Two Arlington runners looking to complete a historic school year, a Red Hook vaulter hoping to repeat, and a large contingent of participants from New Paltz and Marlboro headline the local entrants in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Friday and Saturday at Middletown High School.
The Admirals’ distance duo of senior Sibby Hanson and sophomore Bella Burda are attempting to win their third state titles in as many seasons this year, after sweeping the boys and girls cross country titles at the state Federation championships in the fall, and the 3,200- and 3,000-meter runs at the state indoor championships.
“I don’t know if you can put it in perspective. Things that are done for the first time are trendsetting,” Arlington coach Steve Arnett said. “Fall and winter were unbelievable. To do it again would be groundbreaking.”
Hanson qualified in the outdoor 3,200, finishing second in Section 1 Division I at last week’s championships in a time of 9 minutes, 40.11 seconds. His top time of 9:06.20 ranks fourth in the state this season, one place and 2.9 faster than Pawling’s Matt Jorgensen, who is also in the field, placing second in Section 1 Division II last week.
Burda, who Arnett said is “rounding into form” after fighting shin discomfort since the end of indoor season, won the Section 1 Division I championship in the 3,000 in a time of 10:01.30. Her best time of 9:50.90 also ranks fourth in the state.
Arnett also has high hopes for Trenten Beram, whose school-record time of 48.66 in the boys 400 at the Section 1 meet is 1.14 off the top time in the state, and his boys 3,200 relay, which placed fifth in the Federation last year.
Red Hook’s Grace Weisbecker will attempt to defend her state Division II outdoor pole vault championship, as well as compete in the 100 hurdles. A year ago, Weisbecker became the first Raider in program history to earn a state title with a vault of 11 feet, 3 inches. This year, she’s exceeded that mark by 6 inches, and cleared 11-6 at the Section 9 Division II meet last week.
Six other mid-Hudson Valley athletes also qualified for multiple individual events. Spackenkill’s Sasche Allen was first in both the girls 200 (25.80) and 400 (58.66) dashes in Section 9 Division II, after sweeping the 100, 200 and 400 at the Mid-Hudson Athletic League meet.
“She’s been a dominant sprinter in Section 9 the last three years,” Spackenkill coach Stan Garrant said. “She’s been running very well this year.”
New Paltz’s Cora Butler (long jump, triple jump) and Dover’s Sarah Haley (400 hurdles, pole vault) will also take part in multiple events, and both also qualified as members of the Dragons’ 400 and Huguenots’ 1,600 relays, respectively.
On the boys side, Marlboro’s Zack Warden (100, 200) and Brandon Thompson (long jump, triple jump), Dover’s Shakim Futrell (discus, shot put) and Highland’s Terrence Lawrence (110 hurdles, high jump) will all compete in two events. Warden will also run on the Iron Dukes’ 400 relay.
Marlboro coach Gary Trapani said every one of his athletes has ambitions to place in the top six and medal, though he pointed to the experience of his girls, Courtney Warden in the 100 and Hannah Baker in the high jump, as two Iron Dukes to watch. Baker’s top jump of 5-4 is an inch off the best for Division II this year.
“They’ve both medaled in the past. They’re trying to improve on that,” Trapani said. “Hannah in the high jump, she’s jumping really well lately. We’re just hoping she gets the perfect jump at the perfect time.”
Then there’s the New Paltz boys, who will send five individual participants to the meet. Still, Huguenots coach Don Bartlett said it’s his relay — the 3,200 quartet of Alfredo Mazzuca, Lorenzo Mazzuca, David Busby and John Fullam, which won the Section 9 Division II title — that could make headlines. The group is all ranked in the top 15 in Section 9 this season in the 1,600, but “they opted not to run the mile (individually) because they wanted to focus on the relay.”
But, quantity of talent is not everything. For Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joe Ciampaglione’s entry in the shot put marks the first Roosevelt athlete to make the state meet since 2005. Ciampaglione placed second in the event (51-8) in Section 9 Division I.
“Just having Joe back representing our team, he just kind of embodies everything our team has been about this year,” Roosevelt coach Brian Halling said.