CLIFTON PARK — Even when her goals don’t push back, Schalmont junior track star Mia D’Ambrosio keeps pushing herself to be an elite student-athlete.
The versatile sprinter coasted to win the D2 400-meter dash at Thursday’s Section II State Track & Field Qualifier at Shenendehowa High School, but that won’t be nearly enough to keep her happy for very long. D’Ambrosio is never quite satisfied with her times, even if she is comfortable with her place.
D’Ambrosio’s solid triumph in a time of 56.73 gave her a berth in the New York State Championships at Middletown High School June 7-8. She also has her sights set qualifying for two other berths at states in the 100 and 200 Friday when the Section II state qualifier continues back at Shenendehowa. Even if she qualifies for all the races, it’s not a foregone conclusion that she will compete in all three.
“My coach and I will figure out which ones I’ll run if I get there,” she said.
“My favorite race has always been the 200, but I’m getting to like the 400 more and more. I think it’s more mentally challenging, because it’s the longest of the sprint races, and it takes more out of you. I’ve definitely been working on bettering my times. That’s always my goal, not just to qualify, but also get another PR [personal best]. It would truly be a blessing to win a state championship. That’s what we all strive for.”
Besides keeping her grades up — she carries a 97.6 GPA and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society — D’Ambrosio is constantly running or training.
“It all starts for me in August after the outdoor track season,” she said. “I do some cross-training by swimming and cycling to keep my body in motion. Then it’s on to the indoor track season, and now it’s back to the outdoor season. I’m always working. I might take 1 1/2 or 2 1/2 days off now and then, but besides that I’m usually on the run.”
D’Ambrosio qualified in the 400 at last year’s NYS Outdoor Track & Field Championships and also competed in the 55- and 300-meter sprints at the NYSPHSAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. She currently holds Schalmont school records in both the outdoor and indoor 200, the outdoor 400 and the indoor 55.
“I want to run in college, and I’m thinking about places like Liberty, Penn State, Boston University and Binghamton University,” she said. “I keep changing my mind about what I’d like to major in, but right now, I’m thinking about something in the health field.”
Strategy and workload played a role in the way some of the races panned out, as several of the huge favorites already had established qualifying times and didn’t have to necessarily win their events Thursday.
Some interesting qualifying victories of note for the girls included Lauren Santiago of Amsterdam in the D1 400, Jade Dennis of Shenendehowa in the D1 800, Faith DeMars of Ballston Spa in the D1 3,000, Gabby Stanavich of Amsterdam in the D1 400 hurdles, Quinn Collins of Greenwich in the D2 800 and Kyleigh Frank of Stillwater in the D2 400 hurdles.
For the boys, Dante DeSilva of Colonie took the D1 400 dash, Dante Ubriaco of Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake triumphed in the D1 800, Marty Dolan of Niskayuna was the surprising winner in the D1 3,200, Peter Hansen of Ballston Spa won the D1 400 hurdles, and Jonathan Ray of Shenendehowa was victorious in the D1 high jump.
Also for the boys, Scotia-Glenville earned a pair of wins in the D2 400 (Josh Jeffes) and D2 3,200 (Gabriel Winters-Bona). Nick Yorke of Cobleskill-Richmondville earned a spot at states with a win in the D2 800, Andrew Ferguson of Canajoharie won the D2 400 hurdles and Sean Meher of Broadalbin-Perth triumphed in the D2 triple jump.
400 — Lauren Santiago (Amst) 57.12, Natalia Sawyer (Mohon) 58.01, Alika Jackson-Bergin (Schen) 59.92.
800 — Jade Dennis (Shen) 2:12.74, Jada Dennis (Shen) 2:14.64, Charlotte Kokernak (Nisky) 2:20.61. 400 hurdles — Gabby Stanavich (Amst) 1:05.0, Julia Barker (Shak) 1:05.51, Kate Scanlan (Guild) 1:07.64. 3,000 — Faith DeMars (BS) 10:01.16, McKinley Wheeler (Sar) 10:08.15, Kelsey Chmiel (Sar) 10:09.42.
400 — Mia D’Ambrosio (Schal) 56.73, Amelia Canetto (TH) 58.38, Megan Bell (HN) 59.99. 800 — Quinn Collins (Greenw) 2:17.32, Isabel Vogel (HN) 2:19.84, Anna Headwell (Camb) 2:24.73. 400 hurdles — Kyleigh Frank (Still) 1:06.90, Claire Howard (TH) 1:07.57, Abigail Gottung (John) 1:09.44. 3,000 — Brynne Wright (Greenw) 10:32.63, Tesss Fitzmaurice (Greenv) 10:40.36, Teagan Wright (Greenw) 11:03.24.
400 — Fabien DeSilva (Colon) 49.96, Unique Henderson (Schen) 51.18, Jason Rappazzo (Beth) 51.59. 800 run — Dante Ubriaco (BH) 1:59.45, Thomas Ragone (Nisky) 1:59.76, Thomas Donohue (Colum) 2:01.10. 400 hurdles — Peter Hansen (BS) 55.93, Michael Beskid (AP) 56.77, Stephen Hoare (Shak) 56.91. 3,200 — Marty Dolan (Nisky) 9:22.36, Evan Brennan (BH) 9:22.82, Matt Cavaliere (Beth) 9:33.49. Long jump — Reynaldo Reid (Shak) 22-2, Kirk Francis (Sar) 22-1.5, Marco Rivero (Schen) 20-10.5. Triple jump — AJ Weinstein (Colum) 47-0.75, Colin James (Schen) 45-1.50, Jordan Kimbrough (Guild) 43-8. Pole vault — Alex Robin (Shak) 11-9, Braden Flanders (Sar) 111-9. Discus — James Cocca (AP) 164-7, Martin Bond (AP) 139-4, Mahdi Elsawi (Sar) 137-10. Shot put — James Cocca (AP) 52-8, Nino Seidou-Bakari (Colon) 51-01, Zachary Trump (Shen) 50-00.5.
400 — Josh Jeffres (S-G) 49.42, Justin Schrom (C-R) 51.16, Evan Ensslin (V) 51.32. 800 run — Nick Yorke (C-R) 1:59.76, Henry Goca (Rens) 2:00.10, Holden Decker (Gal) 2:00.22. 400 hurdles — Andrew Ferguson (Canjo) 58.98, Jonathan Murphy (BP) 58.98, Marcus Johnson (Canjo) 59.42. 3,200 — Gabriel Winters-Bona (S-G) 9:53.59, Sebastian Mills (John) 9:56.02, Antonio Beltran (Schal) 9:59.13. Long jump — Jack Campito (AA) 22-8.75, Evan Kulpa (MH) 20-8, Ahmad Praileau (AA) 20-3.5. Triple jump — Sean Meher (BP) 45-3, Marcus Johnson (Canjo) 43-11.5, Brian Bauer (Waterf) 41-8. High jump — Jack Hogan (HuF) 6-4, Brian Bauer (Waterf) 6-1, Evan Lehr (May) 6-0. Pole vault — Donald Jones (AA) 15-9, Shane Racey (RCS) 15-6, Dylan Bumpus (May) 12-9. Shot put — Thomas Cahill (GF) 51-11.50, John Coddington (BP) 49-9.5, Tino Mancini (BP) 46-8.75. Discus — Thomas Cahill (GF) 151-4, Aidan DeJong (BP) 144-10, Alex Saltsman (FF) 139-1.