Amsterdam track and field teams top Gloversville, stay unbeaten in Foothills

The Amsterdam boys and girls track and field teams stayed on target to reach their goal of earning repeat division titles with a pair of impressive performances against Gloversville on Thursday afternoon at Amsterdam High School. The AHS boys captured 13 first place finishes on their way to 105.5 to 25.5 win, and the AHS girls placed first in 11 events and also took 10 second place finishes in a 94 to 38 triumph. Both victories came under mostly sunny skies and in more Spring-like conditions.

“The weather was a lot better,” Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary said. “We had some really good times today.”

The Amsterdam boys swept the sprints and distant runs getting top efforts from Kevon Boucaud in the 100 meter and 400 meter dashes, and Omari Sturdivant in the 200 meter dash. The closest race coming from Boucaud and Mikey Gomez in the 400 meter dash where Boucuad finished with a time of 52.10 seconds and Gomez was just a step off that pace with a time of 54.20 seconds.

The Rams also got first place efforts in the distance events with Gabe Fernandez taking first in the 800 meter run. Fernandez’s teammate Michael Johnson came in third. Timmy Kline gave AHS a pair of wins in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs. Trevor Dzikowicz finished second to Kline in both races, and Will Weinheimer came in third in the 1600 meter event.

As important as the track events were in helping AHS take a commanding lead Thursday, the Rams have been getting consistent performances from the field teams. Amsterdam swept the shot put and discus events with senior Edgar Maldonado taking first in both events. Maldonado’s 32 feet and 9.5 inches was best in the shot put. Gabe Dejesus took second with a score of 31 feet, 4.75 inches, and Jahleel Muhammed was third with a total of 30 feet, and one inch. Austin Brock also picked up a second place finish in the discus throw giving the Rams 17 out of the total 18 points in the two events.

“Edgar is the ultimate teammate,” Coach Wilary said. “He’s the leader of the discus and shot put teams. Sweeping the throwing events, he scores as many points for us as the sprints. Taking first and second place in the discus and shot put helps us as much as the track teams.”

Maldonado is the leader of a team that includes DeJesus, Muhammed, Brock, Nico Orengo, Giovanie Adorno, and Sullivan Fitz-James. Maldonado’s leadership was evident Thursday in the outstanding effort.

“I think we definitely did well today,” Maldonado said. “I wanted the team to focus on their technique and form. We’re improving every day.”

The Amsterdam boys also got winning efforts from Michael Johnson in the 400 meter hurdles, Gehrig Garner in the high jump, and Boucaud in the long jump and triple jump. Boucaud outdistanced teammate Omari Sturdivant with a leap of 20 feet, 11.5 inches in the long jump, and a distance of 44 feet, 1.75 inches in the triple jump. Sturdivant was second in both events gaining 20 feet, three inches in the long jump, and 40 feet, 9.5 inches in the triple jump. Carlos Martas took third for AHS in the long jump.

The Amsterdam boys relay teams picked up wins in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter events. The Rams 1600 meter relay team of Gabe Fernandez, Mikey Gomez, Sturdivant, and Luis Rodriguez was victorious with a time of 3 minutes, 46.40 seconds, and the Rams 3200 meter team of Fernandez, Mikey Gomez, Michael Johnson, and Timmy Kline clocked in with a time of 9 minutes, 35.10 seconds.

The Rams 400 meter relay team of Marcos Santiago, Luis Rodriguez, Adam Tatun, and Louis Fedullo earned a second place finish, as did Santiago in the 110 meter hurdles. Michael Johnson was third in the hurdles.

Yet, even with the two impressive wins this week over Foothils Council division rivals Johnstown and Gloversville, the Rams know there is always room for improvement if they want to claim their second straight Foothills Council championship.

“We have to place first and second in a lot of events,” Maldonado said. “Our distance and throwing teams need to be consistent. There are places we need to improve to get better.”

“Our specialty events,” said Coach Wilary said when asked where the Rams could improve. “There’s just so much you can work on every day in practice. Our kids are in good shape. We need to work on our specialty events.”

Wilary also noted some of the athletes who showed improvement and will be counted to continue getting better as the season moves forward.

“Angel Sanchez on the boys side and Gabby Stanavich for the girls really impressed me today,” Wilary said.

Sanchez was entered in four events for the Amsterdam boys and placed eighth in the 100 meter dash, sixth in the long jump, and was part of a fifth place 400 meter relay team for AHS, and a fourth place 1600 meter relay team. Gabby Stanavich was part of an Amsterdam girls team that picked up their second win in three days in a talented Foothills Council South Division.

The Amsterdam girls had a very similar performance to the boys by sweeping the sprints, distance runs and relay events. The Lady Rams gathered most of their points with 11 first place finishes and 10 second place efforts producing the win. A positive outlook was the key.

“I thought today we saw a big improvement,” Amsterdam coach Stu Palczak said. “Particularly in the kids approach to the meet. We had a really good meet.”

The Amsterdam girls once again got wins from Brenda Santana in the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes, Lauren Santiago in the 400 meter dash, and Edena Sanchez in the 800 meter run. And, like the AHS boys, the Lady Rams got plenty of support with second place finishes from Kaitlin Devine in the 100 meter run, Santiago in the 200 meter, and Emma Gomez in the 400 meter events. Santana’s time of 13.30 seconds, and Devine’s 13.80 seconds in the 100 meter run were accented by Giuliana Pritchard’s third place time of 14.10 seconds giving the Lady Rams a sweep of the points in the first sprint event of the day.

Olivia Lazarou was also true to form in the distance runs. It didn’t matter that there was no sign of rain, sleet or snow, Lazarou enjoyed the beautiful weather and easily won both the 1500 meter and 3000 meter events. Amsterdam senior Chantel Dopp picked up a second place finish in the 1500 meter run, and was third in the 800 meter run. Dopp, who is also a six year starter on the AHS cross country team, is primarily a distance runner for the Lady Rams track and field team, but on Thursday she had to fill in on the 1600 meter relay team at a moments notice.

“I was thrown in unexpectedly,” said Dopp, who ran the third leg of the race.” I’m usually not in the four by four hundred.”

Dopp and teammates Edena Sanchez, Emma Gomez, and Lauren Santiago finished first with a time of four minutes, 26.10 seconds. It was a close race early as both Emma Gomez and Gloversville’s Emily Ross were stride for stride during the first leg and handed the batons to their teammates at nearly the same time. Dopp, along with Edena Sanchez and Lauren Santiago put some distance between them and their opponents Kaitlyn Senzio, Haley Dunlap and Madison Fancher, who finished with a time of 4:55.80.

“Chantel Dopp is a senior leader on this team,” Coach Palczak said. “Wherever we need her she does well. She’s there for the team in whatever event we put her in.”

The AHS girls 3200 relay team of Emma Gomez, Edena Sanchez, Kayla Sondrup, and Olivia Lazarou won with a time of 10:39.90. It was a victory for Sondrup, the youngest member of the AHS girls team who continues to impress her coaches and teammates.

“She’s done a great job,” said Dopp of Sindrup, who’s only an eighth grader, and like Dopp also part of the AHS girls cross country team. “She still has a lot of potential.”

Dopp also knows that the Lady Rams need to keep working together if they want to win their first outright Foothills Council title.

“We have to keep pushing each other,” Dopp said. “We need to make our distances and get our times down.”

The Lady Rams also got a win from the 400 meter relay team of Alyssa Kuchis, Brenda Santana, Kaitlyn Devine and Giuliana Pritchard, although they made a slight change in the lineup.

“We flip flopped with Alyssa running the first leg, and Giuliana running the anchor leg and it worked,” Coach Palczak said. “Coach Decker helps the kids with baton exchanges. He does a good job with the kids.”

Gabby Stanavich also contributed to the Lady Rams win taking the top spot in the 400 meter hurdles for her first Foothills Council event win. Stanavich was also second in the 400 meter hurdles. AHS sophomore Kayla Dzikowicz was second in the 400 meter hurdles, and third in the 100 meter hurdles.

“Gabby Stanavich is a great athlete,” Coach Palczak said. “It’s a matter of finding what event she’s best suited for, finding her niche.”

The Lady Rams field teams were also a big part of the victory. Aneysha Gonzalez gave AHS another first place with a throw of 24 feet, one inch in the shot put, and was third in the discus throw behind Haley Madej, who took second in the both the discus and shot put events. Dakenya Gonzalez was third in the shot put for Amsterdam. Lauren Santiago was second in the long jump ahead of Brenda Santana in third, and Madej in fourth. Emma Gomez took second in the triple jump, and Alyssa Kuchis placed third in both the high jump and triple jump.

The Gloversville girls got first place finishes from Madison Fancher in the 100- meter hurdles, Briana Port in the long jump, Kayla Murphy in the discus throw, and Sierra Fancher in both the triple jump and high jump. Sierra Fancher’s winning height of 4′ 8” in the high jump was followed by an acrobatic back flip on to the mat. Brianna Port also finished second in the high jump. On the Gloversville boy’s side, Taylor McCredie took first in the 110 meter hurdles, and was second in the 800 meter run, and third in the high jump. The Gloversville 400 meter relay team of Buck Glaster, Alex Reppenhagen, Jared Roman, and Robert Ward also earned a first place finish.

The Amsterdam track and field teams return to action on Saturday when they will meet plenty of talented competition at the Niskyuna Warrior Classic.

“Nisky is going to be a fun meet,” said Coach Wilary. “We will be seeing a lot of good competition there. Having these two Foothills Council meets helps us to get going.”

“These past two meets help set us up for Saturday,” Coach Palczak said.

Yet, the Amsterdam track and field teams are about more than their athletic accomplishments. From the beginning of the season at the Bi County Meet last Saturday and through this weeks competition, the AHS teams have represented their school with a true meaning of sportsmanship.

“A Gloversville parent said to me that your team is a group of classy kids,” Coach Wilary said addressing the team after the meet. “You showed sportsmanship in encouraging each other and also applauding the efforts of the Gloversville kids. That was the best thing I heard all day.”

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.