Distance runners key in AHS boys track win on senior night

The Amsterdam High School boys track team’s narrow 73.33- 67.66 win against Broadalbin-Perth came down to some key performances from distance runners on Thursday.

“Every point mattered in this meet,” Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary said. “It came down to the distance runners. We put a lot on Mikey (Gomez), Ryan (Kamanu), Dan (Bublak), Marcos (Santiago), and Kevon (Boucaud). They carried the team.”

AHS junior Misael “Mikey” Gomez found himself entered in two key events for the Rams, the 800 meter run, and the 1600 meter distance event, and along with that, a pair of relay events. Gomez came through in impressive fashion winning both the 800 meter with a time of 2 minutes, and 13.40 seconds and the 1600 meter (4:59.99), each time outracing a talented group of BPHS runners including Joey Vitalis, James Mosher, Jeff Shlomovich and Devin Becker.

“It felt great to win,” Gomez said. “I came in to the race nervous, but knew I had to go out there and do it for my team. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Gomez was also part of the winning AHS 4×400 meter, and 4×800 meter relay teams. Gomez led off the shorter distance and teamed with Kamanu, Rafael Ramirez, and Luis Rodriguez (3:42.60), and anchored the 4×800 meter with Kamanu, Ramirez, and Antonio Reyes (9:04.60). With the two teams separated by points, the boys 4×800 meter was the last and most exciting race of the day as athletes crowded from one side of the track to the other cheering for their teammates as loud as they could. Gomez kept up the furious pace and held off a charging Lance Jennings for the win. Gomez was entered in four events, and Amsterdam came away with four wins.

“It was a real team effort out there today,” AHS junior Ryan Kamanu said. “But, the real MVP was Mikey Gomez.”

Kamanu also played a key role in the AHS win, their second straight in the Foothills Council since dropping the season opener to Scotia-Glenville in early April. Along with being part of two winning relay teams, Kamanu picked up points for the Rams with a second place finish in the 400 meter run (55.60), and a runner up spot in the 800 meter (2:18.90). Kamanu’s time in the 400 meter was only five seconds off the pace of first place finisher and senior teammate, Kevon Boucaud.

Since joining the Amsterdam varsity track and field team as a sophomore, Boucaud has had a number of outstanding teammates to help him along the way. On Tuesday, the school record holder in the long jump once again won that event, with a distance of 22 feet, 4.5 inches. Boucaud also dominated in the sprint events taking the 100 meter dash (10.70 seconds), the 200 meter dash (22,30), and the 400 meter (50.60). Boucaud has sprinted his way to victory in each of his Foothills Council races this season, and took a moment to reflect on his time as part of the successful Amsterdam program.

“My favorite moment is of my teammates Omahri (Sturdivant) and Izaiah (Brown),” Boucaud said. “They showed me what to do. They pushed me to mature myself, and to get faster. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Perhaps Boucuad could be the next Amsterdam track and field athlete to appear on a college track, following in the footsteps of Brown and Sturdivant. But, the history of success the program has enjoyed over the years won’t end there.

“We had a team meeting before the start today,” Boucaud said. “Once we got together we encouraged the younger ones and said to them,’You have the potential.’”

That potential is being realized with the likes of Daniel Bublak, who was first in the 3200 meter run with a time of 11.30.10, and Marcos Santiago, who won the 110 meter hurdles (15,50), and was second in the 400 meter high hurdles (1:01.90), and with Luis Rodriguez, who placed second in both the 100 meter (11.00), and 200 meter (23.10) runs, and Angel Sanchez, who took second in the triple jump with a distance of 34′ 11”.

“We had a lot of races out there where we just picked each other up,” Coach Wilary said. “One of the guys we moved around was Mikey Gomez. He won the mile. Daniel Bublak won the two mile, and Ryan Kamanu won back-to-back relay events. It came down to them and they pulled us through.”

Amsterdam’s seniors also contributed to the win. In addition to Boucaud, distance runner Tim Kline was third in the 1600 meter run (5:12.10), fourth in the 3200 meter, and fourth in the triple jump, Ja Muhammed was third in the discus throw (104′ 8”), and fifth in the shot put, and Brett Forsey was fourth in both the 100 meter run (11.60 seconds), and 200 meter run (24.40), and teamed with Sanchez, Rodriguez, and Santiago in the AHS 4×100 meter relay team that was short of winning by only .20 seconds (46.20).

AHS sophomore Louis DiManno tied for second in the high jump (5′), and placed third in the 110 meter hurdles (19.60 seconds). Antonio Reyes and Rafeal Ramirez tied for third in the high jump for Amsterdam (2-1 Foothills).

Broadalbin-Perth got first place wins from Jeff Derwin in both the shot put (49′), and the discus throw (154′ 3”), Niko Mancini in the triple jump (36′ 4”), Zachary Johnson in the high jump (5′ 3”), James Mosher and Jeff Shlomovich (tie) in the pole vault (8′), Jacob Bunker in the 400 meter hurdles (1:01.70), and the 4×100 meter relay team of Bunker, Johnson, Troy Monroe, and Ivan Roberts (46.00).

The Patriots got second place efforts from Joe Vitalis (1600 meter run), James Mosher (3200 meter), Jacob Bunker (110 meter hurdles, long jump), Niko Mancini and Troy Monroe (tie-high jump), John Coddington (shot put), and Marcos Viera (discus throw).

The Amsterdam track and field teams honored ten seniors, with their parents in a ceremony before the meet. Members of the AHS Class of 2017 include Chase Walton, Stephanie Garcia, Tim Kline, Edena Sanchez, Janina Sjoberg, Brett Forsey, Kiara Figueroa, Ja Muhammed, Calynn Vitus, and Kevon Boucaud.

The Amsterdam varsity track and field teams return to Foothills Council action on Tuesday when they travel to Gloversville’s Park Terrace Elementary School for a meet with the Huskies. Start time for the meet is scheduled for 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.