Saturday was a chance to see a high school national champion relay in action, and it was fitting that the R-H Relays was the meet to see it.
Rush-Henrietta is home of the 1,600-meter sprint medley relay of senior Ceara Watson, freshman Lanae-Tava Thomas, junior Tori Thompson and sophomore Sammy Watson, national record-holders and first-place finishers at the New Balance Nationals Indoors last month.
The foursome made their outdoor season debut in Section V in this race and finished in 4:00.75, more than 24 seconds ahead of the runner-ups. They put the national indoor record at 3:52.68 in New York City.
“We’re trying to be No. 1 again,” Ceara Watson said, before she dismissed fatigue as a potential factor.
After cross country and indoor track, this is the third season for some, if not all four members of the relay. Ceara Watson said that the group took a two-week break before their season debut in the race last weekend at Cicero-North Syracuse. The Watson sisters, Thompson and Thomas finished in 4:12.45 at the C-NS Co-ed Relays.
“We’re all driven, we all want to win,” Thompson said. “So we have to have a dedicated relay, or else nothing really happens.
“I know we can. The way our coach (Mike DeMay) works us, I don’t know how we would get weaker or slow down.”
The 1,600 sprint medley – legs of 400, 200, 200 and 800 – is an uncommon event during the outdoor high school season, but this is likely the foursome that will form Rush-Henrietta’s conventional 1,600 relay.
“Today there was a little competition at this meet,” Ceara Watson said. “I usually beat (the opposing leg) during the first 100. I didn’t until the last 200.”
No other girls 400 relay threatened to defeat Rush-Henrietta’s top group of junior Adama Donzo, Thompson, Thomas and junior Kelly Statskey on Saturday. The Royal Comets finished in 51.10. School of the Arts’ relay of Jah-Nease McCullough, Timieya Guilford, Clarissa Henry and Jamellah Craven, was next in 51.57.
Those are the top girls 400 relay in the section, so far.
McQuaid senior Nick Ciolkowski may be Section V’s top boys distance runner when the outdoor season wraps up in June.
Ciolkowski placed seventh in the 3,200 during the indoor state championships, after he ran a personal-best time of 9:22.64 the week before at Section V’s Meet of Champions. He ran the 1,200 leg for McQuaid’s runner-up distance medley relay at Rush-Henrietta.
“It’s something to loosen me at the start of the season,” Ciolkowski said. “The big races are starting to come.”
Ciolkowski, who said he will sit out invitationals next weekend, signed a letter of intent this week to run at Elon University, a Division I school in North Carolina. He accepted a partial scholarship that could increase in size, based on his performance.
“They have to give me something to work for,” the future biochemistry major said. “I might go on to PhD. It all depends on money and time.”
Elon has an established cross country program, but no indoor or outdoor men’s track and field teams. Elon runners do get into open meets during the winter and spring, according to Ciolkowski.
“It would be boring not to race for two-thirds of the year,” Ciolkowski said. “I had my doubts, but they have a new coach and he seems intent on making the program respectable. Their recruiting class is looking pretty good.
“I’m confident I made the right decision. The day I left Elon (after an official visit in mid-January), I felt like I was already a part of the team.”
Event winners/top individual performers
Boys team scores: Rush-Henrietta 80.5 points, Lockport 64, Corning 61, Victor 41.5, Spencerport 23, Oakfield-Alabama/Elba 22, West Seneca West 20, McQuaid 20, Jamesville-DeWitt 19.5, Brockport 19, Penfield 17, Oswego 15, Franklin 11, Wilson 10, Lancaster 10, Webster Thomas 9, Webster Schroeder 9, School of the Arts 5, Skaneateles 4.5, Aquinas 4.
400-meter hurdles relay: Ethan Maguire (Penfield) 1:00.26. 400 relay: Lockport (no names provided) 44.93. 1,600: Victor (no names provided) 3:36.21. 3,200: Corning (Brian Bates, Liam O’Reilly, Jacob Drew, Bryce Derick) 8:30.81. 800 sprint medley: Oswego (no names provided) 1:41.48. 1000 sprint medley Swedish: McQuaid (Daniel Rooney, Amari Lawrence, Atiba McLaren, Noah Williams) 1:59.79. 1,600 sprint medley: R-H (Dilan Campbell, Paul Henry, Ryan Kenney, Myles Watts) 3:34.26. Distance medley: Corning (Kevin Moshier, Derick, Peter Kane, Colin Sonnefield) 10:46.80. 110 shuttle hurdle: Victor (no names provided) 1:10.05. High jump: Mason Woodard (O-A/E) 6-1. Pole vault: Kirk Feeney (Lockport) 13-6. Long jump: Lavette Warren (Lockport) 20-51/2. Triple jump: Fardan Allen (R-H) 41-6. Shot put: Christian Johnson (Victor) 50-11. Discus: Keanu Heedram (R-H) 153-2.
Girls team scores: Rush-Henrietta 86, Penfield 61, West Seneca West 53, Corning 48, Webster Thomas 36.5, School of the Arts 32, Mercy 29, Brockport 28, Jamesville-DeWitt 27.5, Spencerport 18, Lockport 15, Victor 13, Lancaster 9, Waterloo 4, Webster Schroeder 2, Aquinas 2.
400-meter hurdles relay: Britney Swarthout (Penfield) 1:07.53. 400: R-H (Adama Donzo, Lanae-Tava Thomas, Tori Thompson, Kelly Statskey) 51.10. 1,600: Corning (Kailey Merrill, Maddie Ustanik, Sophie Herrmann, Zorya Websiter) 4:14.83. 3,200: Thomas (Ellie Songer, Daria Stacy, Amanda Vestri, Natalie Neamtu) 10:06.06. 800 sprint medley: R-H (Thomas, Thompson, Sammy Watson, Ceara Watson) 1:46.67. 1000 sprint medley Swedish: R-H (Thomas, S. Watson, C. Watson, Thompson) 2:17.51. 1,600 sprint medley: R-H (S. Watson, Thompson, Thomas, C. Watson) 4:00.75. Distance medley: Corning (Katie Butler, Marian Cooper, Herrmann, Alivia Collins) 12:42.54. 100 shuttle hurdle: West Seneca West (Emma Harris, Nicole Torres, Alexis Ramirez, Kayla Murray) 1:09.88. High jump (tie): Jordan Silver (Penfield), Rebecca Roth (Victor) 5-0; Pole vault (tie): Regan Maguire (Penfield), Allegra Maxwell (Victor) 9-0. Long jump: Darcy DeAngelis (Spencerport) 16-10. Triple jump: DeAngelis (Spencerport) 35-111/2. Shot put: Leah Hulbert (R-H) 34-71/2. Discus: Brianna Young (Brockport) 113-7.