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Boys Produce Rare Tie; Gander Girls Top Spartans

By Jack McElduff
Special to HVSR

POUGHKEEPSIE – Spackenkill and Rondout Valley high school’s track and field teams showed their wide range of talent on Thursday afternoon as the Spartans celebrated senior day.

The dual meet proved to be a tight affair in the boys meet, to the point where it finished in a rare tie at 65.5-65.5. However, Rondout would make up for the tie with a strong showing from the girls, who beat the Spartans 92-39.

Poughkeepsie’s Faith Christian Academy also participated but did not officially compete in the meet, instead using it as an extra workout for the three runners the school sent to Spackenkill.

“Both our girls and our boys teams have a shot this year,” Rondout head coach Jake Maloney said. “Things are coming along.”

The track was where the Rondout girls laid the groundwork for their eventual win. The team received a winning performance from Sophie Schoomaker in the 400-meter hurdles, as she came across in 79 seconds. Magnolia Flamhaft also had a strong showing for the Ganders in the 110-meter hurdles, winning with a finish of 20.3 seconds. The Ganders’ Isabella Serrano also snuck past Kaitlyn Kilpert in the 800 meters to win with a time of 2:47.1. Clearly, Rondout’s girls made their living in the shorter distances.

Other notable performances include a 27-foot, 1-inch shot put from Rondout’s Azure Jones, as well as a 12-foot, 4-inch leap in the long jump from the Ganders’ Kendra Rubino to lead all female competitors. Baylee Szekeres also unleashed a 71-foot discus throw to win the girls side by almost three feet.
In terms of throwing and jumping, both Spackenkill and Rondout boys were impressive. Rondout’s Isaiah Jones came within one tenth of an inch of a school record when he bombed his second discus throw 144-feet, 9-inches. Spackenkill’s Ozzie Hutchinson registered a terrific throw of 99 feet, 2 inches, and later paced the entire field with a toss of 45-6 in the shot put. Meanwhile, at the long jump, Spackenkill’s Ian Horvath and Jayden Bennermon placed 1-2 with jumps of 17 feet, 11 inches and 17 feet, 5 ½ inches, respectively.

Spartans head coach Stan Garrant was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We had good athletes today,” Garrant said. “They’re getting better and better every meet. It was a great meet by both the boys and girls.”

Down the stretch, a thrilling boys 4×400 relay came down to the last leg, when Horvath inched out in front of Rondout’s Alvaro Fernandez Eiroa to secure the last victory of the day.

“At the end there, I felt like I was getting him a little bit,” Horvath said of the last stretch of the relay. “I just tried to finish it.”

With sectionals just a stone’s throw away, both teams are looking to the future. Rondout captain Tyler Tomlin, who placed first among both schools in the triple jump, feels that the family culture of his team may push them further than they went a year ago, when the Ganders nearly won the section.

“Motivation is definitely the biggest thing,” Tomlin said. “We all have a family-like atmosphere, and that definitely plays a big role.”

Maloney is also optimistic about his team going forward.

“Both our girls and boys teams have a shot [at sectionals,]” Maloney said. “I think we’re on a good path–we’ll see how things go.”

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