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Kenmore East track kids aim for Jr. Olympics

KENMORE - It might be the off season, but the Kenmore East track and field team is still hard at work.

Six members of the Bulldogs varsity track and field team, and two of its budding future varsity athletes made a strong showing as Ken-East captured three first place ribbons as part of the Niagara Associations strong showing at the Junior Olympic qualifiers that took place at Hilton Hgh School in Rochester.

The six Bulldogs, and two “puppies,” will now advance to the regional’s that will be held at Jamestown High School July 12-14.

“It’s fun to see the kids taking the sport seriously and to be willing to do things in the summer,” said Ken-East coach Shane Magaris.

“It’s real exciting to see them. Because when you coach track you get a lot of different athletes. Kids doing it just to stay in shape (for other sports). To see kids who take it seriously, and really have a fair amount of them, it’s fun.”

Leading the way for Ken-East athletes was sophomore Austin Nagelhout.

Nagelhout, who came off of a strong season as a state qualifier and key member of the Lady Bulldogs, took first place in the long-jump and triple-jump in the 15-16 age division.

Ben Jackson took first place in the boys pole vault for 15-16 bracket.

Shelby Goudy, who was a key member of the Lady Bulldogs relay teams, took first place in the 400 meter dash in the 15-16 age group.

Senior-to-be Erin O’Brien, a co-captain on Ken-East, was strong in the 17-18 division as she came in second place in the 400 intermediate hurdles and fifth in the 110 high hurdles.

Avery Walsh placed fourth in the 400 for 17-18 year olds.

The Ken-East “puppies” who made an impact at Hilton were Magaris kids Molly and Niko Magaris.

Molly took first place in the javelin throw for the 9-10 division.

Niko Magaris, meanwhile, made a good accounting of himself as he came in third place in the javelin in the 7-8 age group.

Proud that his own children did well, Shane Magaris was thrilled that regardless of how they finished, that his children are embracing the sport.

“You just want to them to compete, and how they place doesn’t really at this point matter.” He said. “You hope they do well, but to see them really doing well and that confidence builds in a young kid-it’s fun. It’s exciting.”

Competing against upwards of 1,000 athletes July 12-14, the Ken-East athletes are aiming for Nationals that will be held in Greensboro,N.C. later this month.

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