Sweet Home track teams loaded with depth
Having depth is a big reason why the Sweet Home boys and girls outdoor track teams have won the last five ECIC Division II titles. And with 65 athletes on each team, depth could be another reason why both teams are in the mix to win for a sixth consecutive year.
Team captains have not yet been named for either team, but senior Chris Nowak and juniors Eric Johnson and Nate Davis, based on performance, are the boys team’s top athletes.
Nowak, who recently signed with the University at Buffalo, is having one of the greatest individual sports years in recent memory. He placed fourth in the state in cross-country and then broke the Section VI and indoor state meet record in the 1,000 to finish second.
“He has got tremendous range that most kids don’t have,” Lombardo said. “Most people agree that he is the best distance runner in Western New York right now.”
Davis, the defending two-time section champion in the 200, is coming off an indoor season where he broke the school and section record in the 300 and also set school records in the triple and long jump. He has been invited to compete in the long jump for next weekend’s Penn State Relays.
Lombardo foresees Davis competing in many events, including the 200, 400, relays, and the long and triple jumps.
Johnson, the defending indoor champ in the 300, plans on focusing on the 100, 200 and 400 dashes and the 400 hurdles.
Other key contributors for the boys team include senior Hasan Hamoudi and junior Sam Schultz (distance); senior Mike Ciminella, junior Caleb Nickens and sophomore Solomon Shabazz (throws); seniors David Campbell (sprints) and Adrian Frazier (jumps) and junior Tommy Rivera (high jump).
Sweet Home opened its season with a 114-26 home win over Williamsville East April 4.
Double winners for the boys team were Davis (100, 10.8; 200, 22.6), Schultz (800, 2:20; 1,600, 5:39) and Nickens (shot put, 42-2; disc, 120-61/2 ).
Also winning were freshman Brad Lock and junior Peyton Urbanik (tied for first in pole vault, 7-6); Rivera (high jump, 5-8); Campbell (400, 57.4); Johnson (400 hurdles, 63), sophomore Kaleb Luton (triple jump, 40-7); Nowak (3,200, 10:08); and the 4x800 relay of Hamoudi, senior Justin Boucher, junior Jacob Carter and Schultz (10:03), the 4x400 relay of Hamoudi, Campbell, senior Pat Boyle and Nowak (3:54.9) and the 4x100 relay of junior Anthony Williams, Rivera, Frazier and Luton (47.8).
Sweet Home’s distance medley team of Boucher, Carter, Campbell and Nowak won in 11:28.90 at the Warriors Relays April 8 at Cheektowaga.
Repeating in ECIC II will not be as easy.
Sam Peterman, the defending two-time Division I section champ in the 800 and 1,500, will not be able to run this season due to health concerns but will be able to run at Duke University, and distance runner Bella Calloway also graduated early.
The good news is the team is full of talented athletes who can step up and contribute.
Seniors Kayleigh Hildreth and Sam Himes; juniors Corrine Brath, Lily Hayes and Angie Parrizzi; and sophomore McKayla Kasperek are the team’s top distance runners. Parrizzi has also started pole vaulting.
Senior Camryn McCrossan, juniors Britney Banks and Amaya Turnage, sophomore Alany Sosa and Faith Johnson lead the sprinters.
Sophomores Jordyn Waller and Amiya Lumpkins lead the team in jumps.
Senior Tirzah Peters and junior Arleasia McGee could be a dominant one-two punch in the shot put and discus throw. McGee is the defending outdoor section champ. McGee (36-0) and Peters (39-4) combined to set the meet record in the girls shot put at the Warrior Relays in 75-4.
Sophomore Brianna Bucello is versatile and can be useful in jumps, sprints and hurdles.
Sweet Home opened its season with a 113-27 home win over Williamsville East April 4. Double winners were Peters (shot put, 37-31/2 ; disc, 102-9), Lumpkins (triple jump, 32-0; long jump, 16-1/4 ) and Banks (100, 13.1; 400, 65.9). Also winning were Parrizzi and sophomore Amanda Andrews (tied for first in pole vault, 5-6); Hildreth (800, 2:40); Kasperek (3,000, 11:25.2); and the 4x800 relay of Hildreth, Hayes, Himes and freshman Sarah Mehani (11:23), the 4x400 relay of Andrews, Hildreth, Kasperek and freshman Emily Fadale (4:50) and the 4x100 relay of Bucello, Johnson, sophomore Brianna Millender and Lumpkins (56.7).
At the Warrior Relays, the distance medley relay team of Hayes, Millender, Parrizzi and Kasperek took second in 13:59.5.
Sweet Home hosts Hamburg at 5 p.m. Wednesday and competes in the Niagara Falls Wolverine Invite Saturday at Niagara Falls. They host Williamsville South at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 25.