CICERO — Prior to their run Saturday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, every member of the Homer boys’ 4×800-meter relay team said they could run faster than the new school record time of 8:09.24 they set at the Section 3 State Qualifier May 31 on the same track.
Teddy Mercer, Andrew Swenson, Kollin VanWagenen and Grant Stokoe were right. The Trojan quartet posted a new school-record time of 8:06.06 to finish in third place in Division II and brought bronze medals back to their hometown, finishing two spots better than their fifth place seed.
Homer was fourth in its heat, which featured Division I and II teams, but were the first Division II team in that heat. The Trojans placed 17th overall out of the 30 teams that competed.
St. Anthony’s (CHSAA) was the overall winner with a time of 7:45.78. Pearl River from Section 1 was the Division II winner after clocking 7:50.32. Bronxville from Section 1 was second in Division II at 7:53.10.
Mercer took the starting gun to get the Trojans going. He tied his personal-best time of 1:59.9 before handing off to Swenson. “Teddy got bounced around a little at the start but managed to keep his feet,” Homer coach George Schneider said. “Over the course of his two laps his best position was second place and he handed off in fifth place.”
Swenson turned in a personal-best performance of 2:04.4 on the second leg before giving the baton to VanWagenen. “Andrew took the lead half way through his leg and led for just over 200 meters but fell to seventh place at the handoff,” Schneider said.
VanWagenen turned in a personal best time as well with a 2:07.4 during his third leg. “Kollin’s best position was fourth place and he handed off in ninth,” Schneider noted.
Stokoe ran the anchor leg and ran a school record 800m split of 1:54.2.
“Grant’s first lap of 53.7 seconds moved the team into fifth and he passed one more runner on the final lap,” Schneider said.
Seniors Swenson, VanWagenen and Stokoe ended their high school careers on a high note while Mercer, the junior has momentum to build on for his senior season of cross country and track.