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Tapestry’s foursome is fearsome at sectionals

SANBORN – Tapestry is still in its infancy as a track and field program, but the charter school has been making some noise this outdoor season – specifically its girls 4x100 relay team.

The foursome of Taylor Alston, Taylor Hunter, Taniya Jamison and Nia Stevens set five meet records in the six events it entered, beating teams from Lancaster and Orchard Park along the way.

During the first day of the Section VI girls track and field championships at Niagara-Wheatfield High School on Friday, the quartet roared loudly once again. The girls did it not only as a team but as individuals, making Saturday’s Division II (small schools) 100-meter dash a must-see event.

The top four qualifiers for that race are members of that relay as Alston, the senior, qualified in 12.67 seconds. Hunter, a freshman, followed in 12.81, Jamison, a senior, in 12.96 and eighth-grader Stevens in 13.01.

“I went back the last 11 years and there’s never been a team to have four kids in the finals,” Tapestry coach Dan Tryon said. “We have an opportunity, if they work hard and focus, to finish one, two, three, four. It’s pretty remarkable.”

It’s a unique situation in that a team trying to make history in becoming the first relay to qualify for the state meet will first try to beat each other for the right to perhaps be the first individual female athlete from Tapestry to qualify for states.

Alston said it’s outstanding for a charter school to even make sectionals, adding it’s amazing to have four girls with the ability to win the same event square off. She said it doesn’t matter to any of the relay members who wins the 100, so long as one of them emerges victorious.

“I’m not going to say I want to beat them because I want them all to do great,” said Alston, who’s participating in her sixth sectional meet. “It’d be great to be a senior and win. To win would be outstanding.”

• Lancaster’s fantastic four was at it again. The 4x100 relay team of Ashley Grazen, Allie Mazur, Tiffany Cycon and Molly Scarpello broke its own Section VI record in qualifying for Saturday’s Division I (large school) finals with a top time of 48.12. The quartet set the previous mark of 48.13 two years ago.

• East Aurora had quite the impressive day at Division II and its runners were involved in perhaps the wildest finish in the 3,000. At first it looked as if a slight let-up might have proven costly to Sophia Tasselmyer but a desperate lean at the finish gave her the sectional title just ahead of teammate Fiona Danieu. Tasselmyer finished in 10:26.72, while Danieu posted 10:26.73. Tasselmyer, who was in third most of the race, pulled ahead on the last lap and went back and forth with Danieu until the end. EA’s Maisy Webster took third.

Both Tasselmyer and Danieu, who hit state-qualifying standards during the season, are heading to next week’s state championship meet at Albany.

Molly McLaughlin will join them as she became the latest in her family to win a sectional title, taking the 800. She set a personal record in claiming the title with older sister Marta, a five-time Section VI champion who runs at Division II Grand Valley in Michigan, in attendance.

“She’s just been home from college for a little while … and she’s really pushing me through because I want to accomplish as much as she did in her years in the 800,” said Molly McLaughlin, who went to states as part of two relays last year as an eighth-grader.

The Blue Devils’ Morgan Palmer won the discus with a heave of 118-10, edging Eden’s Brianna Tutuska by 7 inches.

• Frontier’s McKyla Brooks added another sectional title to her collection. The Stony Brook commit won the Division I long jump on a windy day with a leap of 18-06.25, nearly a foot longer than runner-up Sarah Yensan of Lockport.

Brooks wasn’t the only Falcon to savor victory as classmate Rebecca Stiefler crushed it in the discus (147-06).

• In the Division I 3,000, Clarence’s Katrina Patterson pulled away from Sweet Home’s Aileen Doyle on the last lap, winning in 10:26.66.

• Cheektowaga’s Shawnn Foster won the Division II long jump (18-01.75).