ALBANY — Admittedly, qualifying for states during the indoor season is much different than during the more classic outdoor competitions, but the thrill of reaching long-term personal goals and squaring off against the elite scholastic track and field athletes in New York is still a huge deal for area standouts.
Sunday’s Section II Indoor State Qualifier at the University at Albany brought the best of the best from both the large and small schools throughout the greater Capital Region, and precious few spots were up for grabs for next weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships at Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex on Staten Island.
The top two in each event from Sunday’s qualifier, plus a third if he or she reached a set qualifying time or distance standard, advanced. Several local standouts had already qualified for outdoor states, and they can’t wait to try their luck indoors.
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons senior Areyanna Crumble won the 55 meter hurdles in 8.74, just edging Amsterdam senior Gabby Stanavich by .005.
“This will be my first time indoors for states,” Crumble said. “I went to outdoor states just once, and it was in the 100 hurdles and the 200 dash. I did amazing outdoors. It was a blessing just to be there. I made it to the finals.”
This season, Crumble concentrated on just one event.
“The 55 hurdles was my main focus and my main goal for indoors,” she said. “Indoor hurdles is a lot different. For one thing, it’s a lot shorter than outdoors. At the start of the race, I’m just praying to get off to a good start. My mom is constantly drilling into me to be aggressive at the start and then let God take care of everything else.
“I was raised without a lot of access to track and stuff like that,” Crumble added. “I had to work with what I had. But I’ve always been told there is nothing stopping you. I work hard every day, whether it be running or working on my abs or doing a lot of pushups. Anything that helps me toward that goal.”
And what exactly is that goal?
“My goal is to make my mark wherever God takes me,” she said. “I would love to run in college.”
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake senior Rory Graham won the 1,000 meters in 3:01.16, and she knows what it’s like to compete at the states both indoors and outdoors.
“This is my second 1,000 individually, and I also qualified for the intersectional relay my sophomore year,” Graham said. “In outdoors, I qualified once in the 800 meters and once in the 4×800 relay. I think there is a big difference between outdoor and indoor competition. During the indoor meets, it’s hard to gauge how you are doing. Outdoors, everyone runs on the same type of track, and you can see your competition better. Sometimes, indoor tracks are banked or are different distances. Plus, the standards you have to reach are very hard. That’s everyone’s goal — to get your qualifying standards in before the qualifying meets so you don’t have to run the race of your life just to get to states.”
One of the double winners Sunday was Saratoga Springs freshman Ella Kurto, the next in a long line of exceptional distance runners for the Blue Streaks. She won both the 1,500 and 3,000, but both she and co-coach Art Kranick said she won’t be running the 1,500 at states.
“I wanted to try to qualify in the 1,500 because I wanted to help my teammates make it to states. It’s a more fun experience to have more teammates there,” Kurto said. “I prefer the 3,000. I like to go out early in races. I would probably work more on the shorter stuff like the 200s and 400s to have more of a sprint at the end of I was going to run more 1,500s on a regular basis,” she said.
Kurto said she takes being a Saratoga Springs distance runner very seriously.
“There is a great tradition here,” she said. “You have to put in the effort every day and keep a good pace with your workouts. You just keep working and things will work out for you.”
Other exceptional performances for the girls included Schalmont junior Mia D’Ambrosio’s win in the 55 meter dash, a double by Guilderland’s Isabella Bruno in the long jump and triple jump, another double by Shenendehowa senior Chidera Anameze in the shot put and weight throw and Mohonasen senior Lena Calkins’ victory in the pole vault.
Saratoga Springs distance star Kelsey Chmiel didn’t compete in Sunday’s meet.
For the boys, Colonie senior Josiah Kemp won both the 55 meter dash and the 55 hurdles along with anchoring the Garnet Raiders’ winning 4×200 meter relay.
Scotia-Glenville junior Josh Jeffes captured the 600 meter run, Guilderland senior Nicholas Soldevere won the 1,000 meter run and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake senior Nick Hunziker took the 1,600 meter run.
Saratoga Springs senior Shea Weilbaker was victorious in the 3,200 meter run, and Shenendehowa slipped past the Blue Streaks in a thrilling 4×800 meter relay, winning by just .Saratoga Springs senior Shea Weilbaker was victorious in the 3,200 meter run, and Shenendehowa slipped past the Blue Streaks in a thrilling 4×800 meter relay, winning by just .41 of a second.
Mohonasen senior Elijah Harris won the high jump, and Averill Park senior James Cocca doubled in the shot put and weight throw.
55 – Mia D’Ambrosio (Schal) 7.24, Charli Beekman (Amst) 7.46, Kaleigh West (Nisky) 7.48. 300 – Lauren Santiago (Amst) 41.44, Mia D’Ambrosio (Schal) 42.14, Rachel Sterle (Shen) 42.27. 600 – Quinn Collins (Greenw) 1:39.69, Hannah Lewis (BH) 1:40.20, Kaiden Ring (Colum) 1:40.25. 1,000 – Rory Graham (BH) 3:01.16, Kathryn Tenney (Colon) 3:05.22, Leonni Griffin (Shak) 3:10.11. 1,500 – Ella Kurto (Sar) 4:49.15, Faith DeMars (BS) 4:51.25, McKinley Wheeler (Sar) 4:52.11. 3,000 – Ella Kurto (Sar) 10:04.13, Faith DeMars (BS) 10:21.43, Kaleigh Higgins (Shak) 10:24.55. 55 hurdles – Areyanna Crumble (ND-BG) 8.74, Gabby Stanavich (Amst) 8.79, Lucia D’Acchille (Greenw) 8.92. 4×200 relay – Shenendehowa (Rachel Sterle, Antonia Brancato, Haylee Eversten, Lauren Daigle), 1:50.98; Albany (Kayla Charles, Abiyah Yahudah-Edward, Syaira Liverpool, Qaliyjah Lomack), 1:51.80, Shaker, 1:55.31. 4×400 relay – Niskayuna (Marissa Wise, Zoe Harris, Alexa Smith, Kristen Koes), 4:11.14; Columbia (Angelina Broga, Kaiden Ring, Emma Golden, Cidnee Cornwall), 4:16.95, Guilderland, 4:19.10. 4×800 relay – Shenendehowa (Jade Dennis, Madeleine Festin, Hannah Belleville, Jada Dennis), 9:28.99, Niskayuna (Madeleine Beltramo, Madeleine Hesler, Charlotte Kokernak, Skyler Smith), 9:31.03; Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, 10:01.55.
High jump – Anna Evans (Sar) 5-2; Isabella Bruno (Guild) 5-0, Mackenzi Barcomb (Tam) 5-0; Pole vault – Lena Calkins (Mohon 10-6, Emily Racana (Mohon) 10-0; Aleah Smith (Shen 9-6. Long jump – Isabella Bruno (Guild) 17-9., Olivia Chamberlain (C-R) 17-5.25, Kristina Koes (Nisky) 17-5. Triple jump – Isabella Bruno (Guild) 37-4, Michael Schaffer (Shen) 35-1; Julissa Forde (Shak) 35-4. Shot put – Chidera Anameze (Shen) 42-2.25, Madel Duchausse (Sar) 38-7.25, Chidalu Anameze (Shen) 36-10. Weight throw – Chidera Anameze (Shen) 48-00.75; Lea Richard (SGF) 43-1.75, Chidalu Anameze (Shen) 42-3.75. 1,500 race walk – Katie Rose (HV) 8:16.67, Olivia Snell (Greenw) 8:49.38, Liza Johnson (Shak) 9:18.63.
55 – Josiah Kemp (Colon) 6.57, Trebor Davis (Schen) 6.65, Ahmad Prailieu (AA) 6.70. 300 – Jason Rappazzo (Beth) 37.85, Jaylen Pritchet (HF) 38.02, Anthony Cozzy (Colum) 38.58. 600 – Josh Jeffes (S-G) 1:26.52, Rece Gobel (BH) 1:26.60, Tyler Lopresti (Colum) 1:26.84. 1,000 – Nicholas Solvedere (Guild) 2:35.95, Antonio Beltran (Schal) 2:36.96, Evan Brennan (BH) 2:37.06. 1,600 – Nick Hunziker (BH) 4:33.41, Matt Cavaliere (Beth) 4:33.49, T.J. Randall (Shak) 4:33.98. 3,200 run – Shea Weilbaker (Sar) 9:25.56, Tyler Berg (BH) 9:28.21, Aidan Gillooley (BH) 9:34.85. 55 hurdles – Josiah Kemp (Colon) 7.52, Cristian Hubbard (Colon) 7.77, Ahmad Prailieu (AA) 7.86. 4×200 relay – Colonie (Fabien DaSilva, Michael Hermance, Cristan Hubbard, Josiah Kemp) 1:36.29, Shenendehowa (Jaron Meyer, Shawn Oh, Jaylin Sykes, Colin Tower), 1:37.03, Schenectady, 1:38.41. 4×400 relay – Colonie (Hailian McQueen, William Wallace, Andy Tucker, Nathaniel LaSorba), 3:44.19, Saratoga Springs (Payton Baldwin, Tom Bradley, Braden Flanders, Charlie Liebers), 3:48.06. 4×800 relay – Shenendehowa (Odin Schaepkens, Aidan Hickey, Nolan Hickey, Alex Hislop), 8:17.55, Saratoga Springs (Noah Flanders, Peter Moller, Ran Postlethwait, Ezra Ruggle), 8:17.96, Columbia, 8:27.95.
High jump – Elijah Harris (Mohon) 6-3, Sean Meher (B-P) 6-2, Sean Stewart (BH) 6-2. Pole vault ‑ Donald Jones (AA) 15-0, Shane Racey (RCS) 150, Zach Hotaling (AP( 13-6. Long jump – Ahmad Praileau (AA) 21-5.75, AJ Weinstein (Colum) 21-4.75, Sean Meher (B-P) 21-1.5. Triple jump – AJ Weinstein (Colum) 46-3.75, Colin James (Schen) 45-0, Sean Meher (B-P) 44-5.5. Shot put – James Cocca (AP) 51-11.25, Adrian Sanders (Schen) 51-0.75, Kyle Gregor (Shen) 50-7.5. Weight throw – James Cocca (AP( 67-2.25, Nicholas Seidou-Bakari (Colon) 60-0.75, Andrew Stein (Beth) 57-8.75.