Weekly Feature

2009-12-23 / Sports

East’s sectional champion relay returns

Williamsville East girls indoor track and field coach Kurt Holme hopes the team can improve on last year’s success. They have some fast athletes to do that.

All four members of last year’s Section VI championship 4x400-meter relay team returns — seniors Amy French and Melissa Spada and sophomores Kala Allen and Sarah Spitznogle.

Holme said all four are pursuing individual and relay team success this season.

Allen, the anchor of the relay, was a huge reason why East won a sectional title in a relay for the first time in 20 years. With the team trailing by seven seconds heading into the final leg, she beat NT’s anchor runner on the final straightaway to win the race.

Allen also won sectional titles in the 300 and 600. She also set the Western New York all-time indoor 300 time last winter and bettered her own outdoor track 400 record last spring.

Allen is ranked first in the section in the 300 (42.5) and second in the 55 dash (7.44). Both are sectional-qualifying times. The 55 dash time has also met the standard for the state meet.

French, is ranked first in the section in the high jump (5-feet, 2-inches) and second in the 55 hurdles (9.13). Both are sectional-qualifying marks.

She has also qualified for sectionals in the triple jump (32-7¾).

“She returns with great experience, skill and dedication,” said Holme. “Along with the 4x400 meter relay team from last year, she excels in field events.”

Holme said Spada has already run her personal best in the 1500 (5:19.7, sectional qualifying time) and is looking to continue to improve, along with Spitznogle, who returns to the relay team, and to pursue sectional qualification in the 600.

Seniors Anna Butler and Shai-lee Carmel bring talent and experience to the team.

Already contributing to the team success in 2009 are junior Taylor Kunkes in the long sprints, sophomore Rachel Melnyk in the sprints and hurdles, and two excellent swimmers already excelling on the track, sophomore middle distance runner Claire Sucharski and freshman Kendra Mayer, a distance event specialist.


The East boys team has a balanced combination of talent, experience, and new members showing future potential.

Anchoring the boys team will be the tri-captains from the cross country season, senior Cody Degen, and juniors Alex McDonald and Vasi Vijayashanthar.

“All three are versatile runners capable of qualifying for sectional competition in at least two races each,” said Holme.

New to the team and already contributing are juniors Calvin Eichorn, Kyle Frederiksen and Mark Nemmer, all very capable and regularly racing at every indoor distance from 300 to 1600 meters, said Holme.

Sophomores to watch this season include Matt Dee and Josh Lyons in the long sprints, and Jerrell Williams in the hurdles and high jump.

Dedicated freshmen already regulars in East’s arsenal and looking to step up in the future are Tyler Degen in the middle distances, Jonathan Er in the middle sprints, and field event specialist Koso Suzuki.

“The future is bright,” said Holme.

Williamsville East 2009-10 Schedule

12-29 C/E Divisional (Fredonia
State College).................... 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 A/E/F Varsity Select, no high
jump (Lancaster High School) 8

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.

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