Weekly Feature



2009-12-23 / Sports

Balanced Lady Spartans’ roster loaded with talent

Indoor track and field
by PATRICK J. NAGY Reporter

The Williamsville North girls indoor track and field team captainsare, from left, first row — Mackenzie Miller and Natalie Worley; second row — Whitney Barrett and Jessica Little. Little is a returning captain. Photo by Daniel Rosati Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The Williamsville North girls indoor track and field team captainsare, from left, first row — Mackenzie Miller and Natalie Worley; second row — Whitney Barrett and Jessica Little. Little is a returning captain. Photo by Daniel Rosati Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Across the lineup, Williamsville North has one of the top girls indoor track and field teams in Section VI.

“We have some nice balance,” said North coach Julian Blake. “We can compete in anything from the sprints through the distance and in the skill positions. We might not have that number one girl but we have a lot of second-place contenders which I believe is what you want your team to be built with. We may not have a superstar but we have a ton of stars. We’re a really solid second-place team.”

The Lady Spartans are led by senior captains Whitney Barrett, Natalie Worley, Mackenzie Miller and Jessica Little. Little is a returning captain.

Barrett is off to a great start, already qualifying for the Section VI Championships in the triple jump (33-feet, 7½-inches, ranked third), high jump (5-0) and long jump (15-1).

The school record in the high jump is 5-1 set by Stephanie Trebes in 1999-2000. The school record in the triple jump is 34-feet set by Emily Curry in 2006-07.

Blake said Barrett can also be a contender in the 55-meter dash and 200-meters and be competitive in the 400 and 800.

Barrett qualified for last year’s state meet as a member of the 4x200 relay.

Little is a strong sprinter who was part of North’s sectional champion 4x200 relay last year. She will also long and triple jump.

Miller also sprints, runs the 4x200 relay and can high, long and triple jump.

Worley is ranked second in the section in the 1500 racewalk in 8:48.9. She took third in the racewalk at last year’s sectionals.

Other returning seniors who should contribute are Meghan Winkle (long and triple jump), Raven Baxter (55 dash, 4x200 relay, long and triple jump, shot put) and Shelbey Gray (55 hurdles, long, triple, and high jump, shot put).

Baxter, who returned to the team after a one-year absence, has qualified for sectionals in the long jump (15-3¾). Gray has qualified for sectionals in the 55 hurdles (9.76, ranked sixth in section).

Returning junior Nalin Tjitradjaja runs the 55 dash, leads the team in the 300, could be a contender in the 4x200 relay, said Blake.

New to the team is junior Nicole Malkowski, who Blake said should be a big help in middle distance events like the 1000 and 4x800 relay.

North’s sophomore class is led by sophomore Ashley Materise. Materise broke her own school record in the pole vault that she set last year with a 9-6, Dec. 12 at Fredonia. It also met the standard for the state meet. Her old record set last year was 8-6.

Blake said Materise hopes to hit 10-6 by the end of the indoor season and 12 feet by her senior year.

Other returning sophomores are Rachel Dorogi, Sarah Loud, Alexis Koral (55 hurdles, 55 dash), Lisa Kuhn (racewalk), and Maria Pollack (hurdles, 4x100 and 4x400 relays).

Dorogi has qualified for sectionals in the 1000 (3:15.5, ranked fifth in the section). Blake said Dorogi is looking to break the school record of 3:12.42 in the 1000 set in 2007-08 by Kim Berus. Blake said Dorogi can run any distance event from the 800 and higher.

Loud, a member of the team’s 4x800 relay that won at sectionals to qualify for states, has qualified for this year’s sectionals in the 55 hurdles (9.87) and 600 (1.45.8, tied for third).

Loud can also run the 300, 1000 and will also high jump. She was eighth in the 1000 at last year’s sectionals.

Koral, a member of the team’s sectional champion 4x200 relay that qualified for the state meet, has sectional-qualifying times in the 55 dash (7.81, ranked seventh) and 55 hurdles (9.27, ranked fourth).

Kuhn is ranked third in the section in the racewalk with a sectional-qualifying time of 9:23.2. Blake said she is also a strong 400 runner and can run the 800 and 4x400 and 4x800 relays.

Blake will also look for team depth from sophomores Alina Versalova (high jump, 55 dash, 4x200 relay), Olivia Yang (sprints, long and triple jump) and Emma Robinson (55 dash, 300, 4x200 relay) and freshmen Bella Gulino (55, 300, 4x200 relay, long and triple jump), Joy Nyaanga (55, 300, 4x200 relay), Valerie Poniatowski (55, 300, 4x200 relay) and Monilola Awolesi (high, long and triple jump).

The North girls took fourth at the Section VI Team Championships.
Williamsville North 2009-10 Schedule
12-30 A/B Divisional (Fredonia State College) ......................... 9 a.m.
1-9 Southern Tier Invite (Cornell University) ........................... 9 a.m.
1-15 A/E Divisional (Lancaster High School)...................... 5:30 p.m.
1-18 Freshman, sophomore championships (Fredonia State College)
9 a.m.
1-23 Varsity Select, no high jump (Lancaster High School) ... 8 a.m.
1-23 Throwers only meet (Lancaster High School) ........... 1:30 p.m.
1-30 Team Challenge (Fredonia State College)......................... 9 a.m.
2-6 WNY Team Championships (Fredonia State College)....... 9 a.m.
2-13 Varsity Select (Lancaster High School) ............................. 8 a.m.
2-20 Varsity Select (Lancaster High School) ............................. 9 a.m.
2-27 Section VI Championships (Fredonia State College) ...... 9 a.m.
e-mail: pnagy@beenews.com

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