A pair of sprint records, a relay sweep and an impressive display in the field were all part of Colonie’s domination at the Schenectady Girls’ Invitational Tuesday at Larry Mulvaney Field.
The Garnet Raiders placed first in 12 events, added a couple of seconds and piled up 187 points to easily outdistance Queensbury and defend their team title.
“They have balance. They have everything,” Schenectady coach Joe Yamin said. “It’s three words. Track and field. You’ve got to have both to win championships. They’re awfully, awfully tough.”
Versatile Kyle Plante took down meet records in winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Colonie athletes were victorious in the 400, 1,600 and 3,200 relays, and Siena-bound basketball star Tehresa Coles prevailed the shot put and discus
Queensbury was the only other school that had multiple winners, with Megan Kellogg (800), all-stater Brittany Winslow (1,500) and Jolie Navatka (3,000) taking the distance events.
“As a team, we did well across the board,” said Colonie senior Emilia Sainato, who won the 100 high hurdles before kicking off a triumphant 400 relay effort. “It was perfect weather, not too cold and not too hot, and we were all in a good mood, ready to run. We run better when we’re not stressed.”
Colonie not only captured its fourth consecutive team crown, but also its sixth in nine years, and seventh going back to 1999. Fellow Suburban Council school Shaker earned team titles from 2003-05 before Colonie’s recent string of championships.
“We love this meet. You never get to run at night, so it’s a kind of special in that way, plus it’s a great track to run on,” said Colonie coach Jennifer Jette. “We’ll keep coming, as long as they’ll have us.”
Colonie’s Amy Becker, Kiersten Kaminski, Shannen Kerin and Katie Woodworth each ran a personal best in a winning 3,200 relay (9:40.16), Sainato followed with her victory in the 100 high hurdles (14.70), and Plante set her meet
record in the 100 (12.24) soon after to set the tone for the meet.
“I saw 13 on the board, and I just gritted my teeth,” said Sainato, after cracking 15.0 for the first time this season. “I wanted it. I was aggressive.”
Sainato ran with great determination, motivated in part by a spill at Bethlehem’s invitaional earlier in the season.
“I was at Bethlehem a couple of weeks ago, and clicked the ninth hurdle. Before I knew it, I was face down on the track. I had never fallen before, and it hurt,” she said. “Ever since then I’ve told myself, ‘I’m going to get over every hurdle.’”
Plante beat Schenectady ace Dhani Anderson (13.0) to the finish line in the 100. Anderson was also part of the Lady Patriots’ runner-up 400 relay.
“I was hoping for second. I knew I wasn’t going to get first. You can’t hold any illiusions in track,” Anderson said of the 100 dash. “She’s [Plante] really impressive, considering she’s only a junior. She’s going to go far if she stays with it.”
“She looked great,” Jette said of Plante, who is only in her second season as an outdoor competitor. “It’s reaction and getting out of the blocks, and she got out well in both of her races. She stayed composed and ran well . . . She’s fast.”
Plante beat the meet 100 record of 12.39 set by Holy Names star Klarissa Ricks last year. Plante later ran a meet-record 24.62 in the 200, besting the 25.2 produced by Aliann Pompey of Cohoes in 1995.
“I just wanted to run. I felt real good. I felt very powerful,” said Plante. “I thought my warmups were good, and that was important. I was sweating. I was loose. I felt 100 percent at the line.”
Plante ran a 24.91 in the 200 preliminary for a area season best before going even faster and beating out Niskayuna’s Victoria Engvold in the final.
“I still have a lot to go,” Plante said. “I want to go faster. I still have a lot of training to do.”
And some big decisions to make as far as next month’s state meet. Plante won the 400 hurdles at the 2010 state meet and ran on Colonie’s 1,600 relay, but is also a standout competitior in the 100 hurdles, high jump and long jump, and says she enjoys the pentathlon.
“We have to talk to her and see what she wants to do. We also have to see where she fits in with the team. She likes to do her individual thing, but she also likes to run
relays,” Jette said. “We’re keeping our options open.”
Uwa Omorogbe gave Colonie a win in the 400 (59.01) and joined with Andrea Guidarelli, Kristina Lenge and Maleesa Santos for a first in the 1,600 relay (4:11.18). Sainato, Kwandi Young, Jaimee Walters and Racquel Cunningham coupled for a win in the 400 relay (51.34).
Coles established an area-best in the discus (118-3) to go along with her first-place effort in the shot put (38-3⁄4).
“She could be on the sprint team. She can run, but she’s found her nitch there,” Jette said of Coles. “She’s tall, athletic and quick, and that makes a great thrower.”
Kara Snyder placed first in the pole vault (9-6), and Colonie got additional wins from Cunningham in the long jump (17-0) and Amie Jefferson in the triple jump (34-101⁄4).
“Our coaches are happy if we do our best,” said Sainato. “If we can come out and win a meet, it’s even better.”
Categories: High School Sports