“It’s a beautiful day, why not go for a personal record?”
That was the thought in Gehrig Garner’s mind as the crowd gathered around the last event of the day, the boys high jump, on Tuesday evening at Amsterdam High School. Garner was among several AHS Rams honored seniors in the varsity boys track and field team’s 94-38 win over the South Glens Falls Bulldogs, and did not disappoint putting up a new personal best of six feet and one inch, then letting out a yell to set off a round of cheers.
“It was crazy,” Garner said. “I knew when I took off that I was going over the bar.”
Garner’s personal record height in the high jump culminated an afternoon in which the Rams placed first in 12 of the 16 events contested to stay unbeaten in the Foothills Council for 2016.
“Since 2011, the Amsterdam boys are undefeated in dual meets,” Amsterdam Coach Kevin Wilary said as he addressed the entire AHS team following the meet.
It was also senior night for both the Amsterdam boys and girls track and field teams, and the AHS boys were their dominant selves from beginning to end, scoring in every event. Kevon Boucaud led the way with three wins in the sprint events kick starting a terrific Amsterdam effort that also included individual event wins by seniors Gabe Fernandez, Michael Johnson, Omahri Sturdivant, and Edgar Maldonado.
Boucaud was the fastest of all in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.10 seconds, and continued with victories in the 200 meter dash (22.80 seconds) where he was a half second faster than teammate Sturdivant, who normally doesn’t run the 200 meter, and the 400 meter (51.60 seconds) where he was over two seconds better than teammate Mikey Gomez.
Fernandez was true to form in the 800 meter run coasting to a win with a time of 2:02.20, adding to the AHS point total. Johnson was tops in the 400 meter hurdles crossing the finish line in 1:02.60. The Rams swept all the points in the hurdles as Marcos Santiago and Jon Knack backed up Johnson. Santiago took first in the 110 meter hurdles supported by Knack and Johnson. Sturdivant took top honors in both the long jump and triple jump, and Maldonado led the way for the Rams with a first place finish in the discus throw.
“It’s really good on senior night to close out with a win,” Coach Wilary said. “This group of seniors are the first group of modified kids who have been with the program since the seventh grade. South Glens Falls has some very good kids. Our kids did a good job. You have to cover every event, and have someone who can score in every event, and we did.”
The Rams relay teams also excelled with both the 4×400 meter and 4×800 meter squads claiming first place. Fernandez, along with Gomez, Luis Rodriguez and Ryan Kamanu brought home five points in the 4×400 meter, and Fernandez later joined Johnson, Sturdivant, and Kamanu for the win in the 4×800 meter. All together, the Amsterdam seniors were responsible for 52 of the team’s 94 points.
“They have been with us forever,” Coach Wilary said of the AHS seniors. “Such hard workers…What kids like Omari (Sturdivant), Gabe (Fernandez), Jon (Knack), and Gehrig (Garner) have done for the program is just awesome.”
The Rams also swept the top three spots in the 200 meter dash with Sturdivant placing second and Luis Rodriguez third. John Companion finished third in the 800 meter run, Boucaud was second in the long jump, senior Alezey Rivera was second in the triple jump, Jahleel Muhammed placed second in the shot put and third in the triple jump, and Timmy Kline took second in the 1600 meter run, and third in the 3200 meter run. All of that culminated by Garner, who got a challenge from Louis Fedullo, who set his own personal best in the high jump at 5’6”.
“It’s a great memory to have,” Coach Wilary said of Garner’s senior night achievement. “That’s great for Gehrig (Garner). These seniors are hard workers. Now in the high jump we have Louis Fedullo who hit his own personal record today. This whole line of seniors are kids who are always helping out others and are working together with the younger kids.”
South Glens Falls got first place finishes from Frank Triolo in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs, the 4×100 meter relay team, and Ryan Desautels in the shot put.
The Amsterdam varsity track and field team return to action on Saturday at the Queensbury Invitational. The teams will use that meet to prepare for the Foothills Council Championships on Wednesday at Schuylerville High School.
Here’s what some of the Amsterdam track and field Class of 2016 seniors had to say when asked what they will remember most about being part of the team.
“How we showed teamwork and how we took our own time to motivate and encourage others on the team. It’s like a second family.” –Edgar Maldonado
“Being a pat of the team, running at meets, and having fun. That’s what we’re here for, to have fun.” – Jon Knack
“It’s one, big family on this team. The coaches help us with everything. They’re great. The next generation of the boys and girls teams can go far.” – Gehrig Garner