We’re less than 48 hours away from the start of the 2012 state meet at Cicero-North Syracuse. A ton of Long Islanders are heading upstate, and there are more than a few who could come away with a title.
So what should you be watching for through both days of the meet? Which events are going to feature the hottest competition? Which events do someone from Long Island have the best chance of taking home state gold?
That’s where this handy preview comes in. Below, I break down each event by division (if applicable), let you know which Long Islanders are competing in what event, and give you a quick thought about each event. (Note that the seeds are still open to change, but if anything does change I’ll update accordingly.)
We’ll start with the girls. (I’ll post the boys preview tomorrow evening after I settle into the comfort of my hotel room.)
Division I: Valencia Hannon (Elmont), Shanice Johnson (Valley Stream North), Janel Francis (Copiague), Sara Ronde (Northport)
Division II: Ashe Davis (Roosevelt), Ashley Lucas (Babylon)
THOUGHTS: Hannon comes into the 100 as the top seed and is looking to improve on the blazing-fast 11.87 she ran last year en route to the championship. But she’ll face stiff competition—Johnson, Francis, and Ronde can all hold their own, and there are a few contenders from city schools who will give Hannon a run for her money.
Division I: Shanice Johnson (Valley Stream North), Chynna-Monica Chung (St. Anthony's), Mary Chimezie (Hills East), Adrionna Powell-Lawrence (Uniondale), Alexia Douglas (Brentwood)
Division II: Sasa Vann (Mercy), Med-Murielle Pierre (Malverne)
THOUGHTS: Johnson is the fastest-seeded LIer at 24.74 seconds, but she’ll be going up against a pair of speedsters from the PSAL who can go sub-24.5. Chung, Chimezie, Powell-Lawrence, and Douglas could make some serious noise as well.
Division I: Olicia Williams (St. Anthony's), Taylor Hennig (Garden City), Alyssa Barthelmes (Lindenhurst), Ana Herbert (Harborfields)
Division II: Sasa Vann (Mercy), Candace Taylor (Friends Academy)
THOUGHTS: Williams and Hennig are two of the best 400 runners in New York and have a legitimate chance at the title. But they’ll have their hands full with Colonie’s Kyle Plante, who is the only runner seeded below 54 seconds. Vann and Taylor are the top two seeds in Division II—both have a strong shot at not only taking the division crown but also making some waves in the championship final.
Division I: Brittney Webley (Uniondale), Katherine Cavanaugh (Kellenberg), Odrine Belot (Kellenberg), Jessica Gelibert (Bay Shore), Adrionna Powell-Lawrence (Uniondale), Jeana Esernio (Ward Melville)
Division II: Casey Hasher (Bayport-Blue Point), Nina Ribeiro (Mineola)
THOUGHTS: We could see a strong Long Island flavor in the championship finals of this one. Four Long Islanders (Webley, Cavanaugh, Belot, Gelibert) make up four of the top six seeds, while Powell-Lawrence makes it five of the top nine seeds.
Division I: Jessica Gelibert (Bay Shore), Brianna Reid (Brentwood), Brittney Webley (Uniondale), Melany Belot (Kellenberg)
Division II: Bailey Walker (Bayport-Blue Point), Kim Arena (Cold Spring Harbor)
THOUGHTS: Look for a heavy Long Island influence in this one, too. Gelibert is the only runner seeded below 1:00, while Reid is the second seed at 1:01.96 and Webley is fourth at 1:02.01. With a seed time of, 1:02.80 Walker is the favorite for the Division II crown.
Championship 800: Kelsey Margey (Friends Academy), Emma Gallagher (Garden City), Jazmine Fray (Kellenberg), Caroline Brown (Holy Trinity), Shannon McDonnell (Shoreham-Wading River), Danielle Rowe (Bay Shore), Taylor Carlin (Cold Spring Harbor), Shanna Heaney (Hampton Bays)
THOUGHTS: This could very well end up being a rematch of the St. Anthony’s Invitational, where Margey and Gallagher went at it in a close one. Margey was able to hold off a hard-charging Gallagher down the stretch to win their first meeting, but will she be able to do it again?
Championship 1,500: Kelsey Margey (Friends Academy), Rachel Paul (Sachem East), Henna Rustami (Syosset), Caroline Brown (Holy Trinity), Shanna Heaney (Hampton Bays)
THOUGHTS: Margey and Paul are two of the top distance runners on Long Island. But they’ll undoubtedly face their biggest challenge in Mary Cain of Bronxville, who has been rewriting the New York State record books all season long. You can’t count either of them out, but they’ll have to run the race of their life to beat Cain.
Championship 3,000: Brigid Brennan (Northport), Jessica Donohue (North Shore), Tiana Guevara (Miller Place), Amanda Ashe (East Meadow), Brianna Delzeli (Bayport-Blue Point), Nicole Gianetti (Oyster Bay), Kerri-Anne Flynn (St. Anthony's)
THOUGHTS: Brennan is the second-fastest seed in this race by less than .4 seconds, so she has to be considered among the favorites to win this one. Don’t count out Donohue or Guevara, though—they have the endurance to make a splash.
Championship 2,000 Steeplechase: Brianna Nerud (North Shore), Elizabeth Caldwell (North Shore), Caroline O'Hea (Ward Melville), Katie Saroka (Bayport-Blue Point), Katrina Garry (Friends Academy)
THOUGHTS: The big question in this one is not whether or not Nerud will win—it’s whether or not she makes a run at the national record (6:29.20). She came extremely close at St. Anthony’s, and you have to think she’ll give it a shot at Cicero.
Championship Pentathlon: Heather Sweeney (Massapequa), Kayla Koelbel (Kings Park), Nikki Mosby (Longwood), Paige Vadnais (Calhoun), Ariel Fieldman (Wheatley)
THOUGHTS: Sweeney is the third-best seed at 3,083, while Koelbel (3,080) is not far behind her. They’ll give top-seeded Stephanie Izard of Sweet Home (3,370) a strong challenge.
Division I: Janel Francis (Copiague), Teena Mobley (North Babylon), Tawanda Francis (Uniondale), Kaitlyn Kieser (Clarke)
Division II: Bailey Walker (Bayport-Blue Point), Katharina Ross (Port Jefferson), Kasey Katz (Friends Academy)
THOUGHTS: Francis finished second in the long jump at the winter state meet and is looking to do one spot better. She enters as the second seed this weekend, while Mobley is right behind her. Walker is the fourth-best seed in Division II and has a good shot at the class title.
Division I: Melodee Riley (Riverhead), Odrine Belot (Kellenberg), Kyra Braunskill Miller (Riverhead), Alexis Yeboah-Kodie (Garden City),
Division II: Rebcca Hollis (Stony Brook), Victoria White (Carle Place)
THOUGHTS: Riley is looking to defend her championship in the triple jump, but faces stiff competition from Belot (who won the Federation title in the triple jump last winter) and her own teammate, Braunskill Miller. This one could come down to the final few jumps.
Division I: Adaora Nwodili (Longwood), Jocelyn Harris (Great Neck South), Brittany Sepe (Sachem East), Natalie Jean (Kellenberg)
Division II: Jordan Collins (Bayport-Blue Point), Jill Flecker (Carle Place)
THOUGHTS: Nwodili won the indoor state championship in the shot put in the winter and is good enough to win it this weekend. She’ll face some tough competition though in Briyah Brown (New Rochelle).
Division I: Adaora Nwodili (Longwood), Deidree Goldbourne (Westbury), Diamond Jackson (Sachem East), Jocelyn Harris (Great Neck South) Natalie Jean (Kellenberg)
Division II: Jordan Collins (Bayport-Blue Point), Jessica O'Connor (Carle Place)
THOUGHTS: Collins is the top discus thrower across both Division I and Division II—she’ll be a favorite to make the championship final and win it all. Nwodili is the second seed in Division I as well, so look for her to stick around towards the end.
Championship High Jump: Kaitlin Whitehorn (Glenn), Jackie Crunden (Whitman), Emerald Vickers (Babylon), Brittany LeJouan (Kellenberg), Nicole Ziv (Port Washington), Katherine Keller (Wheatley)
THOUGHTS: Whitehorn is one of the nation’s top high jumpers and has cleared 5-9 this season. Look for her to put in a repeat performance. Crunden is also a strong contender right behind Whitehorn—look for Crunden to make a strong challenge late into the event.
Championship Pole Vault: Brianna Cristiano (Connetquot), Hallee Henze (Cold Spring Harbor), Nicole Natland (MacArthur), Emma Cleary (St. John the Baptist), Alyssa Bowen (Hampton Bays), Danielle Rattotti (Cold Spring Harbor)
THOUGHTS: Cristiano is the top-seeded LIer at 11-0 (tied for fifth-highest). She’ll have to deal with Lancaster’s Jen Thill, the only jumper seeded above 12 feet. Sleeper: Cleary, who owns the CHSAA indoor pole vault record at 11-3.
Division I: North Babylon, St. Anthony's, Uniondale, Sachem North
Division II: Southampton, Malverne
THOUGHTS: North Babylon is the second-fastest seed in the 4x100, St. Anthony’s is tied for fourth-best, and Uniondale is tied for fifth. All three could make some serious noise, but they’ll have to deal with a formidable Mount Vernon squad that carries a 46.65 seed time into the meet.
Division I: Garden City, Bay Shore, Uniondale, Brentwood, St. Anthony's
Division II: Bayport-Blue Point, Friends Academy
THOUGHTS: It’s as if Garden City hasn’t missed a step from their stellar indoor campaign. They’re the second-fastest seed in Division I and a serious threat to win it all. Keep an eye on Bay Shore, though—they have a strong crew of quarter-milers and are a bit of a sleeper. Bayport-Blue Point is the top seed in Division II and should come away with the class title.
Championship 4x800: North Shore, Sachem East, Northport, Massapequa, Friends Academy, Bayport-Blue Point, Kellenberg
THOUGHTS: North Shore is the top seed and one of the favorites to win, but Sachem East took second in the indoor 4x800 at states and is hungrier than ever.