CLIFTON PARK — All Ballston Spa sophomore Gabrielle Bozeth needed to do on Friday afternoon at the Section 2 track and field state qualifiers was manage to stay on her feet.
At least, long enough to cross the finish line in the girls’ Division 1 200-meter dash, in order to secure a spot at states.
“Around 10 meters to the finish, I knew I was falling,” Bozeth said. “I almost fell on my face there, but as long as I hit the finish line, I was happy. I fell, but I didn’t care.”
Bozeth stayed up just long enough, earning first place in the 200-meter dash, before eventually tumbling after crossing the finish line.
“It was so worth it,” she said
Having just raced in the 100-meter dash, where she came in second place with a personal-best time of 12.53, Bozeth got right back to it for the 200.
Her time of 25.17, also a personal record, was enough to secure the win.
“Dude, the first 100 meters, I was so out of breath because I just did the 100 finals,” Bozeth said. “I didn’t think I was going to even pull through, and then I did.”
“I did not expect to be going to states,” she added, “but I’m really happy I am.”
ROGERS WINS 100-METER HURDLES FOR SCHENECTADY
Schenectady senior Niomi Rogers has been waiting for the opportunity to go to states for her entire varsity career.
On Friday, after winning the Section 2 Division 1 girls’ 100-meter hurdles, she will finally get that chance.
“It’s a big accomplishment because I’ve been trying since freshman year,” Rogers said. “Being stuck inside for so long during COVID messed me up for awhile, and I hadn’t really been in it.”
Her time of 15.12 not only secured her first place, but was a personal best, as well as a school record for Schenectady, by about half a second.
“I wasn’t really sure coming into today, but then my coach talked me up and I started feeling better,” Rogers said. “My goal is always to be the best. I just had to believe in myself, keep pushing myself and it feels great to finally accomplish that today.”
NISKAYUNA GIRLS WIN 400 RELAY
The Niskayuna foursome of Inara Bradford, Skye Linyear, Isabella Martinez and Kaleigh West combined for a time of 48:75 to secure a victory in the Division 1 400-meter relay.
“I remember my first year being told I wouldn’t make it to states, but here we are baby,” said Martinez. “I’m really proud of this moment and of us for getting here.”
West, who finished off the final leg of the relay, came in just ahead of Bozeth.
“We’ve been working really hard on strengthening ourselves mentally and physically, so it feels really good to be where we are right now,” West said. “I know we’re all really excited to be able to keep going.”
“Honestly, it’s cool to have older and younger teammates,” Bradford said on being part of a relay team of various ages. “I feel like an older sister to Syke, but a younger sister to Kaleigh and Izzy. We’re all like a family, and we all push each other to reach our goals.”
SARATOGA SPRINGS BOYS WIN 3,200 RELAY
The Blue Streaks saw themselves as the favorite entering the boys’ Division 1 3,200-meter relay, but they knew there was still a race to run.
The Saratoga Springs team of Charlie Dybala, Andrew Hope, Mason Talarico and Jacob Bernd ran for a combined time of 7:54.36, edging CBA by about two seconds.
“We thought we were the favorite to win it, but we knew it was going to be a hard race and it definitely was,” said Bernd. “There was never a moment we knew we had it, until we crossed the finish line, and that’s what makes it fun.”
It was Dybala that gave the Blue Streaks the start they needed, before passing the baton off to Hope, Talarico and eventually Bernd.
“In the 4 by 800, it’s so much easier once you get away from all the traffic in the beginning,” Dybala said. “You can lose a lot of time if you get stuck there, so I was definitely trying to get out quickly.”
“My biggest challenge in my previous races was the last 200 meters,” said Bernd, who ran the final leg. “I’ve been pretty strong for the first 600 meters, and today was a little scary because they were pretty close to us. Now, we could’ve gotten second and still had a chance to go to states, but we didn’t want to risk it.”
“The win was the guarantee, especially since the competition was so tight.”
MORE STANDOUT MOMENTS
Running in the 2,000-meter steeplechase, Saratoga Springs senior Sheridan Wheeler set a Section 2 record with a time of 6:34.24.
Wheeler’s time beat the previous record of 6:36.05 set by Saratoga Springs’ Lindsey Ferguson in 2006.
The Blue Streaks also had Emily Bush win the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:31.68, while Amelia McBain won the pole vault at 12-1.
The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls’ relay teams took home two victories in the 1,600 and 3,200 events. The team of Sam Torres, Cassidy Robleno, Alexandra O’Rourke and Mia Paolino recorded a time of 3:45.31 to win the 1,600-meter relay.
The team of Addison Cyr, Julia James, Kiernan Crary-Gracz and Quinn Stowell-Melley posted a winning mark of 9:26.68 in the 3,200 relay.
Schalmont’s Maylena Palluti won the girls’ Division 2 100-meter dash with a time of 12.73, a personal record.
100 — Cramer (Guild), 12.31; 200 — Bozeth (BS), 25.17; 800 — Powers (Qby), 2:10.44; 1,500 — Bush (Sara), 4:31.68; 100 HH — Rogers (Schen), 15.12; 2000 Steeple — S. Wheeler (Sara), 6:34.24; 400 relay — Niskayuna (Bradford, Linyear, Martinez, West), 48.75; 1,600 relay — Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (Torres, Robleno, O’Rourke, Paolino), 3:54.31; 3,200 relay — Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake (Cyr, James, Crary-Gracz, Stowell-Melley), 9:26.68; High jump — Liu (Guild), 5-3; Long jump — Cramer (Guild), 17-10; Triple jump — Farmer (Beth), 38-4.25; Shot put — Sano (Guild), 37-8.75; Discus — Dochat (Shen), 121-5; Pole vault — McBain (Sara), 12-1.
100 — Palluti (Schal), 12.73; 200 — Melanson (IC), 25.83; 800 — Sassatelli (HV), 2:19.21; 1,500 — Rogan (Schuy), 4:49.43; 100 HH — Klein (Coble), 16.26; 2000 steeple — Squires (HV), 7:42.65; 400 relay — Stillwater (Coon, Estill, Moran, Mack), 50.25; 1,600 relay — Albany Academy for Girls (Choma, Frazier, Gorospe, Pringle), 4:12.25; 3,200 relay — Hoosic Valley (Coffin, Sassatelli, Smith, Squires), 10:07.35; High jump — Seymour (AHN), 5-4; Long jump — Mack (Still), 17-5.25; Triple jump — Moran (Still), 36-5; Shot put — Alling (Greenwich), 35-5; Discus — Collins (Greenwich), 119-6; Pole vault — Stark (Schuy), 10-0.
100 — Caprood (Qby), 10.99; 200 — Lester (Colu), 21.81; 1,600 — Richard (Alb), 4:18.54; 110 HH — Loupessis (AA), 14.95; 3000 steeple — Doll (Shen), 9:41.20; 400 relay — Colonie (Fox, Gordon, Ploof, Goddard), 42.69; 1,600 relay — Colonie (Fox, Goddard, Norris, Gordon), 3:22.07; 3,200 relay — Saratoga Springs (Dybala, Bernd, Talarico, Hope), 7:54.36.
100 — Rushia (Warren), 11.19; 200 — Shull (CC), 22.49; 1,600 — Zazarro (Still), 4:24; 110 HH — Howard (TH), 14.86; 3000 steeple — Melita (FF), 9:58.20; 400 relay — Tamarac (Stifter, Price, Heinrichs, Angell), 44.79; 1,600 relay — Broadalbin-Perth (Hotaling, Smith, Couperus, VanAlstine), 3:28.40; 3,200 relay — Fonda-Fultonville (Garcia, Melita, Sanges, Bluvas), 8:14.48.