Eight Dryden track and field athletes — six girls and two boys — will be in Middletown next weekend for the state championship meet after their showings on Thursday at the Section 4 state qualifier, held at Vestal High’s Hoover Stadium.
Also, Ithaca High will be sending handful of male athletes, including sprinter Mande Semon, who won the 100 meters, led off Ithaca’s record-setting 400 relay and also qualified in the long jump.
Freshman Abbey Yatsko led the way for Coach Lee Stuttle’s Dryden squad, qualifying in two individual events and as a member of a relay team. Yatsko, who competed in the 300 meters at the state indoor championships at Cornell this past winter, will compete outdoors in the 100 and 200 meters. She won the 200 at the qualifier in 26.26 seconds, and placed second in the 100, at 12.82.
Yatsko will also anchor Dryden’s 400 relay, joining teammates Amy DeGaetano, Rachel Wojcik and Mackenzie Todd. Dryden placed fourth in the qualifier, in a time of 50.95 seconds.
Rachel Hutchinson will represent Dryden and Section 4 in the 1,500 meters, after winning the event at the qualifier in a time of 4 minutes, 41.37 seconds. She beat Elmira’s Melinda Wheeler by 3.01 seconds; Hutchinson finished eighth in the 1,000 meters at indoor states this year.
Also qualfying for the Dryden girls was Megan Cornelius in the pole vault. She placed third in the qualifier with a leap of 10 feet.
On the boys’ side, Bryant Stuttle took second at the qualifier in the triple jump (45-4), qualifying for his third state meet. Will Holt will compete in both the 110 and 400 hurdles after placing fifth and third, respectively, on Thursday.
“I am excited for the kids,” Coach Stuttle said. “We take a pretty experienced group, and Abbey, only a freshman and making it in three events, is amazing. I am looking forward to a great week of practice, and then we’ll see what happens at states.”
Semon, a junior, led the charge for the Ithaca boys, taking the 100 in 10.90 seconds, winning by nearly 0.2 seconds over runner-up Zach Bush of Corning (11.07). He also led off the Little Red’s 400 relay, which broke a 15-year-old school record by winning in 42.94 seconds, chopping .06 off the old record. The record-setting foursome includes Semon, Roosevelt Lee, Jordan Hackworth and Bruce Greene.
Semon also qualified in the triple jump, winning at the qualifier with a leap of 45-7 ¼, just over three inches better than Dryden’s Stuttle. Hackworth will be at states in the long jump, finishing second on Thursday with a jump of 22-8 ¾, which also broke the school record.
Ithaca sophomore Dan Dracup lost a close battle in the boys’ 800 meters, finishing second to Elmira’s Cory McCarty, 1:55.50 to 1:56.63. Matt Murray of Norwich was third in 1:58.49.
Lansing’s Dylan Bland will also be making the trip to Middletown after winning Thursday night’s pole vault competition with a leap of 13-6.
On the girls’ side for Ithaca, Lauren Trumble placed third in the 800 meters, in 2:21.21, followed by Dryden’s Hutchinson (2:21.93).