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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 23, 2012

16 compete at championships
Kids become coaches, making each other better, on Guilderland indoor track team

— By Jordan J. Michael

ALBANY –– It was a mixed bag of emotions on Sunday for Guilderland’s indoor track athletes. Some were glad to reach personal records. Others were unable to reach their goals.

The Dutchmen brought 10 girls and six boys to the Division I Championships at the University of Albany. Sunday’s focus was on individuals level Guilderland prepares to transition from indoors to outdoors for the spring.

Senior Anna Pickett never thought that she could keep pace with Saratoga’s assiduous runners, but she felt differently after posting a personal best time of 4:56.88 in the 1500-meter for fifth place. Keelin Hollowood, Taylor Driscoll, and Katie Treichel went first, second, and third for the Blue Streaks.

“I think that wall is starting to crumble a little,” said Pickett, who used to believe that Saratoga’s runners were untouchable. “I do idolize them, but they’re the same age as me. We have similar successes and failures.”

Senior Sara Buckley won her 3000-meter heat easily, even lapping some of the field, but looked upset after the race, retreating to a corner of the arena. Buckley told The Enterprise that she was hoping for a time around 11:07. She posted 11:20.30 for ninth place.

“It’s hard to tell how fast I’m going when no one is in front of me,” Buckley said. “It’s just really hard. I shouldn’t have settled.”

Nathan Scott, a senior, was leading a good portion of his 1600-meter race, but was eventually passed by Brian Machina of Shenendehowa. Scott, who finished in 11th place overall, had an interpreter with him because he’s hard of hearing.

“It’s disappointing when someone passes you,” Scott said, through his interpreter. “I try to run six or seven miles every day.”

Coach Dave Kosier said that Scott has been running “a little faster” as the season has progressed, and that can be said for most of Guilderland’s athletes. “They’re all hard workers,” Kosier said. “Everyone has done a nice job with stepping it up.”

Junior Gabby DelBene tied a personal record in the high jump at 4 feet, 6 inches for sixth place and also had a personal best in the long jump by seven inches. Senior Dejana Harris was a favorite in the 55-meter hurdles, but finished fourth with a time of 9.07. Kosier said that Harris had back problems on Sunday.

With all the repetitive stress, how much pain do track and field athletes endure?

Buckley said mental stress is more of a problem for her than physical stress because she has to complete 18 laps in the 3000-meter race. “You kind of say to yourself, ‘Oh, I’m half-way done,’ but there’s still nine more laps to run,” she said. “Staying mentally focused is hard. Sometimes I just zone out.”

“You have to mentally tell yourself to run faster,” Pickett said. “I put myself in a competitive situation and try to push myself past my limits.”

Buckley is primarily a cross-country runner who hopes to attend Syracuse University. She was unable to be competitive during the 2011 cross-country season because of a stress fracture in her foot. A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone and is a common injury for distance runners, as their feet repeatedly pound the ground.

The best cure for a stress fracture is rest. Buckley sat out most of the cross-country season and returned to competitive running around Christmas time.

“I have a new appreciation for running now,” said Buckley. “It helps me manage my time well. It’s just really rewarding and none of my teammates are trying to compete against me.”

Coach Pete Wachtel is really pleased with how all the Dutch athletes have worked together to make each other better. He recently witnessed a senior boy helping a ninth-grade girl with her starts.

“They’re fostering and mentoring each other,” Wachtel said. “I’ve watched some of these kids become coaches. That’s what makes this all worth it –– seeing everyone improve and work together.”

“Everyone feels the same,” Pickett said. “We can all relate.”

Buckley said it’s normal to have Coach Kosier telling her to “go faster” during a race, but it’s special to have her teammates yelling similar requests.

“I hear them and then I really get going,” said Buckley. “I breathe steady, but strong.”

More results

Here are the rest of the results for Guilderland from the Division I Indoor Track Championships at the University of Albany on Sunday:

–– Kendra Lizotte; pole vault; fourth place; 9 feet, 6 inches;

–– Joseph Cornell, 300-meter, sixth place, 38.15;

–– Girls’ 4 x 400-meter relay, sixth place, 4:34.11;

–– Boys’ 4 x 400-meter relay, seventh place, 3:50.96;

–– Sydney Campbell; pole vault; ninth place; 7 feet, 6 inches;

–– John Keegan; shot put; 10th place; 35 feet, 6 inches;

–– Abigail Marco, 300-meter, 11th place, 45.86;

–– David Corey, 1600-meter, 15th place, 5:07.46;

–– Jade Quevedo-Schut, 300-meter, 16th place, 47.21;

–– Lea Cure, 600-meter, 17th place, 1:51.94;

–– Austin Burnham, 600-meter, 17th place, 1:37.31; and

–– Ramy Houacine, 55-meter dash, 20th place, 7.32.

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