Girls’ track & field programs shine at state meet

Local athletes bring their best to compete

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The 2019 NYSPHSAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships brought about another successful showing by the representatives from Tompkins County when the competition was held in Middletown on June 7 and 8.

Of the six schools in the county, three of those programs were represented at the state meet in the girls’ competition. While the performances are certainly true feats of athleticism, there would be one that stood above the rest, as one local athlete returned as a state champion.

Lansing’s Gwen Gisler, who placed fourth at the state indoor meet during the winter led the way for all Division II vaulters, capturing the state title in pole vault with a jump of 11-09.00.

“It didn’t sink in until the next day,” Gilser said. “It was a long day, and then the day after I said, ‘Oh wow, I just did that!’”

The Lansing junior was not alone at the state meet, as she was joined by a number of teammates. Catalina Zaloj, who spent the spring with her name atop almost every results sheet, found herself with high finishes in both events she competed in. Zaloj would finish the 400-meter hurdles with a seventh-place finish among Division II competition with a time of 1:06.10, while soaring over 5-05.00 in the high jump, securing third place in Division II.

A 5:10.72 finish for Catie Eisenhut would add another strong showing to Lansing’s outstanding day, as she finished in 24th place overall in the event. Eillie Howell executed a 16.41 time in the 100-meter hurdles to cap off the track performances, while Kiara Tornusciolo rounded out Lansing’s efforts with a 19th-place finish in the pole vault with a jump of 9-00.00.

The Ithaca Little Red sent three athletes to represent the school in the Division I girl’s meet, as Lucia Sibley, Addison Wolff, and Kalena Yearwood competed in three events.

Sibley, who was the lone Little Red Competitor in a track event, found herself as a top-10 finisher in the Division I 400-meter hurdles. With a time of 1:07.65, Sibley was able to finish 10th in the divisional final.

Her teammates, Wolff and Yearwood, would find themselves competing alongside each other in the field events, as the pair brought home top-15 finishes in the discus throw. Wolff would earn an 11th-place finish with a throw of 117-03.00, while Yearwood would finish in 13th with a throw of 116-04.00.

Yearwood would also compete in the shot put, and would use her longest throw of the finals, her second of three, to secure a 12th-place finish with a mark of 36-05.25.

While the other two schools in attendance at the state meet saw individual athletes competing for state titles, the Trumansburg Blue Raiders entered the state championships with teamwork in mind.

The Blue Raiders sent two relay teams to the meet, both of which were competing in the short distances, the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays.

The 4x100 meter relay was captained by the lone senior on the squad, Finley Edmonds, who ran with a trio of sophomores in Gracie Wright, Emma Wright, and Glen Parker. The four Blue Raiders held off the team from Hudson Falls to finish fifth in the Division II race with a time of 50.35.

The three sophomores saw action later in the day, as they were then joined by classmate Anika Doxtater in the 4x400 meter relay. Similar to the 4x100 finish, the Blue Raiders edged out the trailing team from Rhinebeck by a 0.01 of a second to take sixth with a time of 4:09.10.

In a season that saw numerous Section IV championships for these same competitors, the results of the state meet seem a fitting end to not just the track and field season but the school year as well.

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