Vestal girls, Corning boys set to defend titles at STAC track championships

Vestal girls, Corning boys set to defend titles at STAC track championships

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Vestal girls, Corning boys set to defend titles at STAC track championships

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Vestal’s girls and Corning’s boys will try to make it three consecutive team titles when Southern Tier Athletic Conference track & field championships unfold beginning 4 p.m. Thursday at Windsor.

The girls from Vestal and Elmira have finished 1-2 each of the past two years, the Golden Bears winning by eight points last spring and by 28 in 2012. Junior Kari Stromhaug of Vestal is two-time defending high jump champion and has been seeded first for defense of her pole vault championship.

Others targeting repeat titles on the girls side include Binghamton’s Jasmine Howard in the 100-meter dash, though she had to scratch from last weekend’s Parkhurst Invitational 400 relay after aggravating a back ailment. Alex Laubert of M-E will defend in the 200 and has top billing for the 100 hurdles.

A first-time competitor in the STAC meet will be Corning freshman Jessica Lawson, top seed by a bunch at 3,000 meters who also figures to factor into 1,500-meter contention. The latter race is deep with talented runners — Emily Mackay of U-E, Abbey Wheeler and Khiere Ashley of Elmira, Maddie Ustanik of Corning — and shapes up as perhaps the marquee race of the day.

Brooke Bonney of Norwich will have a go at STAC shot put and discus supremacy for a second consecutive year, but in the latter will have to get past top-seeded sophomore Alexis Daniels of Binghamton.

Similarly seeking repeat STAC doubles in the boys competition will be Vestal senior Mike Egotanda. Fresh off an outstanding showing in the Parkhurst, he will have a crack second consecutive titles in the long and triple jumps.

Marquis Jackson of Susquehanna Valley reigning champ and No. 1 seed in the high jump, in which he has cleared 6 feet, 4 inches. Nick Baxter will represent the host Black Knights as defending champion in the pole vault.

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