AHS girls take win over BPHS, honor seniors

The Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity track and field team could literally run away with the Foothills Council South Division title this year. Through 33 events contested on the track this year, the Lady Rams are a perfect 33 wins in 33 races. Amsterdam earned its third straight win over a Foothills Council foe on Thursday with a 90- 46 win over the Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots on ‘Senior Night’ at Amsterdam High School.

“One of our season goals is to win the Foothills Council South division title,” Amsterdam Coach Stu Palczak said addressing his team after the meet. “We took a step closer to doing that today, and Tuesday at Park Terrace we can accomplish our objective.”

The Lady Rams dominated on the track for the third straight Foothills Council meet and have not lost a track event all season in league competition, or a track event at the AHS complex. Brenda Santana out-sprinted BPHS’ Eliana Fraser in the 100 meter dash, winning with a time of 12.70 seconds, then defeated Fraser again in the 200 meter posting a time of 26.30 seconds. Sophomore Lauren Santiago topped the field in the 400 meter run crossing the line in 1:01.40, and senior Edena Sanchez bested the competition in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:27.70.

Much like her senior teammate Kevon Boucaud, Sanchez has enjoyed three years of success as part of both the Amsterdam outdoor and indoor track and field teams. Sanchez, who also won as part of the AHS 4×100 meter and 4×400 meter relay teams, reflected on a favorite moment with her track and field family.

“One of my favorite moments happened during this year’s indoor track and field season,” Sanchez said.

“We were in the state qualifiers and racing against Colonie, Scotia-Glenville, and Albany. Our coach said he knew we had the potential we just had to believe it. Getting to states to us, was a dream.”

But, that dream became a reality moments later, and the Lady Rams indoor track and field team achieved more success than any AHS girls indoor track and field before it. The Lady Rams 4×400 meter relay team that teamed Sanchez with Brenda Santana, Olivia Lazarou, and Lauren Santiago was at their best when school history was at stake.

“Brenda handed me the baton and I passed the girl from Colonie and kept the lead then handed off to Olivia, who kept the lead, and then finally Lauren, who just brought it home. The coaches were jumping up and down, and I ran out and hugged Lauren even before the next girl crossed the line. It was so unreal. It was like something that happened out of a movie. I’ll remember it always.”

Sanchez and her teammates have consistently put up their best times through the years and have set new school marks in the relay events during the current season. That success is not lost on anyone wearing an AHS uniform, and especially not Olivia Lazarou, who as the most successful AHS girls cross country athlete in the program’s history, was true to form in the 1500 meter sprinting away to a victory in a time of 5:09.00. Lazarou also anchored the 4×800 meter relays team’s win during the first event of the day. Lazarou, Sanchez, Santiago and Santana all give Amsterdam strength across the board in the track events.

“We’re pretty good on track,” Coach Palczak said. “We set it up to play to our strengths.”

With the veteran runners dominating, Amsterdam’s underclassmen kept up the pace as well. Freshman Skylar Grybos won the 3000 meter run, crossing the line in 13 minutes, and 21 seconds. Grybos’ teammate, eighth grader Brook Marshall was second in 13:36.10. Freshman Kayla Sondrup was third in the 1500 meter run (5:43.00), sophomore Emma Gomez placed second in the 400 meter run (1:06.20), and eighth grader Charli Beekman placed third in both the 100 meter dash (13.30), and 200 meter dash (28.10). Junior Emma Patrei placed third in the 800 meter run posting a time of 2:46.80. Patrei, Beekman, Sondrup, Grybos, and Marshall all played in role in the triumph of the Lady Rams relay teams that are also undefeated in league competition this season.

The 4×800 meter relay event kicked off the meet with both the girls events taking place at the same time. The Lady Rams started with Sondrup, then Grybos, Marshall and finally Lazarou, who has showed another element to her game by displaying the speed that has helped improve the times of the relay teams. Lazarou helped bring home the win as the team posted an overall time of 10:45.70.

Sanchez ran the first leg, and Patrei ran the second for the AHS 4×400 meter relay team. Lazarou showed even more quickness in the third leg maintaining the lead for Santiago to finish off and win in 4:16.70.

Beekman was the first runner for the Lady Rams 4×100 meter relay team, and along with Santana Sanchez, and Gabby Stanavich continued the win streak with a time of 51.10 seconds. Stanavich completed a sweep of the hurdles, taking the 100 meter event in 15.10 seconds, and topping the 400 meter event in 1:12.30. Samantha Kaminski was fourth in the 100 meter and 400 meter hurdles for AHS.

“On the track we’re strong,” Coach Palczak said. “We’re getting better in the field, and that’s a good sign.”

Many of the young, talented athletes on the Lady Rams track team, also excel in the field events. Emma Gomez claimed first in the long jump with a distance of 15 feet, 5.75 inches, and was second in the triple jump (31′ 8.75”). Kayla Sondrup took home first in the high jump matching her personal best in the event with a height of 4′ 8”. Sondrup, in her first year participating in the event has been a bright spot for the team, learning the event quickly and giving reason for optimism.

“She’s consistently hitting four foot, eight inches,” Coach Palczak said. “Which is a good height.”

Coach Palczak was confident that Sondrup can take her personal best higher before season’s end, and he had even more reason to smile with the success of the throwing teams in the field events.

AHS junior Haley Madej was first in the discus throw with a total of 80 feet. Madej’s teammate, senior Janina Sjoberg took second in the shot put with a distance of 26′ 10”, and was third in the discus (64′ 9”). Madej was also third in the shot put (26′ 4”).

“Our throwers have been doing very well,” Coach Palczak said. “Coach Wilary (Kevin Wilary) put in a lot of time and works hard with them.”

Emma Patrei placed third in the triple jump (27′ 10.5”), and fifth in the long jump (14′ 2”), Lauren Santiago was third in the long jump (14′ 8.5”), Skylar Grybos was fourth in the high jump, and Kelly Kilgallen placed fifth in the shot put, and sixth in the discus throw.

“We’re getting better in the field events,” Coach Palczak said. “I’m proud of them.”

Broadalbin- Perth got first place efforts from Madison Fariello in the pole vault (6′ 6”), Hailey Parrotti in the triple jump (32′.75”), and Alyson Becker in the shot put (28′ 8.5”). Second place finishes came from Eliana Fraser in both the 100 meter (12.90), and 200 meter (27.80), Victoria Laurange in the 100 meter hurdles (17.80), and long jump (15′ 3.50”), Jordyn DeNeuville in the 400 meter hurdles (1:19.30), Cassy Bown in the high jump (4′ 3”), Allyson Becker in the shot put (67′ 6”), and Gabby Larsen, who in her first meet back from injury placed second in the 1500 meter run (5:33.00). The last time Larsen ran was at the AHS track during the Bi-County Meet. The Lady Patriots sophomore had reason to smile after her efforts that included another second place finish, in the 800 meter run.

Parrotti (110 meter hurdles), Amirah Caruso (400 meter hurdles), Julie Capito (300 meter run), and Jordyn DeNeuville (high jump) all earned third place finishes for the Lady Patriots. Tesa Brody was fourth in the 400 meter run, and ran a leg in each of the BPHS girls relay teams.

It was the final home meet for Amsterdam seniors Chase Walton, Stephanie Garcia, Edena Sanchez, Janina Sjoberg, Kiara Figueroa, Calynn Vitus, Kevon Boucaud, Tim Kline, Brett Forsey, and Ja Muhammed, who were honored with their parents before the meet began.

The Amsterdam Lady Rams (3-0 Foothills), can wrap up their third straight Foothills Council South Division title on Tuesday when they face Gloversville at Park Terrace Elemetary School. Start time is scheduled for 4:30pm.