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Medina's Jalin Cooper focused on state track title amidst recruiting carousel

JAMESTOWN – It’s hard enough for high school students to juggle school, practice, homework, family obligations and other extracurricular activities.

Now add in packing your overnight bag almost every weekend and traveling around the Northeast.

Seem overwhelming? It can be, but it hasn’t seemed to slow down Medina junior Jalin Cooper.

In the midst of being heavily recruited for his football talents (he has 11 scholarship offers), Cooper repeated in the Division II 100- and 200-meter dashes on Saturday during the second day of the Section VI Championships at Jamestown’s Strider Field.

“It feels great to show that I wanted to get better this year, and I did,” Cooper said. “Just repeating from a small town like Medina, even though I’m in Section VI, 90 percent of these people don’t even know where Medina is. So to get our name out there means a lot for me.”

Cooper’s already busy June schedule just got a little bit busier with his qualification for the NYSPHSAA Championships at Union-Endicott High School in Binghamton next Friday and Saturday.

June 11, the day after states, he’ll head to a football camp at Rutgers. June 16 is a camp at Toledo and June 18 another camp at Syracuse. Then he’ll fly out to Washington State on June 24 for a visit.

“It’s straight school, right after school, practice, right after practice, we’re gone,” Cooper said. “Then I have to come back to get some sleep, and then it’s homework. Then, boom, again.

“Honestly I was worried it was going to take a toll on my body but just thinking, 'I want to be a state champ,' I can’t use that excuse.”

Cooper will have his best shot in the 100, which he considers his strongest event.

“I’m trying to win it. My goal is to win it,” Cooper said. “Honestly, since the first day of track practice I told myself I’m winning states. That’s what I plan on doing. In that 100 I want it bad. I want it real bad.”

Sweet Home’s Nathaniel Davis, the top sprinter on the D-I side, continued his record-setting junior season on Saturday.

Davis won the 100, repeated in the 200 and anchored the victorious 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

His 10.71 seconds in the 100 wiped out 2013 grad and former Federation champion Wayne Gordon from the school’s record books. The 4x100 bettered Sweet Home’s ECIC record with a 42.21 against some viable competition.

“It wasn’t like we had to beat one team that we know of,” Sweet Home coach Brian Lombardo said. “We had to go out there with Niagara Falls and with Lockport, what I consider elite teams in the state, and get that job done.”

While Davis won the 200 in 21.41, he fell short of the time he posted last week at the ECIC Championships by .07. The 21.34 tied Bennett’s Lamar Smith for the Section VI record.

“It was one of my goals,” Davis said of breaking the record, “but I understood that if I didn’t break it that I have states and I’ll have people that will push me there even more.”

Lew-Port’s Andrew Perreault won the first event of the day, the Division II 3,000 steeplechase, in a personal-best time of 9:57.31. Perreault has enjoyed a coming-out sophomore campaign in which he’s set multiple school records.

“I got a lot more knowledgeable on how to run, when to run, when to go hard, when to slow down,” Perreault said, “and everyone on the team pushed me hard.”

Williamsville South senior Harrison Higgins set a school record with a 9:48.52 in the D-I steeplechase.

Cheektowaga junior Seth Conner stood out with an individual D-II win in the 400 and relay wins in the 4x100 and 4x400.

Sweet Home’s Chris Nowak, who also ran the second leg of the 4x400, and East Aurora’s Ian Russ also became double-winners with triumphs in the D-I and D-II 1600s, respectively. On Friday Nowak won the 800 and Russ the 3200.

Distance runners get chance to shine at Section VI Championships

Niagara Falls senior Roshain Wallace repeated in the D-I 110 hurdles. JFK’s Shevaughn Allen won the D-II 110 hurdles after winning the triple jump Friday.

North Tonawanda’s Anton Kunnas captured the pole vault Friday and finished first Saturday in the D-I 400 hurdles.

West Seneca West senior Daniel Sudyn won the D-I long jump Saturday and the D-I triple jump Friday.

Day Two Section VI boys track and field champions

Rounding out the D-I winners are Lockport’s Treston White (400), Kenmore West’s Jahlel St. John (pentathlon), Orchard Park (4x800), West Seneca East’s Dom Farszmil (high jump) and Lancaster’s Paul Kemsley (discus).

Additional D-II winners: Southwestern’s Jake Thorp (400 hurdles), Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Justin Svetz (pentathlon), Dunkirk (4x800), Maple Grove’s Mitch Padilla (high jump), Cheektowaga’s Kyle Krzanowicz (long jump) and Holland’s Dylan Perlino (discus).

A recap of the girls action from Saturday:

Maggie McLaughlin's road to recovery includes championship moment at sectionals

Day Two Section VI girls track and field champions

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