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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 26, 2011

Voorheesville team jumps to new heights

By Jordan J. Michael

RAVENA –– Immediately after clearing 13 feet in the pole vault to win the Colonial Council title, Vinnie Saccocio decided to take a chance at the Voorheesville record. Saccocio and Head Coach Steve Relyea decided to have the bar set at 14 feet, 3 inches.

“How about 14 feet, 2 inches?” asked an official on Monday at Ravena.

“I guess that’ll do,” said Relyea as Saccocio got ready for his three attempts at the record, which is 14 feet, set by Kyle Jacobs in 2006.

Saccocio set his personal best three weeks ago at 13 feet, 6 inches, and had just won the William F. Eddy Meet on Saturday by clearing 13 feet. On Monday, Relyea went over some pointers with Saccocio before he tried for the record.

With plenty of people watching, Saccocio completely botched the first attempt. The second vault was much better, but Saccocio had kicked the bar off with his feet. On the third and final try, he missed, but smiled nonetheless.

“I shouldn’t be looking at the bar,” Saccocio said after. “I really want this record.”

Relyea told The Enterprise that Saccocio could use a longer pole because “he’s outgrowing it.” Relyea suggested a 15-foot pole. “It’s harder to use,” he said, “but he’s athletic enough to handle it.”

“I’m looking forward to the new equipment,” said Saccocio. “It’s longer, but less weight. It should equal things out.”

Saccocio had entered the competition at 11 feet because of the wind, but he said that was a “mistake.” Athletes can enter a pole vault event at any height and pass on a certain height if they choose. Saccocio passed on 11 feet, 6 inches, but then cleared 12 feet on his second attempt.

“It takes a lot of energy to vault,” Saccocio said. “I get too tired if I enter an event too early.”

Senior Dan Zemanek, who came in third in the pole vault for Voorheesville, said that it’s “fun to watch Vinnie evolve, how his pole bends.” Zemanek thinks that Saccocio is the best vaulter in Section II. 

“He’ll obliterate the record if he keeps going like this,” Zemanek said of Saccocio, who’s a junior. “He’s so far ahead of everyone else. I’m a little jealous, but happy.”

Saccocio visualizes the jump –– before, after, and during.

“He has a very good sense of space,” Relyea said. “That’s what it takes in an event like this.”

After two separate wins this week, Saccocio has set the bar pretty high for sectionals this weekend. Vaulting over 14 feet just seems really hard.

“It’s not about how hard it is,” said Saccocio. “You can always improve. Once you have it down, you fine tune it.”

Other results

Both the girls’ and boys’ track teams from Voorheesville competed in the Colonial Council Championships at Ravena on Monday. The girls finished sixth overall with 37 points and the boys placed seventh out of 11 teams with 43 points.

After placing second in the 400-meter on Saturday at the William F. Eddy Meet, senior Caitlin Abelseth won the same event at Ravena on Monday with a time of 1:01.15. However, her time at the Eddy Meet was three seconds faster.

On Monday, Abelseth also finished second in the long jump with 15 feet, 8 inches, and third in the 200-meter with a time of 27.25.

Tim Stewart finished second in the high jump at 6 feet, but won the Eddy Meet on Saturday with a clearance of 6 feet, 2 inches. Stewart said on Monday that his personal best is 6 feet, 4 inches.

“That looks insane,” Stewart said of trying for 6 feet, 6 inches a few times this season. “Those last couple steps and drive of the knees and arms together is really important. I’m just trying to get better.”

Keegan Nally placed first in the 400-meter run with a time of 51.55. Michelyn Little fought the water in the 2000-meter steeplechase and came in fourth at 8:21.28.

Here are the rest of the results for the Blackbirds:

–– Emma Simpson, pole vault, fourth, 8 feet;

–– Boys’ 3200-meter relay, fourth, 8:44.17;

–– Sawyer Cresap, 800-meter, fifth, 2:35.54;

–– Jane Pritchard; long jump; fifth; 14 feet, 7 inches;

–– Boys’ 1600-meter relay, fifth, 3:44.20;

–– Colin Kelly; high jump; fifth; 5 feet, 10 inches;

–– Michaela Conway; discus; sixth; 81 feet, 3 inches;

–– Joe Becker, 1600-meter, sixth, 4:58.99;

–– Jane Pritchard; triple jump; seventh; 30 feet, 3 inches;

–– Sal Loccisano; triple jump; seventh; 37 feet, 4 inches;

–– Carla Planz, 800-meter, eighth, 2:39.39;

–– Dylan Foster, 400-meter hurdles, eighth, 1:05.55;

–– Michaela Conway, 100-meter hurdles, ninth, 20.57;

–– Courtney Reilly, 400-meter hurdles, ninth, 1:18.60;

–– Joe Becker, 800-meter, 10th, 2:13.23;

–– Casey Morrison, 100-meter hurdles, 10th, 21.06;

–– Missy Amato; shot put; 10th; 24 feet, 6-and-a-half inches;

–– Jolie Siegel, 3000-meter, 11th, 12:22.20; and

–– Jolie Siegel, 1500-meter, 13th, 5:59.05.

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