La Salle’s track and field’s Hayes is headed to states

La Salle’s Gitch Hayes goes into turn 2 in the 800-meter race at the Section II state qualifier Thursday at Shenendehowa High School.
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La Salle’s Gitch Hayes goes into turn 2 in the 800-meter race at the Section II state qualifier Thursday at Shenendehowa High School.

CLIFTON PARK — La Salle Institute distance star Gitch Hayes will finally get a chance at some outdoor gold.

Hayes clinched his spot at next week’s New York championship track and field meet with a near-record victory in the Division 1 800-meter run, and prevailed in the 3,200 as well, at Thursday’s Section II state qualifier at Shenendehowa High School.

Hayes ran a personal-best 1:52.87 over the two laps and threatened the Section II 800 record of 1:51.51 that was set by John Maloy of Shaker at the 2006 state meet qualifier.

“I already had the super standard, but I had some people come out here to see me, so I tried to get that Section II record,” Hayes said. “I wanted to put on a show.”

He did just that in his first event of the day, and without much of a push, earned an opportunity to add more gold to his high school collection at the state meet set for June 10-11 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. The North Carolina-bound Hayes was among the state cross country champions in the fall and placed first at the indoor state meet in the 1,600.

“I want to win, and I want that Section II record,” said Hayes, who beat out Dan Malatesta of Niskayuna (1:55.79) for 800 honors. “I ran into a little wind today, and I had no one pushing me. Hopefully at states, I’ll have someone there with me.”

Hayes recently won Section II Group 2 titles in the 800 and 1,600, just as he had in the 2021 outdoor season, but there was no state meet to qualify for after that with its cancellation due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the same reason, the entire spring sports season was called off in 2020.

Hayes ran in the state qualifier as a freshman and placed fourth in the 1,600 and fifth in the 3,200 and did not advance.

“I didn’t make it, but I had a pretty good year,” Hayes said. “That’s the year I really started thinking seriously about running.”

Hayes won the Division 1 3,200 later Thursday in 9:20.17, with Peter Fulgieri of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake second (9:22.78).

GRIFFIN KEEPS COOL

Standout Shaker sophomore Leonni Griffin found herself running side by side with Alexandra O’Rourke of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake midway through the girls’ Division 1 800.

“Going in, I knew I had to run my own race. It was a matter of staying strong,” said the 15-year-old Griffin, who has been making headlines since her breakout seventh-grade cross country season. “If someone was with me, don’t worry. Don’t panic.”

Griffin made her winning move on the second backstretch, pulling away there and surging to the line in 2:13.19 to lock up her first outdoor state meet berth.

“In seventh grade, I placed second in the 800 and didn’t make it,” Griffin said. “I’m very excited, especially being the first time outdoors.”

While O’Rourke faded, Charlotte O’Meara of Bethlehem came on and placed second in 2:16.58, but catching Griffin wasn’t going to happen.

“I get to 200 [left], and it’s time to go,” Griffin said. “When I’m at 100, I’m thinking, ‘Can’t let anyone pass you.’”

The Shaker girls picked up three wins, with Kaleigh Higgins taking the 3,000 (10:01.30), and Julianna Mirable (66.36) clipping Guilderland’s Kate Scanlon (66.80) in the 400 hurdles. 

SALTSMAN HONING HIS CRAFT

Fonda-Fultonville senior Alex Saltsman wrapped up the Division 2 discus title when his first attempt in the finals sailed 186 feet, three inches. The University at Albany commit fouled on his next two throws, but didn’t mind at all, he said, because his focus in those efforts was all about form.

“Technique means more to me than distance at this time,” Saltsman said. “I have been trying to implement new techniques and fix things in championship throws. It’s a transition period.”

Saltsman said his discus throws include three entry elements, three midde elements and three finishing elements.

“I am trying to lock everything in,” Saltsman said. “At the same time, I am trying to bring heart and muscle to it.”

Saltsman threw a personal best 190-1 at the recent Western Athletic Conference championships, which leads the state.

“At the state meet, I will be looking for distance,” Saltsman said. “I want to get 200 at states. Of course, I want to win, too.”

Ean Comino of Cobleskill-Richmondville placed second in the Division 2 discus (136-5) and placed first in the D2 shot put (46-4). Saltsman also qualified for the state meet in the shot put by meeting the super standard earlier in the season.

DOUBLING UP

Jack Foster of Saratoga Springs won the D1 shot put (55-3) and discus (157-1), and Alex Wheeler of Columbia won the D1 long jump (21-8) and triple jump (45-.5).

Schalmont had a pair of D2 winners in Jack Gemmett (800, 1:57.98) and Abigail Hughes (400, 60.02).

BOYS

400 Div. 1 — Pochobradsky (Moh), 50.19; 2. Stodghill (LSI), 50.81; 3. Puglisi (BH), 51.40.

800 Div. 1 — Hayes (LSI), 1:52.87; 2. Malatesta (Nisk), 1:55.79; 3. Hesler (Nisk), 1:56.68.

3,200 Div. 1 — 1. Hayes (LSI), 9:20.17; 2. Fulgieri (BH), 9:22.78; 3. Talarico (Sara), 9:24.88.

400 hurdles Div. 1 — 1. Temple (Alb), 56.56; 2. Hannah (BS), 57.72; 3. Jack (S-G), 59.29.

High jump Div. 1 — 1. Ordonez (Troy), 6-2; 2. Xu (Shak), 6-1; 3. Luncheon-Lowrie (AA), 6-1.

Pole vault Div. 1 — 1. Decker (Shen), 13-3; 2. Holt (Beth), 12-3; 3. Mitola (Shen), 11-9.

Long jump Div. 1 — 1. Wheeler (Colum), 21-8; 2. Smith (Schdy), 20-7.50; 3. Nevin-D’Allaird (Moh), 20-6.25.

Triple jump Div. 1 — 1. Wheeler (Colum), 45-0.50; 2. Nevin-D’Allaird (Moh), 44-3; 3. Jerome (Gld), 41-2.25.

Shot put Div. 1 — Foster (Sara), 55-3; 2. McHeard (Amst), 53-11; 3. Amasha (LSI), 48-3.

Discus Div. 1 — Foster (Sara), 157-1; 2. McHeard (Amst), 150-10; 3. Ball (Qby), 140-0.

Pentathlon 110 hurdles Div. 1 — 1. Praileau (AA), 15.19; 2. Loupessis (AA), 15.74; 3. Sweet (AP), 17.23.

Pentathlon high jump Div. 1 — 1. Praileau (AA), 5-9.75; 2. Rando (Sara), 5-7.75; 3. Stevens (SGF), 5-5.75.

Pentathlon shot put Div. 1 — 1. Vaughn (Sara), 39-10.75; 2. Praileau (AA), 37-1.25; 3. Nuzzi (BH), 32-7.75.

400 Div. 2 — 1. Foote (C-R), 50.21; 2. Headen (Schuy), 51.33; 3. DeCelle (Coh), 51.59.

800 Div. 2 — 1. Gemmett (Schal), 1:57.98; 2. Booth (F-F), 2:00.94; 3. Corriveau (Warr), 2:03.39.

3,200 Div. 2 — 1. Melita (F-F), 10:06.27; 2. Corriveau (Warr), 10:13.46; 3. Russo (TH), 10:25.79.

400 hurdles Div. 2 — 1. Howard (TH), 55.39; 2. Charlebois (MH), 58.73; 3. Tyler (B-P), 1:00.46.

High jump Div. 2 — 1. Headen (Schuy), 6-2; 2. Hotaling (B-P), 6-1; 3. Williams (Coh), 5-10.

Pole vault Div. 2 — 1. Petersen (F-F), 15-0; 2. Dolan (LG), 11-3; 3. Vandoren (Gwch), 10-9.

Long jump Div. 2 — 1. Howard (TH), 22-7; 2. Bartlett (Tam), 21-6.25; 3. Bennett (Gwch), 20-7.50.

Triple jump Div. 2 — 1. O’Dell (B-P), 43-10.50; 2. Beckett (Lans), 43-5.25; 3. Bell (Midd), 43-1.25.

Shot put Div. 2 — 1. Comino (C-R), 46-4; 2. Day (Camb), 44-7; 3. Glasser (F-F), 43-5.50.

Discus Div. 2 — 1. Saltsman (F-F), 186-3; 2. Comino (C-R), 136-5; 3. Sencer (Lans), 127-9.

Pentathlon 110 hurdles Div. 2 — 1. Zaccaroli (TH), 19.10; 2. Ghorayeb (Stil), 19.59; 3. Olden (Warr), 21.35.

Pentathlon high jump Div. 2 — 1. Zaccaroli (TH), 5-3.75; 2. Ghorayeb (Stil), 4-11.75; 3. Olden (Warr), 4-9.75.

Pentathlon shot put Div. 2 — 1. Ghorayeb (Stil), 33-8.50; 2. Olden (Warr), 30-11.25; 3. Zaccaroli (TH), 28-0.75.

GIRLS

400 Div. 1 — 1. Wicks (AP), 57.83; 2. Donaldson (Shen), 58.05; 3. Luke (S-G), 58.85.

800 Div. 1 — 1. Griffin (Shak), 2:13.19; 2. O’Meara (Beth), 2:16.58; 3. Dunkel (Shak), 2:20.64.

3,000 Div. 1 — 1. Higgins (Shak), 10:01.30; 2. Wheeler (Sara), 10:14.19; 3. Powers (Qby), 10:33.92.

400 hurdles Div. 1 — 1. Mirabile (Shak), 1:06.36; 2. Scanlan (Gld), 1:06.80; 3. Healey (BS), 1:07.25.

Pentathlon 100 hurdles Div. 1 — 1. Rogers (Schdy), 15.99; 2. Beck (BS), 18.13; 3. Kerr (Gld), 18.39.

Pentathlon high jump Div. 1 — 1. Kerr (Gld), 4-10.25; 2. Duchaussee (Sara), 4-9; 3. Rogers (Schdy), 4-4.25.

Pentathlon shot put Div. 1 — Duchaussee (Sara), 29-0.50; 2. Beck (BS), 23-0.50; 3. Rogers (Schdy), 21-4.75.

400 Div. 2 — 1. Hughes (Schal), 1:00.02; 2. Melanson (IC), 1:01.38; 3. Pagnotta (Rav), 1:01.45.

800 Div. 2 — 1. Giumarra (NL), 2:28.66.

3,000 Div. 2 — 1. Sgambelluri (Gwch), 9:56.09; 2. Boler (AA), 10:21.63; 3. Squires (HV), 10:44.99.

400 hurdles Div. 2 — 1. Stark (Schuy), 1:09.90; 2. DeNinno (FP), 1:15.29.

Pentathlon 100 hurdles Div. 2 — 1. Khadijah (C-D), 16.95; 2. Smith (Coh), 18.08; 3. Burke (LG), 18.13.

Pentathlon high jump Div. 2 — 1. Khadijah (C-D), 4-7.75; T2. Smith (Coh), 4-5.50; T2. Cranker (F-F), 4-5.50.

Pentathlon shot put Div. 2 — 1. Burke (LG), 26-11.75; 2. Khadijah (C-D), 25-4.50; 3. Seguin (W-H), 24-11.75.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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