place finishes respectively.
Boys Section 9 Class C championships
Girls Section 9 Class C championships
Monticello boys and girls leave their mark on Class B encounters
Stellar athletes rise to the occasion, and Monticello demonstrated rising to the occasion with their third place, best finish ever at the OCIAA championships a week ago. The Section Nine meet is always a much taller order for the Montis, but with great individual performers like Evan Waterton, Jadden Bryant, Rohan Patrick, Jamar Jackson, Taina DeJesus, Tahir Denton, Quenten Ligicaga, Jesse Corces and Meg Cruz, the Montis are never out of the running. To wit, the boys captured third in the meet without some key performers on hand. Waterton, who is concentrating on peaking at the state qualifier, ran only two events including the open 400 and the steeplechase. He took third in the 400 and first in the steeplechase. Bryant won the high jump, finished fifth in the long jump and second in the triple jump. Eighth grader Quenten Liciaga won the pentathlon. Rohan Patrick captured third in the 100 and 200. Taina DeJesus was way out in front in the 100 hurdles when she caught her foot on the fifth hurdle and ended up fourth. She won the 400 hurdles.
Boys Section 9 Class B championships
Monticello Individual finishers
Girls Section 9 Class B championships
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