Salamanca’s track and field teams sent five athletes to the New York State Championship meet in Middletown Friday and Saturday, coming back with a new school record.
The boys’ 400-meter relay team of senior Evan Harrington, senior Sal Seitz, freshman Anibal Santiago and senior Tanner John beat its own record with a time of :44.19 on Saturday. The Warriors’ relay run placed them 5th in the meet’s Division 2 schools and 19th overall.
Rain forced meet organizers to move all of the originally scheduled two-day meet events to Saturday, June 8. The revised schedule left the relay team thinking “What if?” according to boys’ coach Michelle Hill.
“The way they had it seeded was a class final on Friday, and then the top eight teams came back and ran for the federation title,” Hill said. “We were in the fast heat of Division 2, so we were really looking forward to running with the best of the best in Division 2.”
Instead, with Friday events postponed, the Warriors ran in a mixed heat according to time — and won by over a half-second.
“They had near-perfect hand-offs,” Hill said. “They ran the fastest they had ever run, so you can’t ask for more than that, but you also can’t help but wonder if we were running with a little tougher competition, could we have run just a little bit faster?”
The foundation of the record-breaking relay team started three years ago, when Seitz and Harrington ran together.
“They’ve been running relays together for quite some time,” Hill said. “So there was that connection.”
John was a late addition to the track team, joining as a senior, but showed the same abilities that helped him succeed in football, basketball and lacrosse.
“He is a true leader on any athletic field or track that he stepped on to,” Hill said. “That transcended to the track.”
Sanchez joined the Warriors mid-season last year, transferring from Randolph.
“Tanner and he kind of took on a brotherly, kidding relationship with one another,” Hill said. “That connection with the four of them certainly impacted their results on the track, and they rehearsed those handoffs as often as they could in practice. They were consistent all season long, but they also consistently got better.”
Harrington concluded a record-breaking season with a Division 2 11th-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles (:15.84).
After winning the Section 6 Division 2 title and breaking the school record in the pentathlon, senior Shae Smith again competed in the event at the state meet, finishing 7th in Division 2 and 20th overall.
Cattaraugus-Little Valley senior Josh Juenemann took 7th in Division 2 in the 100-meter dash (:11.19).
Randolph sophomore McKenna Maycock took 3rd in Division 2 in the 400 hurdles (1:04.60) and 9th in the 100 hurdles (:16.03).
The Cardinals’ junior pole vaulter Chris Doubek took third in Division 2 and 10th overall (14-0). Junior Zachary Jackson finished 14th in Division 2 in the 800 (1:59.55).