Day 2 of Section VI Athletics State Qualifiers at West Seneca West High School began with a historic performance.
The first event of the day was the Division II girls’ 2,000-meter steeplechase, and it was clear as soon as the starter’s gun was fired that Allegany-Limestone junior Angelina Napoleon was better than her competitors. She immediately took a huge lead and it only grew as the race progressed as she passed all but two people on the final lap.
She finished in an American record time of 6 minutes, 24.32 seconds to beat her section record of 6:31.49. She won the competition by almost a minute and a half.
When her achievement was announced to the crowd, she was greeted with loud applause.
“It means a lot,” Napoleon said. “It had been on my mind for a month, so I really wanted to do it.”
Hours after her winning performance, she was still the star of the event, receiving kudos everywhere she went.
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“It’s great to see the support coming through Section VI,” she said. “Even when I was going down the straight, everyone was cheering me on, and that was really motivating.”
Napoleon also won the Division II women’s high jump with a New York State top-25 clearance of 5-foot-4. East Aurora’s Kate Hillyard also earned a top-25 clearance in the state with a 5-3 rating. The third through fifth finalists – Aaliyah Sansone of Springville-Griffith Institute, Mercedez Obert of Chautauqua Lake and Emma Foley of Maple Grove – finished with 5-1 marks in the state’s top 50.
“Honestly, I did high jumping just to see what I could do,” Napoleon said. “If it was there, it was there. If it wasn’t, it wasn’t. Today it was there, so it was good.
Napoleon will be aiming for her third state title of the college year, as she won the Class C cross-country championship in the fall and the 1,000 meters indoors during the winter. The New York Public High School Athletic Association Championship will be held Friday and Saturday in Cicer-North Syracuse.
Cheektowaga senior CJ Krzanowicz was also impressive that day, winning the Division II boys’ 110-meter hurdles with a top-10 time of 14.88 seconds, as well as the 400-meter hurdles with a top-25 state finish. 56.78 seconds, and took part in the team’s 4×100 meters relay, which finished in 43.71 seconds.
Krzanowicz’s last competition was being the anchor for the Warriors in the 4×400 meter relay. As he crossed the finish line with a team time of 3:35.68, he shouted “four for four”, as Cheektowaga won the first part of the race.
“It’s probably my best year on track,” Krzanowicz said. “Usually I don’t do very well during tryouts, but I’ve been locked up lately. It took me a long time to start this season, I was not doing very well. A lot has happened in previous years and this year there is nothing.
Last year he improved his body and is committed to keeping up. He has established himself as one of the best runners in the state and aims to become one of the best runners in the country. Her post-graduate plan is to attend the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio. While there, Krzanowicz plans to improve further in fierce competition with aspirations of joining the Arizona State track team.
“Going four against four is tough,” Cheektowaga coach Richard Bridenbaker said. “It’s truly an honor to what a gifted athlete he is. It’s hard work and he has excellent preparation. He almost has a pro attitude when it comes to his races.
Speaking of speed and having a competitive mentality, Sweet Home senior and Kent State signee Lanee Hall is one of those people. She won the 100-meter hurdles in 15.13 seconds, a top 10 in the state, and was part of the winning Panthers 4×100-meter relay team with a time of 50.82, beating Lancaster by 0.4 seconds. .
Hall also qualified for States in the long jump with a standard mark of 17-9.50 and clinched a berth in the triple jump on Friday with a standard mark of 39-2.
“She’s a natural leader,” assistant coach Lari MacPeek said. “I hope others will follow what she modeled.”
Falconer senior Devin Austin was one of many to pull off a performance under difficult circumstances.
In the boys’ Division II high jump competition, Austin finished with a 6-3 mark in the state’s top 25; won the triple with a 43-8 rating, top-50 in the state; and earned himself another opportunity to graduate as a state champion multiple times. He won the state title in the indoor long jump.
“It means a lot to win with this injury,” Austin said. “It means I can do a lot more than I thought I could. I can push myself way more than I ever thought I could.
In the Division I men’s pole vault, Orchard Park senior and Cornell entry Kegan Mancabelli won the competition with a 14-3 top-10 score in the state. He won the men’s indoor pole vault title. Mancabelli’s brother Anthony finished second in qualifying with a 12-0 clearance.
- Frontier freshman Lillie Bogdan won the Division I girls’ 2000-meter steeplechase with an American top 10 of 6:54.35. Amherst senior, second, and Mallory Grubb, committed to the northwest, finished with a 7:02.88 in the top 25 in the United States.
- Jumping to an 18-3.25 mark in the Division I women’s long jump, Frontier rookie Lea Philarom moved into the top 10 in the state.
- Alden’s Kyle Urban won the Division II boys’ 3000m steeplechase with a top 10 finish in the country, winning the meet with a mark of 9:30.13.
- Zack Winnicki of Lancaster dominated the Division I boys’ 3,000-metre steeplechase, crossing the finish line in a time of 9:50.04. The brand earned Cornell a top 25 ranking in the United States
- Randolph junior Roan Kelly won the boys’ Division II 1,600 meter race with a top-10 time of 4:15.91
- West Seneca West rookie Carly Lopez won the girls’ Division II 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:05.63 in the state’s top 25.
- Sweet Home junior Adriana Ellsworth won the Division I women’s high jump 5-4 in the top-25.
- Amherst’s Brad Johnson won the Division I men’s shot put with a distance of 50-9.75, placing him in the top-25 in the state.
- Starpoint senior Veda Jaunch won the Division I women’s discus by winning the event with a 121-10 top-10 mark in the state.
- Tapestry freshman Janee Long represented the city, winning the Division II women’s long jump with an 18-3.25 mark, placing her in the top 10 in the state.
- Cheektawaga senior Katrina Chandler came first in the Division II women’s discus with a 115-10 top-25 rating.