CORNING—Twenty members from the Corning Hawks track and field program and other area athletes will compete at the 2017 NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships on Friday and Saturday.
Union-Endicott will be the venue as Section IV will host the meet, closer than last year’s meet that was held at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, which may give area athletes a slight edge.
“The biggest advantage I like to think about is that I get to sleep in my own bed,” said Binghamton University-bound Kevin Moshier. “To be able to just have an hour bus ride so my legs aren’t that stiff will give me an advantage.”
For the Hawks, all eyes will be on Moshier and also Jessica Lawson who will put on the black and gold for the final time as she looks to repeat after winning last year in the 3,000 meters with a time of 9:24.36.
“It kind adds a little bit of pressure (being the last meet),” said Lawson. “It should be a good meet. I’m excited and not trying to think about it as my last chance.”
Lawson is completely healthy for this meet, after dealing with nagging injuries throughout the indoor season.
“I haven’t gone into an outdoor state meet healthy like this since freshman year,” Lawson said. “It’s nice to be able to have that confidence going in.”
She is seeded second in the 3,000 meter run behind Saratoga’s Kelsey Chmiel.
“I knew Kelsey (Chmiel) would have the fastest seed time going in, she’s had an amazing season,” said Lawson. “I try not to worry too much about seeding, I kind of just try and go in and give it my best and get a PR.”
Emily Niu, another senior, will also compete in the 3,000 seeded 26th for the Hawks and is excited to run with her teammate.
“It’ll definitely be a cool experience, running with her (Lawson) at a high-caliber meet,” said Niu. “I’m just trying to run a nice personal record to end my senior season.”
Lawson will also compete in the 1,500 meters, where she is seeded fourth. The top seed is freshman Katelyn Tuohy of North Rockland.
On the boys’ side, the Hawks are led by Moshier, who will compete for medals in the 1,600 meters, the 3,200 and the 3,200 meter relay.
Moshier is seeded eighth in the 1,600 meter run while the top seed is Sachem North’s Christopher Tibbetts. Elmira Notre Dame’s Matt Karee is seeded 16th.
In the 3,200, Brighton’s Paul Dellinger is seeded first while Moshier is seeded ninth after a 22nd place finish in last year’s state tournament.
“Knowing these guys from indoor, I know how fast they are,” Moshier said. “I know that I can be right with them, the seeding doesn’t mean much to me. I can really just go out there and try and do my best.”
The relay team of Moshier, Dan Gahagan, John Cleary, Jack Ustanik, Bryce Derick and Nathan Prisella is seeded 10th in the 3,200 meter relay, less than four seconds from medal contention.
Corning is seeded 16th in the 1,600 meter relay with the team of Carrington Vaughn, Andrew Marcellin, Alex Spicer, Isaac Cornfield, Jack Ustanik and Jacob Grano.
Also for the Hawks, Clayton Curtis is seeded 20th in the 110 meter hurdles and Quinn Nicholson is seeded 14th in the steeplechase.
“Last year, I ran a faster time in steeple last year (and didn’t make states), but made states this year,” said the junior Nicholson. “Getting a medal would be really cool.”
Corning’s Cleo Baker, Niu, Grace Bickam, Alivia Collins and Lawson will compete in the 3,200 meter relay and is seeded 12th of 28 teams.
For Horseheads, Cassidy Wilcox will compete in the shot put and is seeded 12th of 14 and Alyssa Walker will run in the 800 meter run and is seeded 24th of 31.
Elmira’s team of Agrienna Mathewson, Jamiliah Jackson, Hannah Brooks, Claudia Belgrave, Lizzie Ostrander and Audem Jackson is seeded 13th of 14 in the 1,600 meter relay.
Other boys from around Section IV include Patrick Hazlitt from Watkins Glen who is seeded fifth in the 800 meter run, Dan Fedor of Elmira who is seeded 13th in the shot put and the discus, Odessa-Montour’s Andy Fudala will compete in the pole vault and 110 hurdles, while Christopher Eames of Horseheads is seeded 25th in the pentathlon.