Vestal boys, girls sweep Newark Valley track and field invitational

Vestal boys, girls sweep Newark Valley track and field invitational


Vestal boys, girls sweep Newark Valley track and field invitational



Athletes reacquainted themselves with sunshine and warmth during Saturday’s Red, White, Blue & Gold Track & Field Invitational, and one versatile Vestal senior welcomed the favorable conditions with particularly exceptional results.

Mike Egotanda was responsible for a 32.5-point showing for the Golden Bears, whose 117-point total bested runner-up Ithaca by 11. Vestal’s girls made it a sweep by besting second-place Homer by 91-88.

Egotanda, easing into spring season after topping New York’s long jumpers indoors, grabbed three individual championships and kick-started Vestal’s first-place 400-meter relay quartet. Personal bests were logged in the triple jump (45 feet, 3-4 inches) and 110-meter hurdles (15.7 seconds), and he added a 22-5 long jump that was 3 feet clear of next-best

The relay quartet — including Justin Dennis, Mitch Youngs and Matt Furminger — was tops in 45.78 seconds.

“Amazing. I love it,” he said of afternoon temperatures nudging 70. “Especially for the jumps, to be able to be warm between jumps is a huge difference. You can stay consistent and your mark is always going to be on the board so, it really helps out a lot. Today is perfect, not too hot, not too cold — I love it.”

Such was not the case the weekend before at Windsor, where between shivers he fouled three times in the long jump — “My head was all over the place,” he said.

At Newark Valley, he opened with the winning long jump, and next came the hurdles title — with teammate Chris Murphy next-best at 16.02. “And our best isn’t even here,” said Bears coach Jim Cerra, saluting the depth of a cast headed by Dylan Hunt, who did not participate in the meet.

As for how frequently he’ll be assigned a four-event grind to match Saturday’s?

“I’m hoping a lot. I kind of like it because it keeps me busy,” Egotanda said. “I’ll have time to sit down but I’ll never have time to start really thinking about things. Once I get mental, that’s when it gets, ‘Alright, should I do this or should I do that?’ This way, it’s gotta go do hurdles or gotta go do long. Don’t have time to think about it, just get it done.”

A number of front-line athletes were not present for the meet co-hosted by the Newark Valley and Maine-Endwell programs. Among them was Maine-Endwell’s Cody Brizzolara, reigning Division II state steeplechase champion who is attending an elite distance running camp in Lake Placid.

Impressive distance-running doubles were turned in by a couple of sophomores — Dan Schaffer of Maine-Endwell and Emily Mackay of Union-Endicott.

Schaffer was best in a stirring finish to the 1,600, his 4:35.46 one-100th of a second ahead of Owego’s Joe McDonald, and he came back with a coast of a 10:10.27 that made for a 20-second margin in the 3,200. Schaffer’s 1,600 clocking lopped about 10 seconds, he said, from the PR he’d established inside a week before.

As for 2014 goals: “I feel as if I run the 2-mile alone, I’m hoping to break into the 9:40’s. Maybe by the end of this year I’m hoping to break 4:30 in the mile.”

Schaffer, too, was among those who welcomed the splash of warmth — “It’s beautiful out today. It makes a big difference not having to stay warm all the time.”

U-E’s Mackay turned in a 4:54.75 in the 1,500, and backed that with a 10:47.87 in the 3,000, each good for comfortable margins.

“What’s nice is she’s young and willing to listen — and she hates to lose,” said Tigers assistant coach Rick Materese,

Owego’s McDonald, Garrett Fahey, Chad Williams and James Felice established meet and track records with an 8:17.58 that was best by a bunch in the 3,200 relay.

Vestal’s Murphy won the 400 hurdles in 57.58 seconds, and anchored a first-place 3:33.40 in the 1,600 relay. Teammate Rani Marhaba adhered to coach Cerra’s instructions on the backstretch of the second lap to motor into the lead and complete a winning 2:04.85 in the 800.

M-E sophomore Mike Palmer wrapped up the long jump title by clearing 6-2, then upped the ante in quest of a school record — but fell shy in his attempts at 6-6½.

Anders Presthus of Lansing doubled with a 46-4¼ shot put and 124-0 discus, and Trumansburg sophomore Ben Pesco cleared 12 feet as top male pole vaulter.

On the girls side, late-arriving Kari Stromhaug of Vestal — indoor state pole vault champion — was unsuccessful in three attempts at 11-6 in that event after hurrying from ACT testing responsibilities, leaving Charlsie Bowen of Tioga first place on 10-6. Stromhaug followed with a winning 32-6½ triple jump, with U-E’s Briana Stockdale second. Stockdale was top long jumper at 15-2¼.

Vestal’s Megan Tinklepaugh bested 100-meter hurdlers (16.87), teammate Shade Jones ran 13.49 to head the 100, and that pair helped the Bears to a 53.09 that was best in the 400 relay.

One youngster of note was Sidney eighth-grader Mallory Stillman, fastest in the 200 at 28.05 seconds and 100-meter runner-up at 13.60.

Vestal sophomore Madeline Beaulieu clocked 7:16.65 for a 19-second winning margin in the steeplechase, and ran second behind Ithaca’s Lauren Trumble in the 800 — 2:21.12 to 2:28.33.


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