Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Amsterdam's Olivia Lazarou competes in the 4x800-meter relay during Thursday's Big 10 meet in Albany.
Michael Kelly/Recorder staff Amsterdam's Brenda Santana, left, and Abby Wollman are shown competing in the 4x100-meter relay during Thursday's Big 10 meet in Albany.
By MICHAEL KELLY
ALBANY -- In the end, the Albany Lady Falcons outdoor track and field team had just a little bit more than the Amsterdam High School Lady Rams.
In Thursday's battle of unbeaten teams to decide the Big 10 title, Albany prevailed, 100-80, to claim the league championship.
"Albany is well-rounded, talented and did a really nice job today," Amsterdam head coach Stu Palczak said.
"They really did do good," said Amsterdam senior Delilah Quinones. "But we worked hard, too."
Both Albany (6-0) and Amsterdam (5-1) topped Troy (3-3) at the dual meet, with the Lady Rams winning their matchup, 99.5-80.5.
The Lady Rams had won the Big 10 title in 2013, but had to settle for second place in their final year in the league before leaving for the Foothills Council next season. Palczak said it was tough to come up short, but that he walked away from Thursday's action feeling pretty good about his club.
"Toward the middle of the meet, I was sort of in the doldrums because it was evident that [Albany] was superior in the field and we weren't going to be able to make it up on the track," he said. "But, then I saw the way our girls finished today, and I was so impressed.
"And not just our [4x800-meter relay] team going 20-plus seconds faster than normal or the [4x400-meter relay] team going 17 seconds faster, but we had girls busting their rear ends in the sixth heat of races to get their PRs," Palczak finished.
Thursday's result means the Lady Rams' focus will turn to the Big 10 Championships, next week's invitational featuring the league's squads.
"We're definitely looking forward to next week, but I don't think anyone's really upset here," said Amsterdam junior Maddie Janetsky. "We might be a little discouraged, but we all know how well we did. Sometimes, they just get you. They just got us today."
Janetsky led the Lady Rams with a win in the triple jump, an event in which she set the school record Thursday. The junior recorded a mark of 33 feet, 4 inches -- blowing past the old record of 32 feet, 7 inches.
"She crushed it," Palczak said.
Janetsky said she had bested the old record in practice a few times, but that it was a relief to finally pull off the feat at a meet.
"These past couple meets, I've been right up there, but I keep fouling or doing some minute thing wrong," she said. "This time, I was really determined. It's been lingering over my head and I knew I wasn't that far off."
The Lady Rams also received individual wins from eighth-grader Olivia Lazarou (800-meter run, 2 minutes, 34.3 seconds; 1,500-meter run, 5 minutes, 15.2 seconds) and McKenna Palczak (100-meter hurdles, 17.3 seconds).
Amsterdam's 4x800-meter relay team also was victorious with a time of 10 minutes, 17 seconds. That team consisted of senior Caitlyn Adamchick, sophomore Chantel Dopp, Lazarou and Quinones.
While Thursday's loss to Albany stung, the Lady Rams' head coach said he left the meet encouraged with the way his young team performed. Besides Lazarou, multiple middle-school athletes -- such as seventh-grader Lauren Santiago and eighth-grader Gianna DeRosa -- contributed for the Lady Rams in the defeat, leaving Stu Palczak already looking forward to Saturday's invitational in Johnstown.
"I can't wait for Saturday," he said.
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