Becca Nungesser is usually nervous before a 3,000-meter race. But on Friday, she was relaxed enough to win the Division I race at the Section VI Track and Field Championships at JFK. Nungesser ran a 10:20.6, knocking 18 seconds off her previous season best.
Nungesser pulled away in the final few laps to win by nearly 50 seconds.
"I wasn't as nervous as I was before the other races," the Clarence freshman said. "I don't know why, I just wasn't. It was a comfortable race."
The 3,000 was one of four finals held for girls in Division I (large schools) and Division II (small). Winners in both divisions, along with those meeting a state standard, advanced to next weekend's New York State meet at Union-Endicott.
Brittany Pryor of Niagara Falls, a two-time state shot put champion, earned her third trip to states after a season-best toss of 43-feet-9 to win Division I. Jamestown junior Trish Graves finished with 40-6 1/2 to meet the standard.
"My release wasn't that great," said Pryor, who won the 2002 Class A shot put title. "It could have got better."
Erika Somogyi of Orchard Park continued her success by winning the Division I 800 at 2:14.1, topping her season best (2:16.4). The freshman said she started the race faster than usual but felt comfortable throughout the two laps.
"When I was crossing the line after my first lap, I was like, 'That split (around 64 seconds) is way too fast,' but then after I still felt good," she said.
Freshman Sarah Mosser of East Aurora knocked three seconds off her winning time at the ECIC meet to place first in the Division II 800 in 2:15.32. Fredonia sophomore Christiana Martin won the Division II 3,000 in 10:50.73.
Senior Lynette Cray of Traditional won the Division II triple jump (33-5). In Division I, junior Quinnyana Brown from Amherst won with a leap of 36-11. Southwestern sophomore Bethany Anderson had a 40-6 1/4 in the Division II shot put to earn a state berth.
Also meeting the qualifying standard were Alden senior Karen Kozub (800 meters) and Grand Island junior Erica Burns (triple jump).
With two events remaining in the pentathlon, Alyissa Hasan of Williamsville South owns a nearly 500-point lead. She won the 100 hurdles (14.71) and the shot put (37-1), giving her 2,040 points. Coming back from a injury to her plant foot, Hasan went 4-9 in the high jump.
"The high jump and long jump are my weakest events because I'm jumping off my hurt foot," Hasan said. "I was a consistent 5-7 jumper, and now I'm like 5 feet. But I'm just getting it back."