East Aurora Girls & Boys Win Class A Tag Team Championship, Cheektowaga Boys Finish Second | High school

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Host East Aurora Blue Devils enjoyed their home track in the Section VI Class A Athletics Team Championships.

East Aurora performed well, with rookie Gus Hoak winning the boys’ 3,000-meter steeplechase as the Blue Devils were strong all day over long distances.

They also won home titles in the women’s 4×800 with a time of 10:20.71. It was the team of Megan McLaughlin, Emilia O’Leary, Hope Owens and Kailyn Houghton. Evan Owens, Owen Rung, Pierce Ticen and Braden Tent combined to win the boys’ 4×800 in 8:35.55. And Emilia O’Leary won the girls’ 1,500 with a time of 4:58.97.

The boys 4x400m relay clocked a winning time of 3:32.29 (Josh DeFries, Owens, Ticen and Tent). McLaughlin, Jillian Mumm, Owens and Grace Kwitek set a meet record in the women’s 4×400 relay with a time of 4:05.58, breaking Olean’s 2010 record of 4.05.58. Ryan Zaff won the men’s 3,200 with a time of 10:39.12, and O’Leary won the women’s 3,000 with a time of 10:46.77.

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In the men’s 1600 meters, Owens’ time of 4 minutes, 25.89 seconds broke the 2007 meet record. It also placed Owens in the New York State top 50.

The Blue Devils girls won the tag team championships with a score of 141. The East Aurora men’s team won with 116 points and Cheektowaga was second with 101.

“Getting over the Covid stuff all the inconvenience, just to be able to have the kids here and experience the sport makes it special,” McLaughlin said. “Having the opportunity to be in a championship and come away with the win makes it even more special.”

Teams from across Western New York were able to compete and use the competition as a barometer of where they stand for next week’s Division VI State Qualifier. It’s scheduled for June 3 and 4 at West Seneca West.

Cheektowaga also had a good day. The Warriors have won most of the short distance events.

“It was awesome,” East Aurora head coach Walter McLaughlin said. “These youngsters have worked very hard all season. It is truly an honor to host the meeting. To be able to get the win is great and it’s an honor for the kids, they worked really hard.”

As for Cheektowaga, CJ Krzanowicz won the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.70. His finish broke the 2003 meet record of 14.84 held by Shawn Donovan of Alden. It also erased Sweet Home’s Daquane Spikes track record of 14.71, set in 2014. Krzanowicz’s finish is also in the top 10 in the state, and he won the 400 hurdles with a time of 58, 05, which is the top 50 in the state.

“He put himself in a higher stratosphere of the sport in high school,” Cheektowaga head coach Rich Bridenbaker said. “To be at the top of your division and at the top of your section is very impressive. To be rated high end in the state is amazing. It shows very good numbers. It all really comes together and he’s riding that wave.

The Warriors also won the boys’ high jump with Daniel Richardson setting a personal best with a 5-10 mark. Isaiah Harris narrowly won the men’s 100 meters in 11.59 seconds and set a personal best in the men’s 400 with a time of 51.22. Amiya Verse set a personal best in the women’s 200 meters, finishing the event in 26.93 seconds.

Cheektowaga won the women’s 4×100 meters relay with a time of 50.80. Their team was La’Niyah Leah, Myla Scott, Kayrah Brown and Verse.

Northwestern-committed Amherst senior Mallory Grubb set an all-American top-25 in the girls’ 2,000m steeplechase at 7:12.64. Teammate Brad Johnson set a personal best and top 25 in the shot put with a mark of 48-11.25.

“We have strong leaders with Mallory and Brad,” Amherst head coach Jason Cyrek said. “They’ve put a lot of work and effort into it and they’re obviously succeeding. I think this time we hope they peak at the right time.

  • Starpoint’s Veda Jauch established the state top 25 in the girls’ discus with a 114-9 mark. Jauch also set a top 50 at NYS in the shot put with a 35-10.25 mark.
  • Starpoint’s Alyssa Armitage went 11-6 in the women’s pole vault, which is top 10 in the state. East Aurora finished second with a 9-6 mark, which placed it in the top 50 in the state.
  • Maryvale’s Robert Rhode set a state top 50 in boys’ discus with a 139-0 mark.


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