Returning champion Leah Pasqualetti in the pole vault, three additional Section VI girls record-holders and Frontier's crack 4x800 boys relay team will represent Western New York in the New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Ocean Breeze Complex on Staten Island in New York City.
Pasqualetti, who won the vault with when she cleared 13 feet, 3 inches in last year's state meet, set the Section VI mark of 14-3 this season on Jan. 15 at the Trent Jackson/Cedric Walker Invitational in Rochester.
In that same meet, the Frontier boys relay set a section mark with a time of 7:56.05. The foursome of Brian Gleason, Conor O'Brien, Preston Bova and Joshua Peron went on to run 7:55.08 to finish second in the high school 4x800 relay at the Millrose Games in New York City. The same Frontier team finished 10th (8:07.97) in last year's state indoor meet at Ocean Breeze.
Besides Pasqualetti and the Frontier boys relay, section record-holders Natalia Surdej of Lancaster (weight throw), Kahniya James of Lockport (55 meters) and Maxana Grubb of Amherst (600) have the best chance to medal among Section VI competitors.
Surdej was second in the weight throw in last year's meet behind Monique Hardy of Webster Thomas (Section V), who swept the girls shot put and weight throws and is back to compete this year.
James was fifth in the 55 meters last year. Grubb was fifth in the 600 a year ago when she set the Section VI indoor record of 1:33.69.
Other returning Section VI athletes who performed well in last year's state meet include Megan McLaughlin of Holland/East Aurora in the 3,000. She was 12th last year. Sydney Nowicki of Lockport, who was 13th in the 3,000 last year, will run the 1,000.
Morgan Halt, who also high jumps, was 23rd in the event last year. She will compete in the 55 hurdles on Saturday.
Mallory Grubb of Amherst, who ran in the 1,500 meters last year, is back to run the 1,000.
Peron, the anchor runner on the Frontier relay, will run the 600 meters. He finished sixth in that event last year. Gleason, the lead runner in the Falcons' relay, is entered in the 1,600. He was ninth in that event a year ago.
Vincent Pagliaccio of West Seneca East, who was 19th last season, is back to run the 1,000.
In the long jump, Nino Rivera of Orchard Park, who was fifth last year with a leap of 21-11, is back with a qualifying jump of 22-11.75. Rivera also qualified in the triple jump.
Jayden Dubard of Cheektowaga, the Section VI champion in the shot put and weight throw, looks like the WNY entrant with the best chance at a medal in those events. Kegan Mancabelli of Orchard Park qualified in the pole vault after clearing 14-3.
Lancaster and Hamburg in the girls 4x200 relay and Holland/East Aurora with the McLaughlin sisters, Maggie and Megan, in the 4x800 are relay hopes. Niagara Falls, which traditionally puts out strong sprint relays, will provide hope in the boys' 4x200.
A notable absentee from the meet is Tapestry Charter's eighth-grade phenom, Jada Kenner, who ran on a 4x200 relay and ran the 300 last year. She had a hamstring injury and did not compete at sectionals, so she is not eligible for the state meet.
The girls distance events are expected to be dominated by Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland, a three-time state cross country champion, and one of the best girls high school distance runners in the nation.
The competition at Ocean Breeze gets underway at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday.
NYSPHSAA Championship entries
Kahniya James, Lockport (7.02)
Markira Garner, McKinley (7.07)
Gwyneth Goldowski, Frontier (39.89)
Claire Danyluk, Hamburg (41.55)
Maxana Grubb, Amherst (1:35.46)
Jericha Petrella, Dunkirk (1:36.75)
Sydney Nowicki, Lockport (2:55.88)
Mallory Grubb, Amherst (2:59.70)
Emily Brown, Fredonia (4:44.84)
Sydney Nowicki, Lockport (4:53.64)
Megan McLaughlin, Holland (10:28.09)
Karis Ertel, Holland (10:35.99)
Giovanna Calamunci, Jamestown (8.70)
Morgan Halt, Amherst (8.72)
Sara Puskar, Orchard Park (18-6)
Morgan Halt, Amherst (17-9)
Amari Hall, Sweet Home (17-7)
Ali Wojciechowski, Lancaster (37-11.5)
Amari Hall, Sweet Home (37-2)
Lenee Hall, Sweet Home (36-9.75)
Angela Carter, Sweet Home (5-2)
Morgan Halt, Amherst (5-2)
Leah Pasqualetti, Orchard Park (14-3)
Eve Giancarlo, Sweet Home (11-0)
Alyssa Armitage, Starpoint (10-0)
Natalia Surdej, Lancaster (58-3.5)
Claire Koepnick, Sweet Home (45-8.25)
Danielle Lambert, West Seneca West (44-7.75)
Serena Pagano, Holland (40-8)
Natalia Surdej, Lancaster (40-3.5)
Skylar Pointer, Lockport (37-8.5)
1500m Race Walk
Alivia Murray, West Seneca West (7:46.68)
Natalie Carter, Grand Island (7:46.75)
Lancaster (Alison Wojciechowski, Sarina Hanger, Madison LaPenta, Amanda Konieczny, Kria Logronio), 1:47.11; Hamburg (Claire Danyluk, Alayna Godios, Deborah Borysewicz, Laura Bogner, Charlotte Reczek, Emmy Walker), 1:47.15.
Clarence (Elizabeth Scherrer, Camryn Cwiklinski, Payton Payne, Sammy Joe Payne, Mayley Geiger, Marielle Quinones), 4:08.91.
Holland/East Aurora (Celia Cocca, Maggie McLaughlin, Megan McLaughlin, Karis Ertel, Emilia O’Leary, Geneva Green), 9:54.30.
Intersectional Relay 10:31.01
Nichole Kuehner, Iroquois
Hope Abramowski ,West Seneca East
Juliana Flick, Dunkirk
Kayla Schmidt, Williamsville South
Maxana Grubb (A), Amherst
Mallory Grubb (A), Amherst
Abraham Averhart, Niagara Falls (6.57)
Adam Scibetta, Depew (6.63)
Addison Copeland, WNY Maritime (6.66)
Cameron Dillard, Tapestry (36.06)
Oliver Madariaga, Fredonia (36.24)
Adam Scibetta, Depew (36.31)
Joshua Peron, Frontier (1:20.77)
Sebastian Melendez, Grand Island (1:23.81)
Andrew Core, Hutch Tech (1:24.44)
Vincent Pagliaccio, West Seneca East (2:32.22)
Ronan McDonald, Randolph (2:32.31)
Jared Rogalski, Lancaster (2:33.03)
Brian Gleason, Frontier (4:23.56)
Jack Lenz, Amherst (4:30.86)
Brody Jones, Holland (9:37.22)
Zack Winnicki, Lancaster (9:41.06)
Liam Coulter, Allegany-Limestone (7.80)
Kendall Mariacher, Iroquois (8.02)
Nino Rivera, Orchard Park (22-11.75)
CJ Krzanowicz, Cheektowaga (22-6)
Riley Hodin, Amherst (43-6)
Nino Rivera, Orchard Park (43-4.25)
Devin Austin, Falconer (6-0)
Carson Swierski, Williamsville North (6-0)
Kegan Mancabelli, Orchard Park (14-3)
Hessen Bahgat, Fredonia (13-9)
Jayden DuBard, Cheektowaga (66-10.25)
Bradley Smith, Frontier (57-11.5)
Matthew Russo, Depew (55-5.25)
Jayden DuBard, Cheektowaga (56-9.75)
Darrius Carter, Sweet Home (49-8.5)
Niagara Falls (Abraham Averhart, Kalem Chappell, Isiah Williams, Jason Kamat, Christian Henderson), 1:34.48.
Falconer (Rayven Sample, Riley Auer, Josh Walters, Ronan McDonald, Zach Heberlein), 3:29.89.
Frontier (Brian Gleason, Connor O’Brien, Preston Bova, Joshua Peron), 7:56.05.
Intersectional Relay 9:07.53
Nick Ebling, Holland
TyeRyan Burke, Hamburg
James Sullivan, West Seneca East
Christopher Bertola, Orchard Park
Vinny Pagliaccio (A), West Seneca East
Jared Rogalski (A), Lancaster