BY MICHAEL KELLY
ALBANY — Heading into the final girls’ event on the track at the Jan. 31 Suburban Council Championships, the Shenendehowa 4×400-meter relay team did not know the size of its lead against Saratoga Springs.
All the members knew was that coach Rob Cloutier had told them they needed another first-place effort.
“We had to focus and get this done,” Shenendehowa sophomore relay member Kelly Hamlin said.
They did, but their win ended up providing Shenendehowa with an extra cushion as opposed to needed breathing room. Senior Emily Crounse, Hamlin, senior Olivia Robbins and senior Rachel Venditti combined for a dominant win — their mark of 4:11.05 bested second-place Saratoga Springs’ 4:17.23 — as the Plainsmen rolled to the team title. Shenendehowa’s 147 points carried the day, while Saratoga Springs took second place with 97 and Bethlehem was third at 60.50.
Besides their contributions to the relay win, the trio of Crounse, Hamlin and Robbins scored major points throughout the day. Crounse earned a solo win in the 600-meter run; Robbins won the 55-meter hurdles and took second place to Hamlin in the 300-meter dash; and, Hamlin also won the long jump.
“I was definitely not expecting a win in the long jump,” Hamlin said. “This is my first year doing the event, so that was a surprise.”
The shock for Crounse was being asked to take on three events, something she had previously only done once in her career. The senior handled the responsibility with poise, taking extra care throughout the day to make sure she was capable of being at her best each time at the University at Albany.
“This is only the second time I’ve ever tripled, so I was a little nervous,” said Crounse, who also helped Shenendehowa to a third-place finish in the 4×800-meter relay. “I made sure to keep my blood flowing and to get nutrients in me.”
Elsewhere for the Plainsmen in their championship win, junior Jill Shippee was dominant in the throwing events. She won both the shot put and weight throw, breaking her own Suburban Council record in the latter event with a throw of 60-4 3⁄4.
Shippee’s mark in the weight throw appeared to be a new national No. 1 this winter for female high school athletes. According to dyestat.com, a national track and field website, the previous top mark in the country was 56-10 1⁄4.
BOYS COME IN 2ND
With a few key athletes nursing injuries before February’s sectional championships, the Shenendehowa boys’ squad took second place to Saratoga Springs at the league championships.
Head coach Jason Burlingame’s team garnered 88 points to the Blue Streaks’ 118.
First-place finishes for the Plainsmen came from junior Nick Michalowski in the 55-meter hurdles; the 4×800-meter relay team of sophomore Liam Hickey, freshman Evan LaFleche, senior Nick Roig, and senior Mitchell Halpern; and, senior Michael Jeffers in both the shot put and weight throw.
Top-five finishes at the Suburban Council Championships for the Shenendehowa indoor track and field teams.
Boys’ 55-meter hurdles: Nick Michalowski, 7.88
Boys’ 4×800-meter relay: Liam Hickey—Evan LaFleche—Nick Roig—Mitchell Halpern, 8:33.68
Boys’ shot put: Michael Jeffers, 49-11.00
Boys’ weight throw: Michael Jeffers, 55-1
Girls’ 300-meter dash: Kelly Hamlin, 42.55
Girls’ 600-meter run: Emily Crounse, 1:41.83
Girls’ 55-meter hurdles: Olivia Robbins, 8.69
Girls’ 4×400-meter relay: Emily Crounse—Kelly Hamlin—Olivia Robbins—Rachel Venditti, 4:11.05
Girls’ long jump: Kelly Hamlin, 15-11.75
Girls’ shot put: Jill Shippee, 45-6.50
Girls’ weight throw: Jill Shippee, 60-4.75
Boys’ shot put: Daniel Cherko, 45-11.75
Boys’ weight throw: Kade Lampman, 54-0
Girls’ 300-meter dash: Olivia Robbins, 42.86
Girls’ 4×200-meter relay: Hannah Crounse—Melissa Haas—Ava Sullivan—Rachel Venditti, 1:53.39
Girls’ weight throw: Bri Jordan, 39-6.25
Boys’ 600-meter run: Matt Jacques, 1:29.24
Boys’ 4×400-meter relay: Mitchell Halpern—Matt Jacques—Evan LaFleche—Alex Matson, 3:45.91
Boys’ weight throw: Kyle Bruhns, 53-0
Girls’ 1,500-meter run: Hannah Reale, 4:50.91
Girls’ 3,000-meter run: Kristina Watrobski, 10:30.59
Girls’ 4×800-meter relay: Emily Crounse—Jade Dennis—Hillary Halpern—Caroline Hartman, 9:59.00
Girls’ high jump: Maddie Arserio, 5-0.00
Boys’ 55-meter dash: Nick Michalowski, 7.30
Boys’ 3,200-meter run: Mitchell Halpern, 10:15.24
Girls’ 1,500-meter run: Danielle Jordan, 4:51.53
Girls’ high jump: Hannah Crounse, 5-0.00
Girls’ pole vault: Mary Sunukjian, 9-6
Girls’ long jump: Melissa Haas, 15-7.00
Girls’ weight throw: Mikayla Spiak, 32-0.25
Boys’ 1,600-meter run: Henry Christopher, 4:37.94
Boys’ 4×200-meter relay: Nicholas Jacques—Nick Michalowski—Jacob Pishkula—Matt McLaughlin, 1:39.99
Girls’ 55-meter dash: Melissa Haas, 7.81
Girls’ 1,000-meter run: Hannah Reale, 3:07.19
Girls’ 3,000-meter run: Olivia Lomascolo, 10:59.56
Girls’ shot put: Bri Jordan, 33-0.00