As a pole vaulter and luger, Queensbury senior Nick Gerardi is an expert at what-goes-up-must-come-down.
When asked which is more dangerous, he said, “Hmmm. It depends on the crash.”
Gerardi did anything but crash on Friday, pulling himself up to the top of the pole vault standings, and staying there, to win the Division 1 and Federation title at the New York state championship meet at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
He made 15-0 on his second attempt, and three other finalists, including top-seeded Jacob Platel of Bethlehem, failed on three attempts each.
With one last crack at 15-6 for Gerardi, the crowd started a rhythmic clap as he exhaled and charged down the approach. Gerardi wasn’t even close to clearing the bar, but the clapping only got louder for the champion.
Gerardi gave up luging after suffering a substantial concussion at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid during his junior year, and with a full school year to concentrate on vaulting, everything came together at the state meet.
“Last year, I didn’t think anything of states, and then this year was my full year, and it’s the same excitement [as luging], because it brought it from one level to another,” he said. “When I went over that 15, there it was, it was awesome.
It was the same as racing.”
Gerardi, who will vault for SUNY-Cortland next year, had a personal-record 14-9 at Niskayuna’s Warrior Classic early this season and won the Eddy Meet, defeating Platel.
But the Bethlehem senior returned the favor at sectionals.
On Saturday, Platel stayed alive on his final attempt at 14-9, but his best shot at 15-0 came on his first try, and Adam Helman of Grand Island and Cory Duggan of Monsignor Farrell also failed on three tries at 15-0.
Gerardi was able to correct a flaw in his technique and keep himself from leaning back on his plant, giving himself more upward spring.
“All the time, in practice, I’ve been jumping 16, 16-6, with the bungee [bar] consistently, and it’s never come together on a meet, I’ve always been too far inside, and that blows me through the standards, and I’ve only been able to come out with 14, 14-6,” he said. “I really focused on dialing that in this week and made it happen.
“I knew I could do it and really felt like it could come together today, and it did.”
The only other Section II winners on the day were Casey Gilbert of Berlin, who won the boys’ Division 2 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 54.01, 61-hundredths of a second ahead of Schuylerville’s versatile Shane Wagner, and Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s Josh Glick, who won the Division 2 pole vault at 14-0.
Both Gilbert and Wagner ran fast enough in the intermediates to qualify for today’s Federation championship race, and Wagner will also square off against Albany Academy’s Amadou Gueye in the 110 high hurdles.
Wagner posted the fastest time in trials at 14.58, and Gueye, running in a separate heat, posted a 14.62 for the second fastest overall time.
In the girls’ 100 high hurdles, defending state champ Madalayne Smith ran the fastest time of the day, a 14.17, and she was fourth
(17-101⁄2) in the Division 1 long jump, reaching today’s Federation final, along with Holy Names’ Klarissa Ricks, who was fourth (17-101⁄4) in Division 2.
Whitehall’s Brittany St. Clair was fifth in Division 2 at 17-6.
Fonda-Fultonville’s Shane Smith was second in Division 2 in both the boys’ discus and shot put, just missing that elusive 170 mark in the discus with a 169-11. Alden’s John Osucha had the best toss of the day, at 176-4.
“I felt like I did great in both,” Smith said. “It was very productive, I got two PR’s, and I’m coming back tomorrow [today] for Federations for disc. It was a very productive day.
“I was looking forward to 170, but a PR is a PR. One inch. I can feel it. I thought I had one in me today. I’ll just save it for tomorrow [today].”
Shenendehowa’s Evan Palmer finished second in the Division 1 discus at 165-6 and will also be in the Federation final.
Colonie’s Tyler Stewart snapped off a 1:54.86 to produce the third-fastest time in the Division 1 800 and overall.
In the boys’ 3,200, Chris Stogsdill of Marcellus tried to steal it on the front, jumping out to a 50-meter lead right away over a pack of 10 that included Shenendehowa’s Alex Leuchanka and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Otis Ubriaco.
Stogsdill was gobbled up on the final backstretch by two runners, but Leuchanka and Ubriaco weren’t among them.
Jeff Martinez of Johnson City won in 8:57.60, Stogsdill was fourth and Ubriaco finished sixth.
Burnt Hills’ Samantha Roecker fared a little better in the girls’ 3,000, relaxing in fourth and fifth for the first half of the race, then picking it up to finish third in 9:47.54. Top-seeded Emily Lipari made the first move on the final lap and won in 9:38.66.
“I had to lead a lot of races this year, and really wanted to come into this race and be relaxed the first 1,500 and not have to think about anything and try to move up as much as I could the last 1,500,” the Providence-bound Roecker said. “It’s the first time I’ve really done that, but it is kind of scary doing it at the state meet.
“I just didn’t want to have to think about leading and the pace and if it’s too fast or too slow. I wanted to focus on my race and what I wanted to do and what I wanted to get out of the race. I’m pretty happy. I wanted to get on the podium, especially after coming in second last year.”
Shenendehowa freshman Lizzie Predmore had a more adventuresome race, shifting positions several times, and took a brief lead with 21⁄2 laps left, but she dropped back to fifth (9:49.58).
Defending state champ Michelle Quimby of Shenendehowa finished in a tie for fourth in the Division 1 pole vault, at 11-6.
Chatham’s Leah Wightman was second in the Division 2 800 in 2:13.41.
800 — Division 1: Terrance Livingston (Great Neck South), 1:52.64; Zavior Brown (Pine Bush), 1:53.13; Tyler Stewart (Colonie), 1:54.86. Division 2: Devyn Hollenbeck (Sauquoit Valley), 1:56.31; Adam Irr (Newfane), 1:56.33; Michael Rossi (Valley Stream North), 1:56.40.
3,200 — Division 1: Jeff Martinez (Johnson City), 8:57.60; John Muller (Arlington), 9:00.60; Robert Andrews (Shoreham-Wading River), 9:09.62. Division 2: Scott Anderson (East Aurora), 9:03.91; Chris Stogsdill (Marcellus), 9:08.84; Max Straneva (Chenango Valley), 9:14.96.
400 relay — Division 1: Edison Tech (Quinton Harley, Brett Harrington, Mark Canady, Jonathan Santana), 42.18; Sachem North, 42.25; Sheepshead Bay, 2.29. Division 2: Cleveland Hill (Matt Deim, Nick Campfield, Joe Puntoriero, Rhakeem Wiggins), 43.08; John Marshall, 43.74; Watervliet, 43.96.
1,600 relay — Division 1: Ramapo (Mike Abelard, Chidi Exemma, Dozie Exemma, Ryan Whitley), 3:17.65; Newburgh, 3:17.75; Edison tech, 3:18.64. Division 2: Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton (Josh Norris, Kyle Kelly, Steve Howe, Dustin Ross), 3:24.51; Owego, 3:25.49; Bayport/Bluepoint, 3:26.05.
400 inter. — Division 1: Will Cole (Hamburg), 52.69; Umar Hasan (Valley Central), 54.33; Zach Zeller (Greece Athena/Olympia), 54.47. Division 2: Casey Gilbert (Berlin), 54.01; Shane Wagner (Schuylerville), 54.62; Curtis Dabis (Geneva), 56.16.
Pole vault — Division 1: Nick Gerardi (Queensbury), 15-0; Adam Helman (Grand Island), 14-9; Cory Duggan (Msgr. Farrell), 14-6. Division 2: Josh Glick (Berne-Knox-Westerlo), 14-0; Jeff Willis (Canastota), 14-0; Andre Adkins (Adirondack), 13-6.
Triple jump — Division 1: Sean Reilly (Arlington), 47-7; Eghosa Aghayere (Rush-Henrietta), 47-6; Leighton Francis (Thomas Jefferson), 47-1⁄2. Division 2: Ray Holmes (Campbell-Savona), 46-2 3⁄4; Shawn VanderBrook (Marion), 45-6 1⁄4; Jared Hamm (Edmeston), 45-3 1⁄4.
Long jump — Division 1: Berfrantz Charles (North Babylon), 23-9 1⁄2; Anthony DeJean (Rome Free Academy), 23-8; Maurice Easterling (Stepinac), 23-5 1⁄2. Division 2: Zachary Nevidomsky (Weedsport), 22-8 1⁄2; Kyren Miller (Southampton), 22-1 1⁄2; Josh Stary (Red Hook), 21-11 1⁄4.
Discus — Division 1: Anthony Thomas (Holy Trinity), 173-2; Evan Palmer (Shenendehowa), 165-6; Jon Luke Krywalski (Lancaster), 161-4. Division 2: Jon Osucha (Alden), 176-4; Shane Smith (Fonda-Fultonville), 169-11; Leonard Joseph (Clinton), 160-5.
Shot put — Division 1: Mike Smith Riverhead), 57-3⁄4; Justin Torres (Rome Free Academy), 55-7 3⁄4; Chris Buck (Frontier), 55-2 1⁄2. Division 2: Joshua Haghighi (Wheatley), Shane Smith (Fonda-Fultonville), 53-3 1⁄2; Jeff Swayze (Lansing), 53-3.
800 — Division 1: Charlene Lipsey (Hempstead), 2:09.75; Emily Menges (Garden City), 2:10.84; Asia Henry (Wilson Magnet), 2:11.74. Division 2: Phyllis Frances (Catherine McAuley), 2:12.71; Leah Wightman (Chatham), 2:13.41; Jessica Kendzor (Kennedy Catholic), 2:15.38.
3,000 — Division 1: Emily Lipari (Roslyn), 9:38.66; Aisling Cuffe (Cornwall), 9:40.25; Samantha Roecker (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), 9:47.54. Division 2: Genna Hartung (Seton Catholic), 9:57.96; Christine Driscoll (Geneva), 10:03.82; Catherine Phillips (East Aurora), 10:05.46.
400 relay — Division 1: Paul Robeson (Charmaine Delotch, Linda Blue, Alysia Howell, Samantha Francis), 48.22; Elmont, 48.39; Edison Tech, 48.45. Division 2: Oxford (Amanda Brown, Amanda Marks, Emily Woodford, Katie Woodford), 49.44; Woodlands, 49.58; Valley Stream North, 50.17.
1,600 relay — Division 1: Garden City (Emily Menges, Catherine Cafaro, Taylor Hennig, Michelle Rotondo), 3:49.09; Hempstead, 3:51.22; Wilson Magnet, 3:52.51. Division 2: Waverly (Mariah Brown, Cassie Meyers, Kayla Hager, Erika Kisel), 4:00.84; Mercy, 4:02.15; Elmira Notre Dame, 4:04.20.
400 inter. — Division 1: NaTasha Greggs (Wilson Magnet), 60.58; Michelle Rotondo (Garden City), 62.44; Crystal Graham (Edison Tech), 62.54. Division 2: Mari Giurastante (Chenango Valley), 63.54; Lyndsay Delello (Sidney), 65.35; Anna Weber (Cooperstown), 65.54.
Pole vault — Division 1: Sydnie Leroy (Port Jervis), 12-0; Jenna Marrione (Warwick Valley), 11-9; Camille Ginyard (Vestal), 11-6. Division 2: Linda Hadfield (New York Mills), 11-6; Kelly Truppo (Alden), 11-3; Lindsay Petry (Lansing), 11-9.
Triple jump — Division 1: Marlene Ricketts (Westbury), 40-1⁄4; Pony Sokiri (Proctor), 39-31⁄4; Imani Oliver (Midwood), 39-3. Division 2: Olivia Weeks (Elmira Notre Dame), 40-51⁄2; Ashley Mahlmeister (Sidney), 39-31⁄2; Avery Evans (Pine Plains), 38-23⁄4.
Long jump — Division 1: Jennifer Clayton (Suffern), 20-6 1⁄4; Patricia McNish (Manhasset), 18-8 1⁄4; Mikayla Pearce (Maryvale), 18-3 1⁄4. Division 2: Ashley Mahlmeister (Sidney), 18-7 1⁄2; Kayla Brantmeyer (Center Moriches), 17-11 1⁄4; Jasmine Poles (LeRoy), 17-11.
Discus — Division 1: Melissa Kurzdorfer (Lancaster), 158-1; Claire Dishong (Brockport), 140-11; Ashley Clasen (Shoreham-Wading River), 133-3. Division 2: Taylor Eldridge (Cleveland Hills), 131-7; Joann Koronios (Carle Place), 119-6; Rachel Roberts (Remsen), 118-6.
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Categories: High School Sports