SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — There is no shortage of outstanding indoor track athletes in Sullivan County, nor a dearth of remarkably talented basketball players and teams. That said, to become a champion—either as an individual or as part of a team enterprise—requires much more than great competency and determination. For champions are not just very good in their sport, they are exceptional. This past week at the Sullivan County Indoor Championships and, to an even greater extent, at the ensuing state qualifier, the cream rose to the top.
For the vast majority of indoor track athletes, the Sullivan County Championship Meet is the denouement of the season. But it is far less daunting than the rigorously competitive state qualifier which produces only two or, in some cases, three athletes in any given event to represent Section 9 at the March 1 state meet at Cornell University’s Barton Hall. Thus it was that this past week produced two tiers of track champions.
All athletes who earned county honors, including the Tri-Valley Lady Bears, who garnered their fourth consecutive county team title and the Monticello boys, who wrested the crown from defending champion Tri-Valley on the last event of the meet, are to be lauded for their efforts. Some of the county champions also went on to qualify for states. Let’s start with those.
Sullivan West junior Mitch Paciga won the county meet with a leap of 6-3 in the high jump, the same height he registered at the state qualifier, making him the second best in his event in Section 9. Tri-Valley’s Aric Boyes won the shot put in the county meet with a heave of 46-6.5 but topped that with Section 9’s best 50-10.5 to win the state qualifier. Eldred’s Alex Campanella won the 3200 (no time recorded as the officials miscounted the laps to finish the race one lap short), 1600 (5:09.4) and the 1000 (2:57.4) at the county championships. He won the state qualifier in the 3200 with a lightning quick 9:30.09. Tri-Valley’s Mareena DiMilia missed the county championship meet, as did teammate Katlynn Greffrath, as they were winning their final regular season basketball game at S.S. Seward. DiMilia took second in the state qualifier in the shot put (36-4) and in the long jump (16-1) punching her ticket to the state meet. The rest of the top finishers from the Sullivan County Indoor Track Championships are as follows:
Boys: 1600 relay: Tri-Valley 4:01.6; 3200: Alex Campanella (Eldred) time not available; 600: John Harned (Monticello) 1:36.7; 1000: Campanella (Eldred) 2:57.4. 55: Shane Jackson (Monticello) 6.69; 55 hurdles: Doug Leek (Eldred) 8.5; 1600: Campanella (Eldred) 5:09.4; 300. Harned (Monticello) 39.39; High jump: Mitch Paciga (Sullivan West) 6-2; 5-4. Shot put: Aric Boyes (Tri-Valley) 48-6 1/2; 2 800 relay: 1. Monticello (Ali, Smith, Raines, Roses) 1:46.6; 2. Tri-Valley 1:47.8; 3. Liberty 1:48.3.
Girls 1600 relay: Tri-Valley (Vicky Tingley, Alex Brooks, Brittany Pennell, Claire Tierney) 4:43.1; 3000: Brook Gillette (Tri-Valley) 11:10.3; 600: 2. Autumn Bender (Tri-Valley) 1:56; 1000: 1. Bender (Tri-Valley); 55: 2. Mariah Brickhouse (Liberty) 7.75; 55 hurdles: Tingley (Tri-Valley) 9.45; 1500: Bender (Tri-Valley) 5:25.7; 300: 2. Sierra Thomas 46.75; High jump: Laura Doherty (Monticello) 4-6; Shot put: 3. Claire Tierney (Tri-Valley) 28-9¾; 3200 relay: 1. Tri-Valley (Brooke Gillette, Danielle Graham, Brooks, Ali Reynolds) 11:21.9; 800 relay: 1. Liberty (Nicolette Manzi, Thomas, Brickhouse, Lara Heslop) 2:03.2.
Basketball sectionals began on February 25. Here is the schedule for Sullivan County Teams in the big dance: 2/25: Class C T-V girls host Rhinebeck, Fallsburg boys host Millbrook; Class D Chapel Field girls at Livingston Manor; Eldred boys vs. Chapel Field at Wallkill. 2/26: Class B Sullivan West boys at Ellenville; Class C boys Chester at Tri-Valley. 2/27: Class C T-V girls at Chester (assuming a win over Rhinebeck); Class D finals at Sullivan County CC. 2/28 Sullivan West at Marlboro if the Bulldogs beat Ellenville; 3/1 All Class B, C, D finals at SUNY New Paltz. See next week’s issue for coverage of the Section 9 basketball tournament. For an album of photos from the Sullivan County Championship Meet, visit www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com.