CICERO – Dryden High senior Abbey Yatsko and Marathon Central senior Dan Harden are proof that hard work, persistence and determination pays off.
In her 10th New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Division 2 Championship, Yatsko is a state champion. The same is true for Harden in his sixth state meet. They are the longest tenured of the 10 local athletes who competed Friday and today at Cicero-North Syracuse High School’s Michael Bragman Stadium Complex.
Yatsko set a new school record in the 400-meter hurdles Friday as she ran a 1:03.79 to win her state title and advanced to today’s Federation Championship race.
Harden became the Division 2 state champion in the 400m dash with a winning time of 48.94 seconds, besting his seed time of 49.28. This is his sixth overall state meet and fourth outdoor state championship appearance. Harden had a busy Friday as the Olympian placed fourth in the long jump (22-feet-1.25 inches) and ninth in the triple jump (43-7).
Dryden senior Liam Joyce qualified for the Division 2 finals in both the 100m and 200m dashes Friday. Joyce tied his IAC record in the 100m dash with a 10.94 which was fifth quickest in the preliminaries. His 22.42 in the 200m dash was tied for third fastest in the preliminaries.
As for the other Dryden competitors Friday, Tor Wildenstein placed third in the 400m dash, but set a new school record time of 49.64 seconds. Joyce and Wildenstein joined first-time state teammates Kris Kelchner and Eric Varvayanis to place fifth in the 1,600m relay with a time of 3:27.87. Ali Abel-Ferretti had a best toss of 47-10 to finish 10th in the shot put.
Cortland High senior Ezra Engst-Mansilla placed 14th overall in the 200m dash Friday. Engst-Mansilla posted a time of 22.79 seconds.
Alsasce Lorraine Sanders placed 18th in the 100m dash preliminaries. The Homer Central junior posted a time of 13.09 seconds in her first state meet appearance.
“Alsasce should be very proud of her season,” Homer coach George Schneider said. “Just qualifying for the State Championships is a great accomplishment. She plans to learn from this year’s experience and hopefully get back to the meet again next year.”
In addition to Yatsko, Harden and Joyce, Cortland High senior Forest Stewart was to compete this afternoon in the 1,600m run as he entered the competition as the 12th seed (4:30.67) in Division 2.