SYRACUSE — On Friday and Saturday, the best track and field athletes from New York state will swarm Cicero-North Syracuse High School for the NYSPHSAA Championships.
In the group of female competitors looking to capture a state title are four hailing from the local area.
One is the reigning, defending state champion in the 100-meter hurdles. Another is only an eight grader.
Ichabod Crane’s Ama Boham is the No. 1 seed in Division 2 in the 100H this weekend after posting a state-best 14.97 seconds mark during the season.
“To win another state title this weekend, Ama simply needs to run her race,” Riders coach Patrick Sanger said. “It’s cliche to an extent, but if she does what she is capable of doing — and I’ve never seen an athlete on this level that is more consistent than Ama — she can absolutely win her second state championship.”
Last year, Boham won the state championship with a time of 15.33.
“Hurdling coach Lisa Bodratti and Ama have made some small changes over the past few weeks that have improved her already strong performance, so if she sticks those, she should put herself in a great place to be on that podium on Saturday,” Sanger said.
Also from Ichabod Crane is eighth grader Abby Dolge, who will be competing in the 1,500.
“For Abby, it will be more difficult because there’s a lot of competition there,” Sanger said of Dolge’s competition this weekend. “Abby has to improve upon the already great performance she put forward in the State Qualifier meet. With the stiff competition she faces, she has to run the best race of her life, truly lay it all on the line for a chance.”
At the state qualifier, Dolge broke a 32-year-old school record with a time of 4:53.35.
“Abby’s season was and wasn’t surprising,” Sanger said. “Last year when boys head coach and distance coach, Devyn Fernandez, and I saw Abby run at a modified meet, we both looked at each other with excitement. As a seventh grader, she literally was finishing races minutes before the other kids, so we knew coming in she had talent. What I came to know and enjoy was Abby’s drive. This year, as an eighth grader, she actually set one of her goals to break the school record in the 1,500. When you have an athlete that is that driven, it becomes that much easier to help push them.”
With the two mere days away from the biggest meet of the year, practice is focused on working on the small things.
“This week, we are focusing on preparedness. Small tweaks, working to stay focused, making sure form and technique is where we want it to be,” Sanger said. “Our workouts are designed to be light impact, but race-like in nature.”
In the Triple Jump, Maple Hill’s Tori Whimple holds the No. 6 seed.
The senior Wildcat posted a season-best 37-feet, 10 1/2-inches to punch her ticket to states.
“At the beginning of the year, Tori’s goal was to make the state meet for either the 100-meter hurdles, triple jump or both,” MH coach Sheila Golden said. “She placed fifth in the indoor track meet for triple jump. so I think she is hoping to place a little higher in the outdoor meet.”
This week, Whimple has been working on strengthening the second phase of her jump and improving the height of her third phase.
“Tori is hoping to hit the 38 foot mark — that should get her up in the rankings,” Golden said. “Tori has worked hard all season. She is a great sprinter, hurdler and jumper. I am very proud of her accomplishments and it has been a pleasure to coach her, she will be missed.”
Whimple has committed to competing at SUNY Plattsburgh next year.
Taconic Hills’ Chynna Lockenwitz is heading back to the state meet in the 100-meter dash.
As a sophomore at Cairo-Durham High School, Lockenwitz won the Section II meet with a 12.58 performance and qualified for the state meet.
Last season, after transferring to Taconic Hills, she took second at sectionals with a 13.33.
This season, she also placed second, this time running a 12.71. Her fastest time of the season this year was a 12.61.
Lockenwitz will be in for a battle with 17 other runners breaking the 13-second mark in the field. Olmstead’s Miquela Hunter is the favorite, posting a season-best 11.87.