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Schenectady's strategy pays off at track sectionals

Schenectady's strategy pays off at track sectionals

Schenectady's strategy pays off at track sectionals
Maazin Ahmed of Schenectady won the boys' 1,600 at Monday's Division 1 indoor track sectionals.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

ALBANY — Maazin Ahmed was the lone Schenectady athlete to earn a patch at last year’s Section II Division 1 indoor track and field champ­ionship meet when he held on for third in the 600-meter run.

The junior doubled that output Monday which included a distance win, and the resurgent Patriots also prevailed sprinting, jumping and even walking at the University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena.

“Coach gave us a little speech,” Ahmed said after running a leg on Schenec­tady’s second-place 1,600 relay. “He said, ‘We’ve got to come strong. We’ve got to win some.’ ”

It had been some time since a Patriot won an individual title at the large-school indoor sectionals, with Keilan McMillan-Moss taking the boys’ high jump in 2011. Schenectady won the boys’ 800 relay in 2015.
Along with Ahmed, Colin James, Trebor Davis and Mary Liebers secured first-place patches Monday.

“We usually have kids do three events, but we pared it down to two for most of them because we wanted to keep them fresh,” Schenectady coach Joe Bennett said. “We wanted titles and patches [top three finishes], but we didn’t want to burn them before next week’s state qualifier. Our ult­imate goal for the season, right off the get-go, was to get on the state meet bus. No one went last year.”

Monday was a sign that this year may be different.

“A lot of it has to do with how we practice,” James, the Division 1 triple jump champ­ion, said. “Everyone has competition. We push each other, and that makes us better.”

James produced a personal-best 42-2 1/2 for his triple-jump victory, taking a huge stride forward after finishing 10th last year with a 37-8 3/4.

“I was behind a kid from Saratoga and got it on the last jump of the finals,” James, a sophomore, said. “I started off having a bad day. I’m surprised I won. I didn’t expect to be a sectional champion.”

Davis didn’t either, yet with a good start and a lean at the end that he’s been working on, the sophomore copped the 55 dash in 6.76 to edge Matthew McLaughlin of Shenendehowa (6.83). Davis said his objective was just to make the 55 dash final after his 2016 sectional bid ended with a ninth in the semifinal round. 

“Last year, I didn’t make the finals. When I did, it was a good feeling,” Davis said. “Winning it is even better. My mindset was to push it today.”

Davis ran a 6.81 in the preliminaries and a 6.80 in the semifinals.

“He was right behind Sa’kim [McNeil] the whole time,” Bennett said of Schenectady’s top sprinter last school year. “Everybody was focused on him. Now it’s Trebor’s time.”

Ahmed rallied to win the 1,600 in 4:29.11. Declan Hines of Saratoga Springs placed second (4:30.23).

“I led the first two laps, and Saratoga and Shenendehowa took it from me,” said Ahmed, who won the Eddy Meet mile as part of his breakout sophomore outdoor season. “Shenendehowa, on the fourth or fifth lap, faded. Saratoga kept it until the third to last lap and that’s when I went in front. They set a nice pace. It felt smooth.”

Not even a year into her race-walking career, Liebers won a non-scoring 1,500 in that discipline by nearly a full minute in 7:49.60,

“They had an 800 exhibition race walk at the Colonie Relays [last spring] and everyone said, ‘You’ve got to do it.’ That’s when I got started,” Liebers, a junior, said. “I’ve always been a fast walker. My teachers are always making fun of me because I walk so fast in the halls.”
Schenectady junior Keegan Cochran placed second in the 600 (1:29.29) and helped the Patriots get their second in the 1,600 relay (3:41.71).


Saratoga sophomore Kelsey Chmiel won out in a great duel with Shenendehowa junior Hannah Reale in the 1,500 and also placed first in the 3,000.
“It was tough,” Chmiel said after running a 4:33.88 to defend her 1,500 title. “I had Shenendehowa right behind me the whole way. It definitely helped me run faster.”

Reale clocked a 4:35.62. Two other Section II standouts, Shenendehowa senior Julia Zachgo and Colonie soph­omore Kathryn Tenney, took the next two spots.

“That was the best race of the day,” Shenendehowa coach Rob Cloutier said. “Kelsey didn’t want to give it up.”

Chmiel and Reale had met two Saturdays ago in the Millrose Games mile, when Chmiel placed third and Reale placed seventh.

“I didn’t have a good mile last weekend, so I wanted to leave it all out there,” Reale said. “We went out flying and we were neck and neck. The last two laps, she had more in her.”

Reale bounced back with a winning 2:57.33 in the 1,000, topping Saratoga’s Keellyn Cummings (3:04.37).

“This season is about proving to myself I can do it,” Reale said of running two solid 
races. “I want to come back no matter what happens and do my best and run for the team. In the 1,000, I had to get some points.”

Shenendehowa defended its team titles and Saratoga placed second in both the boys and girls competitions. For the Shenendehowa girls, it was their eighth title in 10 years.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Reale said. “I knew they could get the job done. This is an event where we really come together.”

Chmiel won the 3,000 in 9:59.19. Saratoga senior Mimi Liebers won the 55 hurdles (8.75), the 300 (42.87) and the long jump (17-1). Senior Alex Matson doubled for the Shenendehowa boys with wins in the 1,000 
(2:41.04) and 3,200 relay (8:27.09).

Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons sophomore Areyanna Crumble won the 55 dash (7.70) and the 55 hurdles (9.22), and Golden Knights senior Johan Allard won the 1,000 (2:53.14) and placed second in the 1,600 and 3,200 at the Section II 
Division 4 championship meet.

The ND-BG boys recorded wins in the 3,200 relay (9:37.39) and 1,600 relay (3:55.81), with seniors Noah Allard and Gregorio Vichi running legs in both.

Cobleskill-Richmondville senior Zyere Molinaro won the 300 (38.61) and the 55 dash (6.79).

Team titles went to the Hoosic Valley boys and Greenwich girls.

Team scores
Shenendehowa 114, Saratoga Springs 102, Bethlehem 76, Shaker 64, Schenectady 62, Albany 26, Colonie 24, CBA 20, Guilderland 8.
800 relay — Saratoga Springs (Robert Battle, Tom Bradley, Kirk Francis, Izaias Smith), 1:39.88; Shaker, 1:40.05; Schenectady, 1:40.19; 55 hurdles — Nick Michalowski (Shen), 7.84; Kiven Mitchell (Alb), 8.16; Jeremy Chen (Shak), 8.19; 3,200 relay — Shenendehowa (Josh Lacey, Ethan Brunell, Alex Matson, Alex Hislop), 8:27.09; Saratoga Springs, 8:32.66; Bethlehem, 8:43.32; 300 — Nicholas Cavotta (Sara), 37.27; Syeed Holtzclaw (Alb), 37.61; Lamont Walters (Sch), 38.07; 1,600 — Maazin Ahmed (Sch), 4:29.11; Declan Hines (Sara), 4:30,23; Riley Grossman (BC), 4:36.52; 600 — Will Navin (Sara), 1:29.08; Keegan Cochrane (Sch), 1:29.29; Andrew Kelsey (Shak), 1:30.17; 3,200 — Shea Weilbaker (Sara), 9:49.79; Cameron Davis BC), 9:51.47; Ceclan Hines (Sara), 9:56.80; 1,000 — Alex Matson (Shen), 2:41.04; Jack Huber (BC), 2:42.33; Michael Flowers (CBA), 2:43.18; 55 — Trebor Davis (Sch), 6.76; Matthew McLaughlin (Shen), 6.83; Nan Xie (BC), 6.86; 1,600 relay — Colonie (Jeremiah House, Michael Hermance, Carlos Brito, Andrew Shaw), 3:38.88; Schenectady, 3:41.71; Saratoga Springs, 3:43.72.
High jump — Michael Broughton (Shak), 5-10; Nicholas Cavotta (Sara), 5-8; Jeremy Weismann (Shak), 5-6; Pole vault — Greg Lenengar (BC), 13-6; Casey Gribben (Shen), 13-0; Joe Melite (Shen), 12-0; Long jump — Greg Nicholas Cavotta (Sara), 21-8; Jacob Pishkula (Shn), 20-3 1/2; Shane Ferris (BC), 20-0; Triple jump — Colin James (Sch), 42-2 1/2; Jacob Pishkula (Shen), 40-10 1/2; Izaia Smith (Sara), 40-9 1/2; Shot put — Kwasi Addo-Baffour (Shak), 48-3; Dylan Flowers (Shen), 44-7 1/2; Zihniar Cooley (Alb), 44-4 1/2; Weight Throw — Kwasi Addo-Baffour (Shak), 60-4 1/2; Joseph Bintz (BC), 50-2 1/2; Dylan Blowers (Shen), 47-1.

Team scores
Shenendehowa 171, Saratoga Springs 119, Shaker 63, Bethehem 45, Guilderland 41, Colonie 30, Albany 16, Schenectady 11 
800 relay — Shenendehowa (Lauren Daigle, Michaela Schaffer, Gianna Valenti, Emily Schaffer), 1:54.79; Shaker, 1:55.92; Bethlehem, 1:57.38; 55 hurdles — Mimi Liebers (Sara), 8:75; Brett Deweese (Sara), 8.95; Samantha Gifford (BC), 9.52; 3,200 relay — Saratoga Springs (Carly Vetter, Isabella Coleman, Keellyn Cummings, Samantha Vetter), 10:03.00; Shenendehowa, 10:18.35; Colonie, 10:18.43; 300 — Mimi Liebers (Sara), 42.87; Nia Joyner (Shak), 43.50; Kelly Hamlin (Shen), 43.52; 1,500 — Kelsey Chmiel (Sara), 4:33.88; Hannah Reale (Shen), 4:35.62; Julia Zachgo (Shen), 4:53.88; 600 — Eileen Bequette (Alb), 1:42.19; Sophie Lane (BC), 1:42.57; Jade Dennis (Shen), 1:43.26; 3,000 — Kelsey Chmiel (Sara), 9:59.19; Isabella Colemn (Sara), 10:30.56; Olivia Lomascolo (Shen), 10:39.69; 1,000 — Hannah Reale (Shen), 2:57.33; Keellyn Cummings (Sara), 3:04.37; Carly Vetter (Sara), 3:11.24; 55 — Brett Deweese (Sara), 7.60; Melissa Haas (Shen), 7.62; Lauren Daigle (Shen), 7.83; 1,600 relay — Shenendehowa (Hannah Crounse, Jada Dennis, Jade Dennis, Kelly Hamlin), 4:17.47; Colonie, 4:18.92; Bethlehem, 4:25.54.
High jump — Caitlyn Zegger (Shak), 5-0; Abby Mack (Shen), 5-0; Isabella Bruno (Guild), 4-10; Pole vault — Jenny McLaughlin (Shen), 9-6; Jenna LaFleur (Shak), 9-0; Ashley Zachgo (Shen), 8-6; Katie Kelly (Shen), 8-6 (tie third); Long jump — Mimi Liebers (Sara), 17-1; Isabella Bruno (Guild), 17-0; Kathryn Duncan (Guild), 16-3 3/4; Triple jump — Isabella Bruno (Guild), 34-6 1/2; Nia Joyner (Shak), 35 1/2; Julissa Forde (Shak), 34-1 1/4; Shot put — Jillian Shippee (Shen), 41-8 1/2; Brianna Jordan (Shen), 34-8 1/2; Chidalu Anameze (Shen), 33-11 1/2; Weight throw — Brianna Jordan (Shen), 44-1 3/4; Chidalu Anameze (Shen), 37-9; Gianna Marino (Sch), 31-1 1/2; 1,500 race walk — Mary Liebers (Sch), 7:49.60; Isabella Bulnes (BC), 8:49.50; Cali Beasley-Carroll (BC), 11:06.30.

Team scores
Hoosic Valley 85, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 63, Stillwater 59, Watervliet 52, Greenwich 52, Fonda-Fultonville 41, Rensselaer/Doane Stuart 38, Mechanicville 33, Maple Hill 20, Cobleskill-Richmondville 20, Waterford-Halfmoon 17, Granville 13.
800 relay — Watervliet (Devon Adams, Isaiah Casoer, Josh Lindsay, De’sha Mitchell), 1:40.94; Rensselaer/Doane Stuart, 1:42.55; Mechanicville, 1:45.16; 55 hurdles — Max Lautenberg (St), 8.45; Adam Leonard (WH), 8.79; Seth Roberts (MH), 8.87; 3,200 relay — Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (Noah Allard, Will Salavantis, Robby Guzzo, Gregorio Vichi), 9:37.39; Hoosic Valley, 9:48.51; Fonda-Fultonville, 10:01.11; 300 — Zyere Molinaro (CR), 38.61; Isaiah Casper (Wat), 39.15; Devon Adams (Wat), 40.32; 1,600 — Colin Beasor (Gre), 4:40.11; Jonah Allard (BG), 5:00.01; Sam Grimmke (Gre), 5:07.48; 600 — Gowain Semlear (RDS), 1:32.62; Myles Anderson (FF), 1:33.42; Bryce Arno (MH), 1:33.71; 3,200 — Colin Beasor (Gre), 10:28.82; Jonah Allard (BG), 10:56.31; Dylan Olivia (Mech), 11:23.31; 1,000 — Jonah Allard (BG), 2:53.14; Michael Cavotta (Mech), 2:59.11; Joe Yusaitis (St), 2:59.49; 55 — Zyere Molinaro (CR), 6.79; Alex Nolan (Mech), 7.00; Ben Halpert (RDS), 7.10; 1,600 relay — Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons (Noah Allard, Steven Methe, Gregorio Vichi, Mathieu Elsen), 3:55.81; Fonda-Fultonville, 3:59.84; Hoosic Valley, 4:01.36.
High jump — Jamison Jarosz (HV), 6-2; Josh Lindsay (Wat), 6-0; Bob Brenenstuhl (HV), 5-10; Pole vault — Jake Tyler (St), 12-0; Isaac Brightbill (RDS), 11-6; Joe Conti (St), 9-0; Long jump — De’sha Mitchell (Wat), 20-5; Jamison Jarosz (HV), 19-9; Ben Sherwood (MH), 19-5 1/2; Triple jump — Jamison Jarosz (HV), 39-4 1/4; Steven Methe (BG), 39-2 1/4; Max Lautenberg (St), 38-8 1/2; Shot put — Michael Gabriel (Gre), 47-5; Alec Ratelle (HV), 47-4 1/2; Chris Yarush (FF), 46-0; Weight throw — Michael Gabriel (Gre), 54-10; Trever Rose (HV), 50-6; Greg Wolosen (HV), 46-2 1/4.

Team scores
Greenwich 109, Maple Hill 62, Rensselaer/Doane Stuart 55, Fonda-Fultonville 54, Stillwater 49, 
Cobleskill-Richmondville 37.5, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 37, Hoosic Valley 34, Tamarac 19, Mechanicville 14, Granville 7, Whitehall 6, Chatham 6, Watervliet 2.5, Waterford-Halfmoon 1.
800 relay — Maple Hill (Moira Kelly, Cameron Lankeneau, Alexus Smith, Tori Whimple), 1:57.38; Rensselaer/Doane Stuart 2:00.23; Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, 2:01.31; 55 hurdles — Areyanna Crumble (BG), 9.22; Tori Whimple (MH), 9.31; Lucia D’Acchille (Gre), 9.32; 3,200 relay — Greenwich (Emma Cronin, Annabel Gregg, Chloe Littell, Brooke Wright), 10:43.37; Cobleskill-Richmmondville, 10:59.49; Maple Hill, 11:11.27; 300 — Faith Sheehan (St), 44.70; Faith Nelson (RDS), 46.30; Lucia D’Acchille (Gre), 47.39; 1,500 — Brynne Wright (Gre), 5:09.77; Carolyn Burnell (HV), 5:17.77; Brooke Wright (Gre), 5:24.35; 600 — Quinn Collins (Gre), 1:41.95; Anne Fraser (RDS), 1:50.32; Avery Cook (FF), 1:54.20; 3,000 — Brooke Wright (Gre), 11:39.61; Emma Cronin (Gre), 11:59.77; Danielle Wallace (Chat), 12:02.17; 1,000 — Brynne Wright (Gre), 3:16.64; Carolyn Burnell (HV), 3:22.59; Emily Johnson (CR), 3:23.87; 55 — Areyanna Crumble (BG), 7.70; Brittany Castelluccio (FF), 7.76; Faith Nelson (RDS), 7.87; 1,600 relay — Greenwich (Quinn Collins, Emma Cronin, Lucia D’Acchille, Madison Loveland), 4:34.48; Rensselaer/Doane Stuart, 4:37.22; Cobleskill-Richmondville, 4:43.34.
High jump — Jade Yando (HV), 4-10; Emily LaPlante (Tam), 4-8; Emma Helfrish (BG), 4-8 (tie second); Pole vault — Shirah Strock (MH), 8-6; Emily Davies (RDS), 8-6; Jade Yando (HV), 7-6; Long jump — Brittany Castelluccio (FF), 17-6 1/4; Cameron Lankeneau (MH), 16-11; Emily LaPlante (Tam), 16-1 3/4; Triple jump — Cameron Lankeneau (MH), 35-10 1/4; Brittany Castelluccio (FF), 35-3 3/4; Tori Whimple (MH), 32-11; Shot put — Madison Krochina (St), 37-9 1/2; Lindsay Robens (Mech), 33-5 1/4; Marigrace Gerhardt (CR), 32-3 1/2; Weight throw — Madison Krochina (St), 42-3 3/4; Alica Aldrich (Gre), 42 1/2; Sierra Grant (FF), 32-11 1/4.0 

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