Runners, take your mark
Vermont Division I
-- Where: Burlington High School
-- When: Saturday, June 7. Field events begin at 9:30 a.m.
-- Area competitors: Mount Anthony Union High School
-- What to watch for: With MAU, it all comes down to the relay teams.
For both the boys and girls, relay teams feature four athletes that will look to place in multiple events, and the strongest of these teams is the girls' 4x100 team.
Senior Leniesha Williams and juniors Raheemah Madany, Taylor Gruber and Chelsea Corrow are the top seed in the 4x100 with a time of 50.47, a full second better than Burlington's senior-heavy squad of Georgia Black, Emma Boutcher, Gailin Pease and Maddie Khameni. Colchester, CVU, and Essex round out a top-five that is less than two seconds apart.
Williams will also look to defend her 100 crown as the top seed this year, although South Burlington's Kayla Gilding has the same seed time as her this year (12.74), and CVU's Haliana Burhans, Colchester's Elise Bouffard and teammates Madany and Gruber will all be breathing down her back.
In the 200, Williams and Madany are seeded third and fourth, while Gilding takes the top seed and Colchester's Pearl Abiti is second. Madany's time is just over a second behind Gilding's, setting the stage for another close finish in the sprints. Gruber, who took the indoor 200 championship this season, is a potential darkhorse to break into placing position.
Williams will also go in the high jump, seeded seventh.
MAU throwers will also be in the mix at the top of D-I, with Firdous Madany and Taylor Haynes seeded third and fourth in the shot and Brittany Brochu and Madany seeded fifth and sixth in the discus. North Country's Cassidy Webster is the heavy favorite in the shot, with her top throw two feet better than South Burlington's Emylie Rose in second, but the distance between Rose and Haynes is just six inches. In the discus, Essex's Amanda Sinkewicz has a five-inch edge over Burlington's Amila Semic and over six inches on North Country's Jenna Moss. In the javelin, CVU's Brianna Hake has over 14 feet on her closest competitor, Erin Hudson of St. Johnsbury. In the pits, Essex has four high jumpers in the top four seed places, led by Sade Hankey and Katherine Furland. In the long jump, Gilding is nine inches better than Abiti in first and second, while in the triple jump Abiti is over two-and-a-half feet better than Furland.
In the middle distances, Gilding picked up another top seed in the 400 with Abiti less than a second behind her. MAU's Sierra Dickie sits third, although she'll have to shave four seconds off her seed time to get into the mix with Gilding and Abiti. For the 800, 1,500 and 3,000, CVU running legend Autumn Eastman swept the top seeds, although Robin Vincent from St. Johnsbury is less than a second behind her in the 800.
In the hurdles, BFA's Karlee Fowler and Essex duo Mariah Neverett and Katherine Furland are less than 0.08 seconds apart from each other in the 100.
In the 4x400 relay, St. Johnsbury is the top seed while CVU is in second. MAU is seeded seventh, and the team of Dickie, Asuka Kosaki, Corrow and Abbie Crosier have to make up a three-second difference with Brattleboro to jump into a placing position. Crosier, Kosaki, Abby Malmborg and Kinsey Boudreau are fifth in the 4x800, but are 40 seconds behind St. Johnsbury and nearly a minute behind CVU in first.
For the boys, the 4x400 team of seniors Andy Seward, Ben Seward, Brad Myers and Andrew Brandmeyer were considered the top seed heading into last week, but Burlington broke the state record at the Essex Invitational and jumped into the first seed. With MAU's time five seconds behind Burlington's, the Patriots will have to fight to get back on top. South Burlington, Mount Mansfield and St. Johnsbury will all be close behind the front teams.
Brandmeyer will also be locked into a tight contest in the individual 400, as he fights with Burlington's Tobias Muellers and South Burlington's Damion Curtis for the top spot. Muellers is the top seed entering Saturday.
In the 800, Andy Seward and Brandmeyer are seeded third and fourth, just 0.3 seconds separating the two. Colchester's Jordan Lamay and South Burlington's Sean MacDonald are separated by just 0.5 seconds in the top two spots, with less than two seconds separating the top four.
MacDonald leads a trio of South Burlington runners on top of the 1,500 seedings, and in the 3,000 South Burlington's Sidi Abdoulaye and North Country's Sam Brunnette are separated by less than two seconds.
In the 4x100, CVU and Colchester are the top two seeds and MAU is seeded ninth, but just over a second separates them between Burlington and Essex for third place.
In the 100 itself, Burlington duo Makahil Abdinoor and Ahmed Noor are separated by 0.04 seconds at the top, with Essex's Lars Spillebrok not far behind. In the 200, Abdinoor is seeded first but teammate Muellers is 0.2 seconds behind and Mount Mansfield's Casey Fuller is third. Ben Seward sits in fifth.
In the hurdles, Mount Mansfield's Alec Eschholz is top seed in both the 110 and 300 by some margin. He already set the 300 hurdles record this season, and is now under a second behind Jon Polen's state record set with MAU last year. Another MAU hurdler, Nathaniel Durfee, is seeded fourth in the 110 hurdles.
The MAU 4x800 team of Andy Seward, Andy Barlow, PJ Seward and Brandmeyer are seeded fourth, 14 seconds behind South Burlington.
In the field events, MAU's Ben Hulett is in the mix in the shot put, with just over a foot separating Rutland's Quintin Scott in fifth and Hulett in ninth. Kay Mustapha from St. Johnsbury looks to be the heavy favorite. In the pole vault, Essex's Kyle Baker is two feet ahead of the competition, while in the discus Mount Mansfield's Taylor Garner is 11 feet better than St. Johnsbury's EJ Baer. In the pit, Durfee is seeded 10th and has to make up a foot to get into placing position. In the long jump, Ben Seward is sixth, but is right behind Essex's John McLemore in fifth and St. Johnsbury's Yoruba Briggs-Guzman in sixth.
Vermont Division II
-- Where: Fair Haven Union High School
-- When: Saturday, June 7. Field events begin at 9:30 a.m.
-- Area competitors: Burr and Burton Academy
-- What to watch for: The Bulldogs will send a small team to Fair Haven for the Division II meet, but two girls in particular stand a shot at placing in multiple events.
Lydia Maier and Emily Maier are two of the favorites in the 300-meter hurdles, where Lydia is seeded third and Emily is seeded fifth. Lydia's time of 52.94 is four seconds off of Milton's Caitlyn Dabagian.
The duo are also part of the 4x400 relay team that is seeded fifth.
Harwood's top seed time is five seconds faster than U-32 in second, but Middlebury, Vergennes and BBA are separated by less than three seconds.
Lydia Maier is one of six athletes seeded fifth in the high jump at four feet, eight inches, while Claudia Mosher and Emily Maier are two inches below her for BBA. Rice's Hailee Barron has the highest jump at 5'2", with a pair of jumpers seeded at 5'1" and Fair Haven's Courtney Bean is at 4'10".
Lydia also has a top-10 seed in the 400.
Only two BBA boys will compete on Saturday, with O'Brian Ellis seeded ninth in the 100 and Will Fisher seeded 16th and 21st, respectively, in the 1,500 and the 3,000.
Vermont Division IV
-- Where: Green Mountain Union High School
-- When: Friday, June 7. Field events begin at 2 p.m.
-- Area competitors: Arlington Memorial High School
-- What to watch for: The big story will be Arlington senior Peter Macksey, who looks to defend his 110-meter hurdles championship. Last season, Macksey ran a 18.48 to snatch the title. This year, Macksey is seeded fifth with a seed time of 20.85. Winooski sophomore Jason Truong, who finished fifth last season, is the top seed in 17.62. Second seed Simon Hoffman has a seed time of 19.39.
Macksey also has a matching 5-seed in the 300 hurdles, and is seeded second in the discus just five inches behind Green Mountain's A.J. Paczkowski. Macksey will also do a fourth event, the shot put, where he is seeded seventh.
Another senior, Amber Welch, will be looking to win the discus this year. Last year, Welch finished second to Northfield's Rhiannon Page, as Page won with a throw of 85'3" and Welch tossed 83'11". This year, the tables are turned heading in as Welch is first in the seeding at 90'10" and Page is second with a seed mark of 88'8".
Welch is also on the 4x100 team that is seeded sixth. Fellow senior Bhumika Patel and juniors Molly Elwell and Becca Solari round out the foursome looking to stay in the placing positions.
Eighth grader Aimee Frank is seeded fifth in the 400 and seventh in the 1,500, leaving her in a good position to place at the meet. Another eighth grader, Xandria Hoyt, is seeded sixth in the 3,000.
NYSPHSAA State Championships
-- Where: Cicero-North Syracuse, N.Y.
-- When: Friday, June 6 starting at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday, June 7 starting at 10 a.m.
-- Area competitor: Olivia Mooney, Cambridge Central School
-- What to watch for: For area readers, there is only one name that will be in the mix at Cicero-North Syracuse: Olivia Mooney. The sophomore has been a stud in the high jump this year, and she enters the New York State Championships as the top seed in the high jump along with two other competitors. Mooney's 5'7" jump from sectionals gets her into the top spot, where she will be in direct competition with western New York jumpers Lauren Hudson and Hailey Rospierski. Aviana Goode is an inch behind the trio, and every competitor cleared 5'4" to qualify. High jump often comes down to nerves, leaving the door open for a wide variety of possible results.
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