By the numbers: Busy state championships weekend ahead

Area teams eye swim, track, gymnastics, cheer titles
Saratoga Springs senior Shea Weilbaker is bidding for his fourth state running title.
Saratoga Springs senior Shea Weilbaker is bidding for his fourth state running title.

It’s a big weekend for Section II swimmers and divers, gymnasts, cheerleaders, and indoor track and field athletes, all of them scheduled for state competitions at locations throughout New York.

The state swimming and diving event runs Friday and Saturday at the Nassau Aquatic Center in Long Island. On Saturday, the state gymnastics meet is at Cold Spring Harbor High School; the state competitive cheer finals are at Rochester Institute of Technology, and the state track and field championships are at Ocean Breeze Track & Field Complex in Staten Island.

Here are 10 cool numbers ahead of the state competitions.


Distance, in meters, Colonie senior Josiah Kemp will run as part of his busy state track meet. Kemp will run the 55 hurdles as well as the 55 dash after winning those events at the Section II qualifying meet, and participate in the Garnet Raiders’ 4×200 relay that also prevailed at the state qualifier. Kemp just missed the state podium last year with a seventh in the 55 hurdles.


Chidera Anameze’s placement in the girls’ weight throw at the 2018 state track and field meet with her effort of 38 1/4. The Shenendehowa senior has made significant strides since then, and won the Section II qualifier with a 48 3/4 — a distance that would have been good for third a year ago at the state event. Anameze was also best in the shot put at the Section II qualifier.


Rachel Drislane’s all-around placement, which included a fifth on the balance beam, when she anchored the Section II state gymnastics team in 2017. The versatile Guilderland senior also placed ninth on the floor in 2018, and 22nd all-around. She will compete in all four individual events Saturday, while Guilderland’s Allison Rem and Bethlehem’s Alison Gray will both compete in three individual events.


All-around finish for Saratoga Springs gymnast Ava Dallas at the 2018 state meet, which led the Section II contingent. Dallas also had the area’s best individual-event result with a seventh in vaulting. The sophomore will again compete in the all-around with schoolmates Laura Eberlein — this year’s Section II all-around winner — and Sophia Damiano. Damiano was 17th all-around at the 2018 state championships.


Number of feet Lena Calkins of Mohonasen cleared when she placed ninth in the pole vault at the 2018 state track and field meet, while her schoolmate Emily Racana finished 14th at 10-6. The two seniors will again represent Section II after going one-two, respectively, at the Section II qualifier. Before that, Calkins won the Section II Division 3 title, and Racana won the Colonial Council title.


Guilderland’s placement in the co-ed competition at the 2018 cheer championships, which led Section II. Guilderland is headed to its fourth state event and will be joined by Shenendehowa (Division 1 Large), Shaker (Division 2 Large) and Scotia-Glenville (Division 2 Small).


State title quest for Saratoga Springs senior Shea Weilbaker, who will go after his second straight 3,200 indoor championship after securing New York cross country honors this past fall and state outdoor 3,200 honors last spring. The Georgetown-bound distance runner ran a state-best 9:07.29 in the 3,200 in early January at the Ocean Breeze Freedom Games.


State cheer championships staged before Saturday’s event at RIT. In the winter of 2015, several postseason regional competitions were held for the first time after competitive cheer was recognized as an official sport by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association in 2014. The first full state meet was held in 2016, with Scotia-Glenville and Mohonasen among the area reps.


Of the 53 swimmers entered in the state 200-yard individual medley, this number has clocked a 1:52 this season, including Shenendehowa senior Jackson Homan with his 1:52.52. Homan set a Section II championship meet record with his time, and is seeded second behind Justin Whang of Great Neck South (1:52.47).


State swim meet seed position for Niskayuna’s 200-yard freestyle relay team among New York State Public High School Athletic Association entrants. Niskayuna’s Bryan Liu, Victor Schingo, Mark Lipkin and Scott Ward set a Section II record with their 1:26.30 at the area championship meet. St. Anthony’s (1:25.21) and Chaminade (1:26.08) are No. 1 and 2 ahead of Niskayuna in the Federation (all state organizations) seeds.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Jim Schiltz at 518-395-3143, [email protected] or @jim_schiltz on Twitter.

Categories: -Sports-, High School Sports, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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