Shenendehowa’s Braiden Pulver, Ballston Spa’s Harriet Healey and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s girls’ 1,600-meter relay team were among the Section 2 athletes to take home titles Friday during the opening day of competition in the NYSPHSAA outdoor track and field championships at Middletown High School.
Healey won a thrilling race in the Division 2 girls’ 400 hurdles, finishing in one minute, 2.61 seconds to beat out Cornwall’s Caigan Leonard by 0.07 seconds. Columbia freshman Ava Weiss finished third in 1:03.43.
Pulver unleashed a throw of 55 feet, 8 inches on his second-to-last attempt to take home the championship in the Division 1 boys’ shot put. Pulver also finished seventh in the Division 1 discus.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake won the Division 1 girls’ 1,600 relay as the team of Samantha Torres, Cassidy Robleno, Alexandra O’Rourke and Mia Paolino finished in 3:52.65, with Guilderland’s foursome of Megan Swan, Saida Assabahi, Addison Vellekoop and Kendall Barnhart in second in 3:55.20.
Taconic Hills’ Neil Howard had a huge day on Friday, winning the Federation and Division 2 titles in the boys’ pole vault by clearing 15-6, and won the Division 2 400 hurdles in 53.21. Howard was also the top qualifier for Saturday’s final in the Division 2 110 hurdles.
Queensbury’s Kyle Ball earned the Division 1 boys’ discus championship with a throw of 164-9.
Other top boys’ finishers on Friday included Niskayuna’s Ryan Hesler, third in Division 1 and the Federation in the 800 in 1:53.22.
Saratoga Springs’ Joao Anjos Dos Neto was third in the Division 1 pole vault with a best height of 14-0. Albany Academy’s Bashir Praileau was third in the Division 1 long jump (22-2). Colonie’s Brandon Gordon was third in the Division 1 400 (48.94).
On the girls’ side, Saratoga Springs’ Amelia McBain was the Division 1 and Federation runner-up in the pole vault, clearing 12-3. Guilderland’s Vellekoop was second in Division 1 and third in the Federation in the 800 (2:07.80), with Shaker’s Leonni Griffin (2:08.57) finishing one spot behind her. Greenwich’s Kiersten Alling was second in the Division 2 discus with a throw of 127-0. Guilderland’s Barnhart was third in the Division 1 400 meters in 57.06, and teammate Kadija Sano was third in the Division 1 shot put (38-11). Stillwater’s Izzy Mack took third in the Division 2 long jump (17-7.5).
Guilderland’s foursome of Tatum Cramer, Assabahi, Swan and Barnhart was second in the 400 relay (48.23).