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High School Track and Field: Hornberger, Brooks lead local contingent of top finishers at sectionals

Hamburg’s top sectional finishers were, from left: Jake Wojnicki (third-3,200); Tom Reimondo (fourth-pentathalon); Amy Villarini (third-400), Sam Ruszczyk (third-400) and Tim Dubill (fourth-400).

Lake Shore’s Calvin Butlak and Natalie Cummings with their sectional patches after placing in the steeplechase.

Like during the winter indoor season, the Section VI outdoor championships finished up on Saturday (June 1) at Pioneer with two standout locals being crowned champions twice. Lake Shore sophomore TJ Hornberger won the 3,200 and 1,600 races and Frontier sophomore McKyla Brooks took the triple and long jump crowns.

Hornberger won the 3200 meters in a time of 9:29 and the 1600 in 4:21. He will be competing in both events this coming weekend in Middletown where he’s ranked in the Top 10 in the state for both. Hornberger ran by himself for most of both races and lapped opponents but was slowed a bit by weather into the 90s and some wind.

“He’ll tell you himself he’s not pleased with the times but what can he do in 90 degrees at the hottest time of the day,” Lake Shore coach Trisha Ippolito noted. “We’ll hopefully bring home some personal bests and medals this coming weekend.”

Brooks won the long jump pretty easily as her best was a 19-foot, four-and-a-half inch effort, which was still short of her ultimate goal of reaching the Section VI record of 19-9.25. The next day, she won the triple jump with a 38-10.25.

Also at the meet, for the Hamburg boys, seniors Tom Reimondo and Tim Dubill earned matching fourth place-patches in the pentathlon and the 400 meters, respectively. Reimondo finished with a personal-best 2553 points, while Dubill ran a best of 51.49.

Junior Jake Wojnicki finished third in the Division 1’s 3200 with a time of 10:13.82 on the extremely hot day. Freshmen Pete Rindfuss finished seventh in the 3000 steeplechase. Seniors Kyle Brown, Austin White, and Zach Stumpf finished their track careers with strong performances. Brown, in the discus, and White and Stumpf, in the 4x400 relay, nailed personal bests.

On the girls side for Hamburg, the heat and excellent competition brought out the best in the Bulldogs as two school records were broken.

In the 400 trials, Amy Villarini ran a 59.14 FAT to eclipse the mark set 20 years ago by Molly Sheehan, who went on to Virginia Tech, earned a PhD. and is now at Cornell University. Villarini also advanced in the 200 with her best time. On Saturday, she was third in the 400 finals and sixth in the 200. Sam Ruszczyk advanced to the finals with her best 400 hurdle effort. She came back on Saturday (June 1) to set her own school mark of 1:05.21, which broke the 10-year old record of Laura Jezek who went on to run at St. Mary’s College in Maryland and earned a masters degree in international trade.

Villarini, Ruszczyk, Brooke Dehlinger and Lenaya Walter ran a best time in the 400 relay to advance. In the finals, Walter was replaced by Lexi Kinsman. The quartet finished seventh overall having improved from being seeded 10th.

Also Saturday, Meghan Hagerty gave her best pole vault jump of 8-6 to finish ninth, while Taylor Thurnherr was 10th. Also in 10th was Anna Chiachia, who moved up from the last seed in the high jump. On the track, Leah Covelli moved up her seed to eighth in the steeplechase and Erin Kane moved up one spot to 13th. Erin Cuddihy ran her second best time in the 1500.

Facing the hot weather in the 3200, Molly Kabsa improved her best 800, but Cuddihy, Covelli and Kane were unable to sustain. The team finished as seeded. Ruszczyk, Villarini, Walter and Gabby LaRosa were sixth in the 1600 with a time about four seconds slower than their ECIC time.

Also for Lake Shore at sectionals, three other athletes received patches for a top 4 finish.

Sophomore Calvin Butlak finished in third in the 3000 steeplechase and eighth grade phenom Natalie Cummings took fourth in the 2000 steeplechase. Butlak faced an end of the year injury that hindered him a bit, while Cummings also has a bright future ahead, according to Ippolito.

In the pole vault, ninth grader Chris Beckley cleared 11-06 and classmate Madison Bates cleared eight feet. Finishing with personal bests were junior Chad Wilkie, who jumped 40-3 in the triple for fourth and Ty Becker with a personal best long jump of 20-0.5 for fifth. Makayla Arcara also participated in sectionals and finished with a 13-10 in the long jump.

In the hurdles, senior captain Kade McGarrity had his best performance in the 110 high hurdles with a time of a 16.64. He and sophomore Dan Kowal, finished fifth and sixth in the 400 hurdles with times of 1:01.28 and 1:02.16, respectively.

Also for Frontier, senior Pat Osuch was second in the pentathlon with a total of 2909 points, junior Adrian Cannon finished third in the 400 with a 51.26 and David Douglas was third in the triple jump (40-06) and on the girls side, Sydney Bova took third in the 1500 with a 4:53.79 and Brenda Perrella was third in the shot put (38-10.25).
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