The best in New York State brought out the best in Section VI as four boys claimed public school state titles after Friday's first day of the New York State Track and Field Competition. The annual event drew a field of 521 boys and 486 girls from 430 schools to Cicero-North Syracuse High School.
Putting an exclamation point on a big opening day was senior Tyler Scheving of Barker, who defended his state title in the Division II 800 meters in 1:54.33. Senior Daryl Spencer of Cleveland Hill won the Division II 400 hurdles in 54.48. Senior Mike Prevorse of Pioneer won the Division II discus in 163 feet, 8 inches. Senior Jailyn Twitty of Amherst won the Division I triple jump in 47-7.
Scheving's sentiments on his surroundings were echoed by many. "This was the most competitive race of the year and the highest level of competition you're going to see," said Scheving, who will run for UB in the fall. "The game plan was to go out with the lead pack, but the first lap was kind of slow. The second lap from about the 300 was a dead sprint to the finish."
Spencer was on the receiving end of a bear hug from his track/football coach Glen Graham following his race in which he broke the school record. Spencer was an All-WNY defensive back last fall for the Eagles. He's going to continue his football career at Cortland.
Spencer actually slipped in the blocks at the start, but between the fifth and eighth hurdles was able to make up the time. "He's so physically strong, that part of the race has been good to him," said Graham, who added Spencer had a "slugger's chance" of winning today's 110 hurdles.
Cleveland Hill's last state champion was Rhakeem Wiggins, who won the 200 meters on this same track in 2009.
Prevorse clinched the title on his second throw of the day. He was six feet short of his season best 169 at ECICs, and said, "I'm not too happy with the distance, but I guess I'll take it."
Twitty said he overcame leg cramps to preserve the win. He will continue his track career at Kent State.
Sophomore T.J. Hornberger of Lake Shore was third in the Division I 3,200 in 9:24.70. He led the first three laps of his heat and said he benefited from being pushed. Corey Wefing of Maple Grove, the surprise winner at sectionals, ran a 9:42 and said afterward he was pleased with his sophomore season.
The Clarence 4x400 relay of James Willy, Jon Kuberka, Ben Reinhardt and Dan Wrobel broke their own school record set last week (3:22.38).
Senior Jordan Kihl of Lancaster finished fourth in the state in the Division I discus at 153-0. Kihl has proved a quick study in the discus. Last year he didn't even qualify for the ECIC meet. His Division II counterpart, Andrew Burgio of Depew, was also fourth in 151-0.
Senior Wayne Gordon of Sweet Home has found his stride. He positioned himself for a big day today as he won his heat in the Division I 100 meters in a season-best 10.83. He qualified as a fourth seed for the 200-meter final, running a 22.03. He also anchored the Panthers' 4x100 relay that went a blazing 43.02, WNY's best time to date.
Senior Marcus Lobdell of Kenmore West is attempting to win the pentathlon after finishing second last year. Three of the five events were Friday. In the first event, the 110 hurdles, he hit a hurdle pretty hard, but still managed to run his season-best by .35, a 15.04. He won the high jump clearing 6-3 and did 37-1 in the shot put. He enters today's long jump and 1,500 meters in fourth place, 109 points behind leader, Pat Meyer of Hilton.
In the Division II pentathlon, junior Trevin Barber of Allegany-Limestone is No. 2, trailing leader Ryan Owens of Letchworth by 170 points.
Junior Dominik Kosar of St. Joe's looked impressive in the discus as he qualified as the No. 2 seed for today's Federation final at 177-7.
Senior Kalen Sullivan of West Seneca West was all smiles after his Division I 800 meters, which broke the school record. His 1:54.72 bettered the 2002 mark of 1:55.41. "I've been wanting that record all season long," said Sullivan.
Tyler Plaud of Olean qualified for the Division II 100- and 200-meter finals.