Sunny, partly cloudy blue skies and a cooling northbound breeze made for perfect conditions at Wednesday’s All-High Track & Field Championships. And the day couldn’t have gone any more perfect for Hutch-Tech’s Lynda Brundige, too.
The senior sprinter capped her sensational Buffalo Public Schools career by winning the 100 meters, 200 and running the second leg of the victorious 4x400 relay. Not to mention she also set a league record with a triple jump of 36 feet, 4 inches on the first day of the meet Tuesday.
“I’m just real proud of myself,” said Brundige at Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team that helped me.”
Hutch-Tech won 16 of the 29 total events during the two-day meet, which is not out of the norm for the often-dominant Engineers.
“I’ve always told people since I got there, because I went there, I knew what was in that school,” said Hutch-Tech coach Dave Sardo, drenched from his annual Gatorade shower. “It’s a school full of grinders and kids that are willing to just, push, push, push. Just show them the way and they do the work.”
Brundige’s performances should help her roll into the Section VI Championships at Pioneer High School June 3 and 4, as well as the State Championships in Syracuse June 10 and 11. She medaled in the 200 at states last year and medaled in the 100 and 200 as a sophomore.
“She can medal at the state level,” Sardo said. “I think she’s stronger than last year. I think she has a little bit more in the tank when she needs it. She hasn’t been really pushed that hard and I know at sectionals she will. I know there are two or three kids out there that can stick with her.”
While Brundige will be graduating and heading off to college next year, Sardo looks to have his next perennial talent in sophomore Nisa Raqib. Raqib won the 100 hurdles, high jump and anchored Hutch-Tech’s 4x400 relay that set a league record in 4 minutes, 10.2 seconds.
“I expect big things,” Sardo said of Raqib’s future. “Nisa is an unbelievable athlete in her own right. She’s ranked in the top three or four in Western New York in the 100 hurdles.”
Raqib and Miquela Hunter of Olmsted could form a must-see rivalry on the city track scene the next few years. Hunter won the 400 to become the first seventh-grader to win an All-High title in Buffalo Public Schools history. She also anchored Olmsted’s winning 4x100 relay.
“Honestly, I don’t know what her ceiling is,” said Olmsted coach Mark Orlando, who added that Hunter has competed in the USA Track & Field Junior Olympics.
According to Hunter, what she did Wednesday was just “OK.” What are her personal goals moving forward?
“Just run faster,” she said, soft-spoken. “Get faster every time.”
Hutch-Tech’s Mark Manue, or the “Liberian Locomotive” as Sardo likes to call him, took both the 110 and 400 hurdles.
Other multiple winners from the meet include McKinley’s Keyon Johnson (100, long jump) and International Prep’s Ali Sadik (800, 1,600, 3,200).
As the sun set behind the stadium bleachers and the members of the senior class made their way to the end of the senior lap, Brundige swiftly walked across the finish line at All-High Stadium one last time. It probably wasn’t her fastest time, but she had done enough sprinting throughout the day.