Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake volleyball star Siena Wilder has made a verbal commitment to play for the the University at Buffalo.
The defensive specialist excelled in back-to-back state championship runs for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, and in February was selected to the PrepVolleyball.com High School All-America team.
“They’re getting an athletic libero who is really going to be an anchor to their defense,” BH-BL coach Gary Bynon said of the 5-foot-5 state tournament Class A most valuable player. “And right off the rip, she’ll be one of their best servers.”
Wilder took official trips to Syracuse, New Hampshire and Buffalo before deciding to play for the Division I Bulls and coach Todd Kress. Buffalo competes in the Mid-American Conference.
“Coach Kress is doing a nice job of building that program,” said Bynon. “One of his goals is getting some of the better players in the state to go there.”
Wilder amassed 564 digs as a senior, including 38 when the Spartans beat Pittsford Sutherland in four sets for the state championship. Wilder had 504 digs as a junior, with 28 of them coming in BH-BL’s four-set state title-winning effort against Our Lady of Mercy.
“She plays great in big games,” said Bynon of the four-year varsity performer.
Wilder had 68 aces and 44 assists during her senior season, and was only the third BH-BL player to garner All-America accolades.
A high-honors student, Wilder will study occupational therapy at Buffalo.
Niskayuna leads section
Niskayuna placed second among the boys’ ski teams, and Shenendehowa and Colonie combined for seven top-10 teams in the winter portion of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association’s Scholar/Athlete Team Award program.
Varsity teams that achieve classroom averages of 90 and above earn scholar/athlete designation. Section II had 191 teams honored with 2,124 participants.
Niskayuna averaged 96.463 to finish second behind Honeoye Falls-Lima (96.696). Queensbury and Shenendehowa placed fourth (96.086) and eighth (94.684), respectively, in boys’ skiing.
Colonie placed third (96.195) in girls’ bowling, seventh (97.559) in girls’ indoor track and eighth (97.404) in boys’ indoor track. Shenendehowa placed fourth (94.542) in wrestling, 10th (95.838) in boys’ swimming and diving and 10th (95.964) in girls’ skiing.
Queensbury took fifth (96.514) and Johnstown was eighth (96.329) in girls’ skiing, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake was eighth (97.538) in girls’ indoor track and Greenville was eighth (96.918) in girls’ basketball.
Winkler national champ
Averill Park senior Rudy Winkler successfully defended his hammer throw championship at the New Balance Nationals indoor meet over the weekend at The Armory in New York City.
Winkler set a personal best, and recorded the fifth-best mark in high school history, with his winning throw of 83 feet, 6 inches. Four of his throws would have been good for the title, each of them better than a 78-23⁄4 turned in by St. Edward of Ohio runner-up Aaron Zedella.
Competing as Kinetic Running Club, Saratoga Springs placed fourth (17:27.31) in the boys’ 4 x mile relay with Evan Quinones, Travis Briggs, Joe Verro and Jay Navin. The Kinetic girls placed sixth (21:05.96) in the 4 x mile with Sarah Morin, Spencer Hayes, Keelin Hollowood and Taylor Driscoll. In the girls’ distance medley relay, Holy Names took eighth (12:07.06) with Leah Triller, Kaitlin Close, Estela Smith and Catherine Maloy.
Devon Willis of Schalmont was eighth in the triple jump with a personal-best 47-33⁄4, and Kara Snyder of Colonie went 11-7 for eighth in the pole vault.
Ichabod Crane (21-1) won its third straight Class B boys’ regional volleyball championship Saturday with a 25-23, 25-21, 25-17 sweep of Section III’s Oneida at Cobleskill-Richmondville High School.
Alex Potts, the Riders’ 6-foot-6 senior middle, had 23 kills and six blocks. Tyler Jablanski assisted on 28 points, and Derrick Fenoff added nine kills, his last clinching the match.
Section III’s Mount Markham completed a perfect season with a three-set sweep of Coxsackie-Athens in the Class C regional contest.
Ryan Gordon became Shenendehowa’s first swimmer to win two individual Federation titles at the same state meet, and set a pair of Section II records, as well, at Webster Schroeder High School.
The junior had the fastest times among the New York State Public High School Athletic Association athletes and the Federation (all organizations combined) athletes in the 200-yard individual medley (1:49.89) and the 100-yard backstroke (49.40).
“He’s super talented, but he remains hungry,” said Shenendehowa coach Chuck Dunham.
Gordon took down the oldest Section II swimming record in the books when he swam a 1:52.31 in the 200 IM preliminaries, besting the 1:52.52 produced by Sean Maxwell of Troy in 1990.
“We thought he was going to be in good shape for the final,” said Dunham. “In the last 50 free in his prelim, he shut it down, and he was still able to do that.”
Gordon achieved automatic All-America status with his 1:49.89 in the 200 IM.
“He swam one of the smartest, toughest, intelligent races I’ve seen in my time. He put it all together,” said Dunham. “All of the other coaches were impressed, too.”
Gordon went 50.73 in the 100 back prelims, and came back with his automatic All-American 49.40 in the final. He had set the Section II record as a sophomore at the state meet with a 50.13, which was good for first (NYSPHSAA) and third (Federation), respectively.
“He was going against a kid who had six inches on him,” Dunham said of Fordham Prep’s Patrick Conaton, who finished in 49.60. “Ryan had that determination to touch the wall first.”
Gordon, his brother Luke, Eric Tsui and Mike Conley went 1:36.99 in the 200 medley relay final (third NYSPHSAA, fourth Federation) to just miss the Section II record of 1:36.22 they set at the Feb. 16 area championships.
Gordon, Conley, Tsui and Nick Hooper went 1:27.75 in the 200 free relay final (third NYSPHSAA, fifth Federation) to threaten Bethlehem’s Section II record (1:27.04, 1997).
“We sent 10, which was our largest group ever, and they represented our team, school and community very well,” said Dunham. “It was a great way to finish a great year. This was a special year in every way imaginable.”
Shenendehowa went 12-0 in dual meets, won Suburban Council and Section II titles, and at the March 1-2 state event placed second (NYSPHSAA) and fourth (Federation), respectively, in the team standings.