Kenner's State Qual Race Highlights Section 6 Champs

Tapestry's Jada Kenner continued her amazing season by winning the 300 meters, over 4 time defending section champion Jenna Crean from Orchard Park, in a 7th grade state record of 39.56, and the #3 time overall in NYS this year.  Kenner and Crean will both compete in the 300 on Saturday at the NYS Championships.  In the 55 meters Crean was again runner up, this time to Lockport's Kahniya James, who ran a personal best 7.16, to win her first section title, and to once again advance to the state meet.  In the 600 meters Amherst's Maxana Grubb continued her dominance in that event cruising to a 4 second victory in 1:35.63, just off her personal best.  In the 1000 meters West Seneca West senior Anna Rybczynski ran a personal best 3:02.40, to once again advance to the state meet.  Fredonia's Emily Brown once again showed she loves the pressure packed stage of sectionals as she had a huge PR of 4:53.63 to win in what many consider an upset over Amherst's Mallory Grubb and Lockport's Sydney Nowicki.  However Nowicki did not go home without a title as she won the 3000 meters in 10:32.77.  

In the girls field events Sweet Home sisters Lanee and Amari Hall continued their big seasons, once again taking 1st and 2nd in the triple jump, with freshman Lanee winning in 37'8.5", 2.5 inches ahead of her 8th grade sister Amari.  Amherst's Morgan Halt continued to impress winning both the high jump and the 55 Hurdles in a PR of 8.68.  Lancaster sophomore Natalia Surdej showed her competitive streak once again taking both the weight throw (55'2.75'), and the shot put with a well-timed PR of 38'11.5".  Orchard Park's Sara Puskar took the long jump in a personal best 18'3.5", and Falconer senior Rachael Ward continued her impressive season winning the pole vault in 12'.  

The girls relays were as close as projected.  In the 4x800 the team of East Aurora/Holland was able to hold off Amherst.  The girls from EA/Holland ran a season best 9:45.03.  Both freshman Megan Mclaughlin and sophomore Celia Cocca were not finished however, as both stepped back on the track in the 4x400 relay.  After Megan's leadoff leg gave the team the slight lead over Hamburg, seniors Jayna Galley and Olivia Ranalli continued to add to the slight lead, giving Cocca approximately a 20 meter lead over Hamburg's Claire Danyluk.  Danyluk worked back towards the lead and went into 1st with about 55 meters to go before Cocca just found enough energy to sneak past her before the line and allow the East Aurora/Holland team to advance.  In the 4x200 relay, forecasted as Lancaster vs. Orchard Park vs. Tapestry, it turned to a two team battle as Lancaster was disqualified for an illegal exchange in the prelims.  In the finals 7th grader Jada Kenner tried to close the gap on Orchard Park, but fell just short as OP won 1:46.09 to 1:46.67.  Tapestry will also advance to next week's state meet.

On the boys side of things Lancaster went 1-2-3 in the boys shot put with Jon Surdej winning in a PR of 61'9", and furthered his #1 mark in NYS.  Teammate Michael Wolford continued the PR train for Lancaster heaving the shot 53'4.25", and senior Andy Pietrantoni completed the sweep for the Legends placing third.  Cheektowaga sophomore, Jayden DuBard, put an end to any thought of history repeating itself in the weight throw winning that event in a personal best 62'9.5", to outlast Pietrantoni (2nd) and Surdej (3rd). 

Sweet Home's Kaleb Luton continued his dominant stretch in the triple jump amongst section 6 athletes winning that event in 44'10".  Amherst junior William Simson, who was second in the triple, rebounded later in the day to win the long jump in a personal best 22'.75".  Number one seed, Chris Kaszynski from Kenmore West, held onto that seed winning the vault in 13'6".  Jake Kaminski of Cheektowaga won the high jump in 6'2" and will advance to next week's state meet.

On the track Niagara Falls junior Abraham Averhart picked the perfect time to have his personal best race winning the 55 meters in 6.59.  Lancaster senior Elijah Kerner, answered the bell in the 300, as he always does, winning in 35.94, a new personal best.  Joshua Peron continued his season dominance in the 600 meters taking the section title, while teammate Brian Gleason narrowly won the 1600 meters over Lancaster's Armani Merlino.  It was Merlino's 2nd race of the day as he won the 3200 meters earlier in the day.  Newcomer Vinny Pagliaccio  of West Seneca East showed his competitive spirit in winning the 1000 meters.  Michael Wolfgang of Allegany-Limestone won the 55 hurdles in a personal best 7.80.  

The relays went they way most thought they would as Lancaster used a strong second half of the season to hold off a young Niagara Falls team in the 4x200 relay.  In the 4x400 relay, possibly the race of the day, Allegany Limestone outleaned Orchard Park by .01 to win that title and advance to states, while in the 4x800 Frontier used their depth to control that race and advance to next week's state meet.

The meet marked the final section championship for coaching veteran's Kevin Carriero of Lancaster and Jon Robbins of Niagara Falls, as both have been staples in section 6 for many years, and it was very fitting that the final race (boys 4x200) came down to these two teams.