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Michael Kelly/Recorder staff
Broadalbin-Perth's Mike Visco competes in the long jump during Saturday's Eddy Meet in Schenectady.

Michael Kelly/Recorder staff
Amsterdam's McKenna Palczak competes in the triple jump during Saturday's Eddy Meet in Schenectady.

Michael Kelly/Recorder staff
Mayfield-Northville's Todd Briggs competes in the 400-meter hurdles during Saturday's Eddy Meet in Schenectady.


Area athletes take on Eddy Meet

Sunday, May 18, 2014 - Updated: 11:50 AM


SCHENECTADY — Broadalbin-Perth girls freshman Celina Onzo perhaps put it best what competing for the first time at the William F. Eddy Jr. Track and Field Meet is like following her turn Saturday in the 400-meter dash.

“All I know is that when it was my time to get up for the 400, it was like I was competing against the whole stadium,” she said. “It was scary.”

But Onzo acquitted herself nicely at Schenectady High School’s Larry Mulvaney Field, as did a plethora of local athletes at the 74th running of the prestigious meet. Onzo won her heat with a time of 61.32 seconds, which put her at 14th place.

Similarly, the Canajoharie girls 4x400-meter relay entry of junior Ariannah Logan, junior Jordyn Logan, eighth-grader Jordan Porter and junior Dainara Veeder felt the pressure of Saturday’s Eddy Meet. Ellee Fichthorn, the foursome’s coach, said her group was a “ball of nerves” before its race, but could smile after the girls turned in a season-best time of 4 minutes, 13.07 seconds.

The Lady Cougars knew coming into the season that their 4x400-meter relay could be special and wanted to use Saturday’s fierce level of competition to turn in a time showing the group could compete at a high level.

“We hadn’t done that yet, so, for them to go out and run such a good time, it was great,” said Fichthorn. “We still have room for improvement, too.”

That is a scary thought for the other small-school clubs that will contend with the Canajoharie girls at sectionals and state qualifiers, as the Lady Cougars’ relay team beat large-school Section II competitors such as Albany and Shaker.

The Amsterdam boys, which received big days from junior Izaiah Brown and sophomore Omahri Sturdivant, won the team title, but several other area competitors turned in strong performances.

For the B-P boys, junior Jake Coveney finished in fifth place in the triple jump with a mark of 42 feet, 6.75 inches, while senior Mike Visco took fifth in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 8 inches.

For the Lady Patriots, junior Coreena Monroe finished in 12th place with a time of 68.63 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles.

Fonda-Fultonville senior Kim Geniti also competed in the 400-meter hurdles, coming in 18th place with a time of 71.83 seconds.

F-F’s Dan Westman won the boys’ unseeded mile run, just missing his goal of breaking 4 minutes, 30.0 seconds when he finished 2.97 seconds shy of that mark.

“I wanted to break that, but it didn’t happen,” said Westman. “I wanted to push for it.”

Westman likely could have broken that mark if he been able to compete in the seeded mile. Instead, Westman elected to run earlier in the day so he could make his junior prom on time.

Benefiting from the day’s top-flight competition was Fort Plain’s Jordan Ahrens, as the junior finished in sixth place to register the Hilltoppers’ only point. The senior finished in 10 minutes, 11.97 seconds — more than 15 seconds better than his previous personal record.

Ahrens said his body was aching as he neared the finish line.

“Then, I heard my time, and all the pain went away,” said Ahrens. “I could have [raced] again.”

Mayfield-Northville’s Todd Briggs had a busy day, participating in four events. The junior standout competed in the 110-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, long jump and triple jump; Briggs’ best finish came in the triple jump, where his mark of 41 feet, 10 inches landed him in eighth place.

A selection of area athletes competed in the throwing events, too. B-P’s Pierre LaPort finished in seventh place in the boys’ shot put with a toss of 45 feet, 11.75 inches, while Zach Florian recorded a shot of 39 feet, 8.75 inches to come in 17th. Also, Fort Plain’s Gene Ryan finished in 17th place in the discus throw with a mark of 117 feet, 10 inches.

On the girls’ side, B-P’s Anna Smith finished 15th in the shot put with a distance of 31 feet, 1.0 inches, while F-F’s Camryn Savoie had a mark of 100 feet, 11 inches to finish in eighth in the discus throw.

Several Amsterdam girls also competed Saturday, with eighth-grader Olivia Lazarou leading that group. Lazarou won her heat of the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 31.81 seconds, and also competed in the 1,500-meter run.

While the competition was constant throughout Saturday, most of the athletes were able to enjoy the experience and environment of the area’s largest meet.

Lady Rams junior McKenna Palczak, who competed in the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump, said she enjoyed getting to root for her teammates and friends on other teams just as much as she did competing.

“The atmosphere for this meet is definitely different,” she said.

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