Nia Stevens and Taylor Hunter have been part of some historic moments for Tapestry's track and field team.
But there is something the two haven't helped the young program achieve since being part of school's first state championship relay back during the 2015 outdoor New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association meet in Albany. Tapestry hasn't won a Section VI title during the indoor track and field season.
The duo along with their teammates looks to change that. The 4x200 relay crew of Stevens, Hunter, eighth-grader Nevaeh Parker and senior Mirielle Ngoopos currently boast the best time in Western New York, being clocked in 1 minute, 44.88 seconds. The mark ranks eighth in the state and is four-tenths of a second of matching the section record.
"Pretty amazing considering the top seven schools in the state are five to 10 times the size of ours," Tapestry coach Dan Tryon said. "The girls are having another strong season. … We have never won a sectional title for indoor, but we have always been in the mix and the girls are really hungry to do so and have worked very hard this season."
It's harder to win a sectional title during the indoor season because all the schools, regardless of size, run in the race unlike the outdoor track and field season in which the competitive field is divided into Division I (large schools) and Division II (small school) meets.
"The last three years we've finished second, second, and third to Lancaster and Orchard Park," Tryon said. "It's an honor to run with these great schools and be competitive."
In addition to 4x200 relay having a time of nearly 2 seconds lower than Lancaster, Stevens ranks fifth in the 300-meter dash and seventh in the 55. Hunter and Parker also are among the contenders in the 55 and 300. Junior Maryam Akaic ranks second in the shot put.
What's up with Lancaster? Lancaster won the girls Class A race in the Western New York Relays and looks to keep that success going during the Section VI Team Championships on Feb. 9 at Houghton College. Keep an eye on the 4x200 relay team of Amanda Konieczny, Brianna Grazen, Maddy LaPenta and Isabelle Licata. Licata's the lone senior of the crew that features two sophomores and the freshman LaPenta. Natalia Surdej ranks first in the weight throw (48 feet, 4 inches).
300 State of mind: Licata is among a host of racers to keep track of in the 300 meters. She's one of four with a state-meet qualifying time of 41.94 or better. The others include Orchard Park's Jenna Crean, Olmsted's Miquela Hunter and Dunkirk's Emilee Hanlon.
No more than three who have hit state-qualifying standards in non-relay events, based on finish at the Section VI Championship meet/state qualifier Feb. 23, can advance to the NYSPHSAA Championships in Staten Island on March 3.
Moving weekend: With the season officially in the home stretch, OP star Crean moved up the list of leaders during last weekend's meet at Houghton. The junior and past state champion surged into the top spot in the 55 (7.29) and 300 (41.21). Crean, the Section VI record holder in the 300 (38.99 in 2017) entered last weekend seventh among the leaders in the event.
Crean wasn't the one improving times or distances.
Kenmore West's Christina Wende lowered her time in the 55 hurdles from 8.68 to 8.63 and she moved from second to first in the triple jump with a leap of 38-7.50, just .125 ahead of Hutch-Tech's Nisa Raqib Wende also has the top distance in the long jump (18-11.75).
Dunkirk's Hanlon now has the top leap in the high jump at 5-6.
Holland/East Aurora's Megan McLaughlin (4:51.06) slipped ahead of West Seneca West's Anna Rybczynski by about three seconds in the 1,500. Rybczynski, a junior looking to go to states for the fourth year in a row, has the top time in the 600 and is in top three in 1,000.
Kathryn Blair of Iroquois ranks first in the 1,000 and second in the 600. Teammate Rachel Donner has the top throw in the shotput, while Orchard Park's Leah Pasqualetti is first in the pole vault. Springville's Corrin Sacilowski ranks first in the racewalk, while Dunkirk has the top time in the 4x400 relay.