SANBORN – The Section VI girls track and field championships featured multiple-event winners, a couple surprises and a record-setter, but Tapestry stole the show at Niagara-Wheatfield High School by making history. Twice.
Hours after seniors Taylor Alston and Taniya Jamison became the first Tapestry runners to ever qualify for the state meet, they along with freshman Taylor Hunter and eighth-grader Nia Stevens made more history by becoming the first relay team from the school to win a Section VI outdoor title.
If that’s not impressive enough, consider this: The foursome finished 1-2-3-4 in the Division II open 100-meter dash – which is believed to be the first time that runners from the same school swept the top four spots in the same race.
“The kids are amazing,” Tapestry coach Dan Tryon said. “They’ve worked their tails off all year. From Day One, I knew they could be great if they applied themselves and listened.
“They’re a tight group. The most amazing thing for me today was not them all winning the 100, but after they ran the open 100 they all huddled up and hugged each other. They’ve grown very close and it shows.”
“Oh my gosh, this was a long time coming,” Hunter said.
Tapestry will gather for an encore performance Friday and Saturday during the state championship meet at the University at Albany.
Sectional champions and the next highest finisher to hit the state standard either at sectionals or during the season qualified for the meet.
Alston became the first sprinter from the charter school to win a sectional title as she crossed the finish line in the 100 in 12.26 seconds. Jamison placed second but did so in a state-qualifying time of 12.5, just edging out Hunter by two-hundredths of a second. Stevens finished seven-hundredths of a second back. All four hit the state-qualifying time.
“For me it was really hard because Taniya, she got out of her block so quickly,” Alston said. “I felt like she was my competition. I had to push myself to catch up to her. … I accomplished something but they did too.”
The foursome made things difficult for the competition during the 4x100 relay, posting a time of 48.85, nearly two seconds better than runner-up Depew. That was kind of expected considering the quartet set five meet records at invitationals during the season and the one meet where it did not set the mark, it beat the team that did during the championship heat.
“It’s a really great day,” Stevens said. “We accomplished something really big. It was fun today.”
“We’re family,” Jamison said. “This will never be forgotten.”
Neither will the performances of Sweet Home’s athletes, including Sam Peterman. The sophomore who suffers from Neurocardiogenic Syncope followed her Friday win in the 800 by taking the title in the Division I 1,500 in a runaway and aiding the winning efforts of the Panthers’ 4x400 relay, which included Bella Calloway, Rachel Roberson and Terionna Ware.
It’s the first time Peterman has won the 800 and 1,500, and she set a personal-best mark in the 1,500 (4:39.19).
Others from Sweet Home to have big days included Tiana Luton, who set a personal best in winning the pentathlon with 3,479 points. Sadira Brown got the better of Frontier’s McKyla Brooks in the triple jump, posting a winning leap of 38 feet, 6.5 inches.
• Niagara-Wheatfield’s Kyri Jackson will head to her fifth state meet in the Division I 100 but it’ll be the first time she goes as a Section VI champion. The junior edged defending champion Lynda Brundige of Hutch-Tech, 12.21 to 12.28. Brundige gained a measure of revenge in the 200, edging Jackson, 24.88 to 25.04.
Brundige qualified for states last year in the 100 and 200 and had plenty of motivation to return this spring.
“People kept telling me it was a fluke,” the junior said. “I had to prove them wrong.”
• Frontier’s Rebecca Stiefler added the Division I shot put championship to the discus title she won earlier in the meet.
• Jamestown’s Chrisanna Green dropped an individual running event to focus on the Division I high jump. That proved to be a great move as the senior just edged Lancaster’s Olivia Gervan for the title by an inch (5-5 to 5-4).
• Lancaster’s 4x100 team of Ashley Grazen, Tiffany Cycon, Molly Scarpello and Allie Mazur just missed breaking its own section record for the second day in a row, winning in 48.15 seconds. The team posted a 48.12 during preliminaries.
• Other Division I champions include Hamburg’s Taylor Thurnherr (pole vault) and Samantha Ruszczyk (400 hurdles), Orchard Park’s Jenna Crean (400), Williamsville North’s Naomi Wistner (steeplechase), Williamsville South’s Alyssa Oviasogie (100 hurdles) and Clarence’s 4x800 relay team of Katrina Patterson, Hannah Reinhardt, Elisabeth Rott and Dana Warner.
• Randolph’s Mckenna Maycock is returning to the state meet for the fifth time but will bring company. After winning the Division II 400 hurdles and clinching a spot by placing second in the 100 hurdles, she anchored the Cardinals’ comeback win in the 4x400 relay. Maycock, Makenzie Evans, Halle Lienhart and Alexis Hinman became the first Randolph relay to qualify for states since the 1990s. “It’s the best feeling in the world,” Maycock said. “It’s better than going as an individual.”
• Sophia Tasselmyer of East Aurora had an easier time adding the 1,500 title to her collection. She just edged teammate Fiona Danieu in the 3,000 Friday with a desperate lean after slowing down just short of the finish line. It’s the third year in a row she’s heading to states in both the 1,500 and 3,000 races at Division II. She also aided the winning efforts of EA’s 4x800 relay team.
“I’m just happy with how my team has done this year,” Tasselmyer said. “I believe 15 kids qualified for states so it just shows you the depth we have.”
• Cheektowaga’s Shawnn Foster added the Division II triple jump crown a day after winning the long jump.
• Alden’s Hailey Rospierski won the high jump and 100 hurdles.
• Other Division II champions include Brenna Gelen of Allegany-Limestone (pentathlon), Holland’s Megan Caltagirone (steeplechase), Amherst’s Aubrey Rockoff (pole vault), Springville’s Jessica Wiede (shot put), Silver Creek/Forestville’s Emma Seiders (400) and Cheektowaga’s Ayana Bursie (200).