By MICHAEL KELLY
ALBANY -- Both the Amsterdam High School and Broadalbin-Perth girls outdoor track and field teams found out valuable things about themselves Saturday at the CBA/La Salle Relays.
Competing at the University at Albany with nine other teams, the Lady Rams finished in seventh place and the Lady Patriots finished in eighth. Bethlehem won the overall team event.
The main takeaway for AHS was that the club's strong start in the Big 10 has not been a fluke, as the squad had several athletes post top-five finishes in their events.
"We competed well with the strong teams," AHS head coach Stu Palczak said.
AHS junior Maddie Janetsky led the Lady Rams' triple jump relay team to a victory, as she posted the day's best leap with a mark of 30 feet, 4.5 inches. Janetsky also posted the day's second-best result in the long jump, an event in which the AHS girls came in second.
"This year, we're getting very strong in the field," she said. "I'm excited for this jumping season. I think we're going to break a lot of records."
Janetsky teamed with senior Hannah Wollman and junior McKenna Palczak in the triple jump event, while Janetsky teamed with seniors Abby and Hannah Wollman in the long jump.
Elsewhere, all three of the Lady Rams' entries in the day's two open events had strong showings. In the 200-meter dash, eighth-grader Brenda Santana finished in fourth place; in the 1,500-meter run, eighth-grader Olivia Lazarou came in third place and senior Delilah Quinones finished in fourth.
"I thought Delilah had a great race -- best race she's ever had in track -- and Olivia keeps getting better with every race," Stu Palczak said.
Lazarou finished in 5 minutes, 5.65 seconds, and Quinones finished in 5 minutes, 5.71 seconds; Santana finished her race in 27.53 seconds.
The Lady Rams also had a nice showing in the 4x100-meter hurdles, which finished in third place. McKenna Palczak finished in 17.95 seconds to lead a team that included eighth-grader Natalie Fernandez, freshman Isabel Gonzalez and sophomore Cassandra Robataille.
"I thought we all did really good today," Santana said.
Stu Palczak said he was pleased that the Lady Rams were able to send a bevy of younger athletes to the invitational.
"They got a good taste of what a big meet is like," he said.
The Lady Patriots were competing for the first time this spring. Head coach Jeff Richards' squad was missing several key elements, as athletes were missing because of vacation trips.
"Even minus some of our girls, I had girls I wanted to put in everything," said Richards. "When we have everybody, the girls are going to be phenomenal."
Since B-P was missing some athletes, it was able to put some kids into new events. That paid dividends, as Richards was able to discover some new pieces of talent, such as sophomore Lauren Smith, who impressed with her running of 400 meters in a relay.
"We found out she's going to be a good 400 girl and could make a run at being in our four-by-four," Richards said.
The Lady Patriots' best finish Saturday was in the shot put relay, in which B-P finished in second place. Senior Anna Smith had the day's best throw in that event, as she recorded a shot of 35 feet, 1 inch; also, as an individual, she had the second-best throw in the discus.
Joining Smith on the shot put relay team were junior Danielle Landers and freshman Harmony Zukas.
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