Santana breaks school track record at Johnstown Invitational

A blistering hot start to the month of May just might have brought out the best in several area high school track and field athletes at Friday’s Johnstown Invitational at Knox Field as at least one school record and several personal records were broken. Among the contenders for the girl’s team title were the squads from Amsterdam, Broadalbin-Perth, Fonda-Fultonvillle and Canajoharie. The later three schools had boys teams in the running as well.

Gone in less than 13 seconds

Amsterdam freshman Brenda Santana set a new school record in the girls 100 meter dash with a time of 12.83 seconds giving the Lady Rams their only first place win of meet. Santana also clocked in under 30 seconds for the 200 meter run taking second place with a time of 26.87 seconds, behind Nia Joyner of Shaker (26.62).

“Brenda just blew away the field,” Amsterdam girls head coach Stu Palczak said. “It’s official, she set a new school record.”

A new personal best

While Santana’s mark was the only AHS school record broken, she wasn’t alone is setting a personal best. Freshman Olivia Lazarou ran the girls 3000 meter with a new personal record in her sights.

“I definitely had it in my mind for the record,” Lazarou said after finishing the race in 10 minutes and 53.44 seconds to beat her old mark of 10:55. “I’m happy with my personal record, but this year I want to break the school record in the 3000.”

Lazarou is not far off that pace, in fact only ten seconds off. The current school record in the girls event is 10:43. Lazarou sprinted the last 100 meters at Knox Field and when she crossed the finish line the questions started to circulate about her time and the record. Lazarou has another record in mind as well, the 1500 meter. She took sixth place in the 1500 on Friday with time of 5:10.02 .

“Last year my personal record in the 1500 meter was 4:56, and the school record is 4:50,” she said. “I’m hoping to get my time down and beat that one too.”

Robataille takes second in the pentathlon

Amsterdam junior Cassandra Robataille also had an outstanding meet by taking second place in the pentathlon event with a total of 2,245 points, and finishing behind only Broadalbin-Perth’s Chelsea LeBlanc’s first place total of 2,327 points. Robataille took first place in the 100 meter hurdles segment with a time of 17.47. She was second in the high jump, and was leading after the third event, the shot put.

Also performing well and scoring for the Lady Rams were McKenna Palczak, who finished sixth in the 100 meter hurdles, and the Amsterdam 1600 meter relay team who finished third with a total time of 4 minutes, 18.16 seconds. The relay teams have improved on the baton exchange throughout the season.

“We ran in the mid 53’s which is good,” said Amsterdam senior Maddie Janetsky who ran on the 400 meter relay team. “The hand off from Brenda to me was a little short, but overall the hand offs were alright. We didn’t have to stop.”

The Lady Rams finished sixth in the team competition with a total of 44 points, just a half point behind fifth placed Fonda-Fultonville. The Lady Rams showed they have what it takes to step up their game.

“Here at this level it’s deeper so that depth against strong teams forces you to raise your level,” said Coach Palczak. “Athletes are going for personal bests against a strong field.”

Shaker won the girl’s team title with 131 points. Canajoharie was second with 85 points getting first place finishes from Dainara Veeder in both the 100 meter and 400 meter hurdles, Jordan Porter in the 400 meter run and Jordyn Logan in the high jump. Fonda-Fultonville was led by Brittany Castelluccio’s first place win in the long jump, and third place in the 100 meter run. Alesha Heacock took second in the triple jump, and Camryn Savoie finished third in the discus throw.

LeBlanc’s first place in the pentathlon helped her team to a seventh place finish with 34 points. Coreena Monroe placed third in the 400 meter hurdles, and Joanna Tavolaro earned second palace in the pole vault with a height of 8’6” for the Lady Patriots.

The Broadalbin-Perth boys were led by senior Jake Coveney’s first place wins in the 400 meter hurdles and the triple jump. Doug Sutter also took home first in the shot put, and Alex Hitrick placed third in the 3200 meter run. Coveney also finished second in the 110 meter hurdles. The Patriots finished third with 59 points.

The Fonda-Fultonville boys got a trio of second place finishes from; Dan Westman (1600 meter run), Ben Verdai-Davidson (pole vault), and the 1600 meter relay team. Dylan Desorbo finished third in the 400 meter run. Fonda Fultonville finished sixth with 47 points. New Hartford won the team title with 120 points.

Amsterdam boys third at Shenendehowa Invy

The Amsterdam boys track and field team finished third at the Shenendehowa Invitational scoring 88.33 points. Senior Izaiah Brown led the way for the Rams with victories in both the 200 meter and the 400 meter runs. Brown also ran the anchor leg of the winning 1600 meter relay team that included Omari Sturdivant, Edgar Maldonado, and David Gravely, who won the 400 meter hurdles and finished second in the 110 meter hurdles. Sturdivant took home first in the long jump, and was part of the fourth place 400 meter relay team of Sturdivant, Ryan Farley and Kevon Boucaud. Brown placed third in the long jump and Sturdivant finished third in the triple jump. Shenendehowa claimed the boys title with 19 points with Kingston coming in second with 107.33 points.

Both the Amsterdam girls and boys track and field teams will be back in action this week with Foothills Council crossover meets at Amsterdam High School. The Rams and Lady Rams both won the South Division titles and will take on the first place finishers from the North Division. First up are the Amsterdam boys, who will take on South Glens Falls on Tuesday, followed on Wednesday by the Amsterdam girls taking on Queensbury. Both meets are scheduled to begin at 4:30pm.

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.