AHS track teams remain undefeated

McKenna Palczak competes in the 400 meter hurdles. Picture by Scott Mulford.

The Amsterdam boys and girls track and field teams had dealt with cold weather before, but at Tuesday’s final home meet and senior night, the rain had athletes and scorekeepers seeking shelter under nearby tents. However, that didn’t dampen spirits as both teams earned wins over Catholic Central (girls 114-58, boys 132-23) and the boys added a win over CBA 106-73 as each took a step toward another Big 10 title.

“They’ve been around the program long enough and paid their dues,” AHS girls head coach Stu Palczak said of the seniors Caitlyn Adamchick, Dellilah Quinones , Abby Wollman, Hannah Wollman, Taylor Seidel, and Marilyn Rodriguez. “They improved each year…they bought into the system that you have to work hard to do well.”

The Lady Rams worked hard to turn in first place finishes in 13 events. The Wollman sisters were first and second in the 200 meter run, and Abby Wollman took first in the long jump. Quinones hustled to a first place finish in the 3200 meter run, and was second in the 800 meter. Adamchick was part of the winning 4×800 meter and 4×400 meter relay teams. She also finished second in the 400 meter run. The senior reflected on the success of this years team.

“We’ve all been pushing each other to do well,” she said. “Hard work pays off.”

When asked for some encouraging words for next years team she said; “Always push each other and never give up. Don’t be afraid to try something new, and always work hard.”

The Lady Rams encouraged each other throughout the day despite the rainy conditions. Olivia Lazarou’s teammates shouted out to her as she sprinted the final leg of the 4×400 relay. Lazarou also earned wins in the 800 meter and 1500 meter runs. Brenda Santana was first in the 100 meter, and McKenna Palczak took home first in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:18.9. The Lady Rams did well in the field events as well with Allison Dixon taking first in the discus, Cassandra Robataille winning the pole vault and Maddie Janetsky topped the triple jump with a distance of 32 feet, 3 inches.

AHS will have one more Big 10 track meet in less than two weeks against Albany and Troy to decide the league title. They will be looking for another overall solid team effort.

“We’ve been able to rely on our distance runners all year,” said coach Palczak. “We have to have a really good day in the field events when we face Albany and Troy.”

The AHS boys team a good day in the field against Christian Brothers Academy and Catholic Central. The Rams led CBA by a narrow 50-45 margin after the track events, but took first in all the field events.

“Going against CBA we had to stay close on track,” said AHS boys head coach Kevin Wilary. “Knowing they would be good in distance and then hammer them in the field events, and we did that.”

Earning first place field wins were Giacomo Lanzi (shot put), Jose Perez (discus), Isaiah Cameron Murray (pole vault), Izaiah Brown (high jump), Omari Sturdevant (triple jump), and J. Gallup in the long jump. Amsterdam would get plenty of gutsy performances on the track to stay with CBA.

“Our distance runners did a great job with all running personal best times,” said coach Wilary. “Especially Andrew Druziak in the 800 meter. He took it out running hard and stayed with the CBA runners. He split them up and finished second.”

Druziak was also part of the winning 4×400 relay team with Brown, David Graveley and Julian Gallup. The impressive win had one competitor remarking that Brown, who ran the anchor leg, had lapped their team. As the meet ended, the sun peeked through the clouds revealing athletes trying to stay dry while huddled under the tent covering the scorers table.

Graveley was first in the 400M hurdles with a time of 58.4 seconds and won the 110M hurdles as well. Brown was first in the 200 meter (21.9 seconds), and the 400 meter (47.8 seconds). Sturdivant teamed with Bryan Stanavich, Shane Derose and Lucas Dorr to win the 4x100M relay. It was the final home meet for seniors Dorr, Derose brothers Jared and Julian Gallup, Kenny Ribot Diaz, and Austin Bartone.

“We had good team chemistry,” said Lucas Dorr on his senior teammates. “We all grew up together.”

Dorr went on to talk about working toward goals as freshman and how he was trying to break a time of 11.0 seconds in the 100 meter run.

Amsterdam will have a chance to reach another goal in winning the league title in less than two weeks against Albany and Troy. When asked what he would say to encourage next years team, Dorr said “Don’t give up,” which is something the Amsterdam track and field teams have lived by all season.

Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.