That was how Amsterdam girls track and field head coach Stu Palczak described the Amsterdam varsity girls track and field meet against South Glens Falls on Tuesday afternoon at Amsterdam High School. After completing 16 events, the Amsterdam Lady Rams led the Lady Bulldogs 70 to 62 in points, but because of an unusable pole vault at AHS and therefore nine points still left in the balance, South Glens Falls still had a chance to win. It was decided by the coaches of both teams that the pole vault event for the girls will be held at Saturday’s Queensbury Invitational to complete the competition.
The Lady Rams need to score just one point to win the meet.
“If we score we would win,” Coach Palczak said. “It’s been a pretty competitive meet. Both teams have been well prepared. It’s a bit of a let down it ended indecisively.”
During track and field dual meets the point system scores five points for first place, three points for second place, and one point for third place. South Glens Falls would have to sweep the top three places in the pole vault to win, by one point. According to Coach Palczak, Amsterdam senior Kaitlyn Devine will enter the pole vault competition on Saturday, and would need to finish in at least third to give the Lady Rams the win, and complete an unbeaten season for the team in dual meets.
Devine normally would have some company for the event in teammate Cassandra Robataille, but Robataille, also a senior, was injured while competing in the pole vault back in April which led to the cancellation of the event at AHS home meets for the remainder of the season. The Lady Rams dominated in both of their home meets against Gloversville and Johnstown earlier in the year rendering the pole vault competition unnecessary, but on Tuesday they faced some pretty tough competition from the Lady Bulldogs. Amsterdam had plenty of strong performances among its eight first place finishes, most notably from junior Edena Sanchez, who powered the Lady Rams to victory in all three relay events.
Sanchez anchored the first relay event of the meet, the 4×800 meter, and along with Emma Gomez, Olivia Lazarou, and Emma Patrei, the team clocked in with a winning time of 10 minutes and 14.30 seconds, well ahead of South Glens Falls 10:43.20. Amsterdam’s 4×100 meter relay team of Sanchez, Alyssa Kuchis, Brenda Santana, and Giuliana Pritchard sped to victory in 52.40 seconds, and the AHS 4×400 meter relay team including Sanchez, Gomez, Gabby Stanavich, and Lauren Santiago, also impressed with their winning time of 4:18.60. Sanchez also took home the 800 meter run title with a time of 2:24.70, almost a full 12 seconds faster than Lady Bulldogs’ Kayli Hammond, the second place runner. Sanchez’s performance was crucial in the relays particularly, because in those events during dual meets, only the first place team scores points.
“The leg Edena ran in each of the relays decided each one,” Coach Palczak said. “Coach Wilary and I anticipated this would be a competitive meet. We talked about setting the lineup and made some changes. The changes we made worked out.”
Sanchez running in the 4×100 meter was one of those changes. In recent meets, Devine would run the third leg of the meet, but on Tuesday it was Sanchez who filled in and the Lady Rams didn’t miss a step. Freshman Gabby Stanavich running in the 4×400 meter relay was another change, and again the Lady Rams won convincingly. Stanavich also picked up another eight points for her team by taking the top spot in the 400 meter hurdles, and finishing second in the 100 meter hurdles. Her performance complimented another brilliant yet contentious effort from the Lady Rams in the sprint events.
Brenda Santana crossed the line in front for the 100 meter dash clocking in at 12.70 seconds. The sophomore’s time was a full tenth of a second better than SGFHS’ Ashley Anderson. But, it was Anderson who came in first in the 200 meter dash, two tenths of a second ahead of Santana. AHS took third in both races with Devine in the 100 meter, and Lauren Santiago in the 200 meter. Every point was important.
The Lady Rams swept the top three places in the 400 meter run with Santiago, Santana, and Patrei scoring the points. Patrei also finished third in the 800 meter run. The Amsterdam girls needed every score they could get as South Glens Falls best and most versatile athletes were on their game for the entire meet.
Lady Bulldogs’ Regina Rosati and Sabreena Quintos-McKinney combined to win six individual events. Rosati, who qualified for state competition in girls cross country this past fall, faced the toughest challenge AHS could present in talented sophomore Olivia Lazarou, who already in her young career has been to states in cross country twice, and had defeated some of the best in Section 2. Lazarou was stride for stride with the Lady Bulldogs junior for the first two laps of each the 1500 meter and 3000 meter distance runs. However, Rosati began to put a little space between herself and her rival by the third lap and pulled away to win both races. Rosati’s teammate Amber Decrescente, also a state qualifier in cross country, took third in each race giving the Lady Bulldogs twelve points for the distance events. However, that didn’t underscore the importance of Lazarou’s efforts, and as with Sanchez’s runs, every point was meaningful.
“The girl from South Glens Falls (Rosati) got her (Lazarou) twice today,” Coach Palczak said. “Olivia still did a great job in all her events.”
Lazarou and Rosati faced each other earlier in the day’s first event, the 4×800 meter relay, in which Amsterdam won by better than 20 seconds.
Quintos-McKinney won four events for the Lady Bulldogs including the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, and shot put. SGFHS placed second or third in each of those events with Katie Bain placing in the 100 meter hurdles, Kionah Thomas in high jump and long jump, and Nicole Laing in shot put. However, only the Lady Rams scored in every event. In addition to Stanavich placing second in the 100 meter hurdles, Alyssa Kuchis finished third in the high jump, Devine was second in the long jump, and Hailey Madej earned second in the shot put.
Also scoring for Amsterdam were Aneysha Gonzalez (1st in discus throw), Madej (2nd in discus throw), and Emma Gomez (2nd in triple jump). All setting up a chance for Devine to finish off the win by scoring in the pole vault on Saturday. It would be fitting that one of eleven seniors honored on Tuesday afternoon secured the win and an undefeated dual meet season for the Lady Rams. Both the AHS boys and girls team won Foothills Council South division titles in 2016.
The senior members on the roster of the 2016 Amsterdam girls track and field team include; Chantel Dopp, Kaitlyn Devine, Cassandra Robataille, Monet Nole, Sarah Damasco, Iesha Hopkins, Ruth Luna-Martinez, Stephanie Medrano, Solmarie Rivera, Isabella Santiago, and Leann Simard.
When asked what she would remember most about her time on the team. Chanel Dopp said,“Learning from each other and pushing each other at meets. Working together. It really has been a family atmosphere. Coach Palczak has helped me not just in track, but in the classroom too.”
“They’re an eclectic group,” Coach Palczak said of the 2016 AHS seniors. “Some of the girls are here to be competitive and others to have fun. They add a lot to the team. A fun group to have.”
Following the Queensbury Invitational, both teams will compete against each other in the Foothills Council Championships on Wednesday at Schuylerville High School.