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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 20, 2010

Local track athletes shoot for personal bests at Eddy Meet held Saturday

By Jordan J. Michael

SCHENECTADY –– Personal records have a greater meaning when they’re set on a bigger stage.

Local track athletes from Guilderland, Voorheesville, and Berne-Knox-Westerlo flocked to Union College on Saturday for the 70th Annual William F. Eddy Meet. The event featured top athletes from schools all over New York State.

Brandon Kallner, a junior from BKW, set a school record in the prelims of the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.76. However, Kallner’s run to the finals was ruined when Brendan Dolan of Shaker fell into his lane during the semi-final heat.

“I’m having a great race and this kid falls right in front of me,” said Kallner, clearly distraught. “It’s a shame, but there’s nothing I can do. So goes life.”

Sean Reynolds and Derek Struck, teammates of Kallner, came through with personal bests in the 3200-meter run. Reynolds and Struck finished right next to each other with times of 10:18.54 and 10:19.26.

“This is a really good place to cut times down because you’re up against the best runners,” Reynolds said. “It’s important to do well here. You push it as hard as you can.”

Caitlin Abelseth of Voorheesville, who finished fifth in the 400-meter in one minute flat, couldn’t agree more. “This meet is a big deal and finishing well is the cool thing to do,” she said. “I feel relieved after running a good race.”

Guilderland girls’ Head Coach Dick Usher has been attending the Eddy Meet for the past 30 years and told The Enterprise that the event used to have more meaning. “It was the biggest thing around,” he said. “It’s been watered down over the years because more invitationals started to rise up.”

“It was the cream of the crop,” said Voorheesville Head Coach Steve Relyea, who competed at the Eddy in 1978 for Mohonasen. “Some of the farther-away schools stopped coming because of budget cuts. But, they’re trying to get those high standards back.”

Usher said that the Eddy had been getting “lenient” with the qualifying standards, but this year the standards went back up to a more difficult level. For example, a pole-vaulter on the boys’ side must be able to clear at least 11 feet.

“We can have a stronger field if they raise the bar,” Usher said. “It loses meaning if just anyone can compete. That was the issue before.”

“You have to make it attractive for the best athletes,” said Relyea. “Then it’s special.”

Heavy heart,

Swift feet

Junior Ernestine Skipper of Guilderland competed in the 100-meter dash and the 100-meter hurdles despite the death of her father earlier in the week. Skipper said that her father, Ernest, loved to watch her run.

“I came here for him because I know he’s here in spirit,” said Skipper. “Everyone asked me why I’m here and I told them it’s because my dad wanted to be here.”

Skipper finished sixth in the hurdles with a time of 15.61, and 10th in the 100-meter with 12.87. Skipper, who hopes to run track in college, has stayed focused on the sport despite tragedy. Her family’s house burned down in January.

“My team is like a second family to me,” Skipper said. Teammate Amanda Foggia made blue ribbons in honor of Ernest Skipper’s favorite color. “They’re always there for me,” Skipper said of her teammates. “They’ve been a big help ever since everything burned down.”

Skipper said that her father had been sick for some time and that he died peacefully at home. He was a diabetic on dialysis and had a bad fall during the house fire. A 2008 motorcycle accident had left him with a badly altered chest cavity.

“He’s been through a lot, but he was always strong and positive,” said Skipper. “I’m strong like him. That’s why I’m out here today.”

Local results

Here are the rest of the local results:

–– Lea Cure of Guilderland, 400-meter, ninth place with a time of 1:01.24;

–– Laurie Knapp of Guilderland, 440-meter, 19th with 1:03.23;

–– Amanda Foggia of Guilderland, 800-meter, 21st with 2:25.08;

–– Michelle Fish of Guilderland, 1500-meter, 23rd with 5:00.83;

–– Emily Burns of Guilderland, 3000-meter, 4th with 10:17.98;

–– Courtney Tedeschi of BKW, 3000-meter, 5th with 10:28.34;

–– Michelyn Little of Voorheesville, 400-meter hurdles, 23rd with 1:14.75;

–– Karah Lizotte of Guilderland, 400-meter hurdles, 24th with 1:15.46;

–– Catalena Diamente of Guilderland, high jump and triple jump, ninth with 4 feet, 10 inches and 11th with 35 feet, 10 inches;

–– Kendra Lizotte of Guilderland, pole vault, fifth with 9 feet, 6 inches;

–– Mckee Taylor of Guilderland, shot put, fifth with 34 feet, 11 inches;

–– Curtis Clark of BKW, 200-meter, 14th with 23.91;

–– Conor Devine of BKW, 800-meter, 13th with 1:59.51;

–– Voorheesville 4x800-meter relay team of Taylor Treadgold, Rolly Lloyd, Dylan Parry, and Conor Cashin, fourth with 8:21.30; and

–– Colin Kelly of Voorheesville, high jump, ninth with 5 feet, 10 inches.

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