AHS athletes shine at 2017 Bi-County Track Meet

Both the Amsterdam High School girls and boys varsity track and field teams were at their best and among the top performers at the 38th Annual Kiwanis Bi-County Invitational Track and Field Meet held Saturday at Amsterdam High School. The event, held in memory of Ken Smith and sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Gloversville-Johnstown involved many of the finest high school track and field athletes from Fulton and Montgomery counties. By the end of the meet several school and meet records were broken, and four Amsterdam athletes took home awards.

Lady Rams 4×100 meter relay team sets meet and school record

The Amsterdam Lady Rams 4×100 meter relay team of Brenda Santana, Charli Beekman, Gabby Stanavich, and Edena Sanchez took down a nearly twenty year old meet record set by another Amsterdam squad back in 1998. Marie Davey, Colleen Dufresne, Lindsay Burt, and Tara Czeski had held the best time of 51.7 seconds in the shortest relay event, but on Saturday morning the 2017 Amsterdam team trimmed 0.7 seconds off that time for not only a meet record, but a new school best mark as well. Considering the times that the current record holders have posted in individual events during their careers, it seemed like it was only a matter of time.

“That was our goal,” Amsterdam junior Brenda Santana said after the race. “We worked really hard on our hand offs. We knew it could be done, but we just didn’t know when it would be done. We’re happy.”

Santana had already had a busy day qualifying for the finals in both the 100 meter and 200 meter runs. She later took the top spot in the finals of the shorter distance with a time of 12.90 seconds, and eclipsed the meet best mark for the 200 meter (26.30 seconds) with a time of 26.20 seconds, although that was good for a second place finish behind teammate Lauren Santiago, who set a new meet best in the event. Santana, also joined Santiago, Sanchez, and Olivia Lazarou for another meet record by the Lady Rams relay teams, this time in the 4×400 meter race where the Lady Rams posted a 4:07.50 time, besting the old mark of 4:09.10 set by Kristen Welch, Marissa Streun, Evelyn Marero, and Deanna Russell back in 2007. Overall for the day, all six AHS relay teams claimed first place finishes.

Boucaud breaks 48 year old school record

The Amsterdam High School track and field record for the boys long jump had stood since 1969. Rams senior Kevon Boucaud put his name in the record books on Saturday with a jump of 22 feet, 9.5 inches for the new school best. It was also a meet record eclipsing the old mark of 22 feet even, set in 1995. But, Boucaud wasn’t really trying for the long jump record. Rather, he had a different one in mind.

“I wasn’t going for it,” said Boucaud, who already had competed in two heats of both the 100 meter and 200 meter runs in the morning session of competition to qualify for finals. “I wasn’t expecting it because I was in the 100 meter and 200 meter. My coach said to go for it, so I went and did it. I was going for the 100 meter, and now I’m looking forward to the Niskayuna Invitational and breaking the 100 meter school record.”

Boucaud did set a new meet record in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.6 seconds. Boucuad’s predecessor Izaiah Brown held the previous mark of 10.9 seconds, and it’s Brown’s school record that Boucaud will be trying to break before the season is through. Boucuad also claimed the top spot in the 200 meter run with a time of 22 seconds flat, and joined the AHS 4×400 meter relay team of Ryan Kamanu, Mikey Gomez, and Marcos Santiago for a winning time of 3 minutes, 32.50 seconds.

Kamanu finishes strong in 800 meter run

“That was the run of my life,” Amsterdam junior Ryan Kamanu said after competing in the boys 800 meter run. “I learned a new trick today.”

Kamanu battled Canajoharies’ Andrew Yacobucci for the entire distance trying to get ahead, but found it difficult against the talented competitor.

“Some guys know how not to let you pass in the back stretch,” Kamanu said. “I had to use a lot of energy to get around him. Next time I’ll be more patient.”

Kamanu finished second (2:08.00), only three seconds behind Yacobucci (2:05.00) in one of the more exciting races of the day. The junior, who is also a leader on the AHS boys cross country team, ran the opening leg of the winning Rams 4×800 meter relay team’s run. Kamanu teamed with Tim Kline, Antonio Reyes, and Mikey Gomez to win the longest race of the day, topping the field with a time of 8:54.20. Kamanu was also part of the winning 4X400 meter relay team.

Santiago sets new meet standard in girls 200 meter race

More often than not, over the past couple of years whenever Amsterdam’s Brenda Santana and Lauren Santiago have competed in the 200 meter dash, it’s been Santana who comes out on top. But, Saturday was Santiago’s turn, and the sophomore shattered the 21 year old meet record with a final time of 25.80 seconds, outpacing Santana by .04 seconds. Both competitors actually broke the old meet mark (26.30), but only Santiago now holds the top spot. In the end, she credited having Santana as competition for helping perform better.

“She always pushes me,” Santiago said. “In the last two races before this one I was just striding, but I knew I had more. On the straight away of the last 10 meters I said to myself that I can do this.”

Santiago also took home first place in the girls 400 meter run with a time of 1:00.10, more than five seconds better than Canajoharie’s Jordan Porter. Santiago was also part of the meet record setting Lady Rams 4×400 meter relay team, giving her two meet records for the competition.

Lady Rams take 4×800 relay

Junior Olivia Lazarou, freshmen Kayla Sondrup and Skylar Grybos, and eighth grader Brook Marshall, all of whom run cross country together, teamed up to compete in the girls 4×800 relay. The three younger members of the AHS squad kept a steady pace with the talented Fonda-Fultonville Lady Braves team, but trailed heading into the final leg as Marshall handed the baton to Lazarou.

Lazarou’s competition in the final leg was none other than Lady Braves speedster Avery Cook, who built a respectable lead of her own, but not enough to hold off a surging Lazarou. Showing the same speed she had used to track down a competitor from Scotia-Glenville earlier in the week, Lazarou passed Cook in the back stretch before the turn, and built a lead of her own, one that she maintained for the win.

Lazarou, who has has grown from a cross country phenomenon to a standout for the Lady Rams track team, and is the first AHS girl to make it to the state and federation competitions, showed respect for her teammates, just like Santiago had credited Santana for helping her win the 200 meter.

“I owe it all to my teammates and coaches,” Lazarou said. “If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Having competition is also something Lazarou appreciates. Her race against Cook was no different.

“I love it when I have someone to compete with. When I’m by myself the coaches tell me I have to find a way to push myself. Having someone to compete with pushes me even more. I look forward to it.”

Lazarou helped the 4×800 meter relay team win with a time of 10:43.60, and was part of the meet record setting 4×400 meter relay team. Lazarou also earned first place in the girls 1500 meter run posting a time of 5:04.50.


Santiago, Stanavich named Track Athletes of the Meet

Amsterdam’s Marcos Santiago was named Outstanding Track Athlete for the boys, and Gabby Stanavich received the Outstanding Track Athlete Award for the girls. Santiago took first in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 15.50 seconds. He tied for first with Johnstown’s Eirk Frank in the 400 meter high hurdles ((1:00.90). Santiago was also part of two winning relay team for AHS. Stanavich placed first in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 15.30 seconds, and is getting closer to the school record held by her aunt Marie Davey, (15.10 seconds). Stanavich also sprinted away from the field in the 400 meter hurdles (69.10 sec.), and was part of the record breaking AHS 4×100 meter relay team.

Boucad, Santiago earn overall honors

Lauren Santiago became the first Amsterdam girls athlete to win the Outstanding Overall Athlete Award at the Bi-County Meet since it began in 1980. Santiago turned in an incredible performance taking first in both the 200 meter (meet record), and 400 meter runs, and was part of the meet record setting AHS girls 4×400 meter relay team. Boucaud continued a streak of seven years that an Amsterdam boys’ athlete has won the meets’ Outstanding Overall Athlete Award. Boucaud broke the school record in the long jump and set a new meet standard in the 100 meter run. The AHS senior also claimed first in the 200 meter dash and helped the AHS 4×400 meter relay to first as well.

More among AHS’ best

Overall on the day Amsterdam track and field athletes turned in 20 first place finishes, and placed in the top six in nearly every event. Among the first place finishes were Edena Sanchez (girls 800 meter), Haley Madej ( girls discus throw), Mikey Gomez (boys 400 meter), and the Amsterdam boys 4×100 meter relay team (Sanchez, Joyner, Santiago, Forsey). Taking second place were; Emma Patrei (girls 800 meter), and Kayla Sondrup (girls high jump).Other top finishers included; Charli Beekman (4th- girls 100m), Emma Gomez (4th- girls 400m), Sondrup (4th- girls 3000m), Brook Marshall (6th- 3000m), Kayla Dzikowicz (5th- 400m hurdles, won first heat), Emma Gomez (4th- triple jump, 5th- long jump), Madej (4th- girls shot put), Janina Sjoberg (6th- girls shot put, 6th- discus throw), John Companion (6th- boys 800m), Trevor Dzikowicz (3rd- 1600m), Tim Kline (6th- 1600m), Daniel Bublak (4th- 3200m), Marco Rivera (6th- boys triple jump), and Jahleel Muhammed (5th- boys discus).

The Amsterdam varsity track and field teams will be in action this Saturday at the Warrior Classic at Niskayuna High School. Amsterdam teams’ resume their Foothills Council schedule on Tuesday, April 25 against Johnstown at Knox Field.

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.