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Displaying items by tag: Nick Cavotta
SARATOGA SPRINGS – There is no rest for the dominant track and field stars of Saratoga Springs High School.
Just one week after blowing away competition at the NYSPHSAA 2017 Indoor Track & Field Championships in Staten Island, sophomore Kelsey Chmiel and senior Nick Cavotta took another trip down to New York City to compete in the 2017 New Balance Nationals Indoor (NBNI). The event, a premier national-level event for high school track and field athletes, was held in the Armory Track & Field Center and ran from March 10-12.
Competing this time in the 2-mile, Chmiel put in another stellar performance, despite taking part in a more endurance-testing event. Finishing in third place behind Brie Oakley of Aurora, CO, and Jessica Lawson of Elmira, NY, her time was 10 minutes and 12.94 seconds, narrowly but definitively besting the national record for sophomore girls in the 2-mile event, as well as the state record. Previously, the national record was held by Hannah De Balsi of Westport, CT, with a time of 10 minutes and 12.95 seconds, giving Chmiel the edge by 0.01 seconds. This marks back-to-back broken records for Chmiel, who set the national sophomore record in the girls 3,000 meter event at the state championships the previous weekend.
“The state level is usually pretty competitive,” Chmiel said. “But nationals has some really competitive and fast people in it.”
Characteristically modest about her performances, Chmiel said that she was pleased at the gradual improvement she had made over the course of the indoor season. Coach Linda Kranick, always more keen to tout the runner’s achievements, led the rest of the girls track and field team in a round of applause for Chmiel’s record-breaking run right before her first practice back on Monday afternoon.
“I like the longer distances, so the 3K is usually my focus,” Chmiel said about what she will focusing on going forward into the outdoor season.
Cavotta once again competed in the long jump event that has been his signature in the past few weeks. Coming in 14th place out of 33 finalists, Cavotta’s farthest jump measured 21 feet 11.5 inches, lower than the 23-foot jump that helped him claim his first ever state title and break his school’s long jump record. While admitting that Cavotta might have made the top 8 if he had given his best jump, coach Chris Conley remains nonetheless impressed with the progress he has made during his high school career.
“Halfway through his sophomore year, he came out for outdoor track day,” Conley said. “And in the last couple seasons, he’s really started to put a lot of technical stuff together. He’s come a good amount of ways in a short amount of time.”
For now, Cavotta is resting up for a week before moving into the outdoor track season, as Conley traditionally likes to do for his athletes between seasons. Moving forward, Cavotta will focus on competing in a few different events, including 200 and 400 meters, in addition to the long jump, as he begins to be recruited by more and more universities.
SARATOGA SPRINGS – A handful of Saratoga Springs athletes are set to run all the way to state finals this weekend.
At the final state-qualifying event at UAlbany this past Sunday, a number of athletes from Saratoga Springs High School secured their spots in the 2017 NYSPHSAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at Staten Island on March 4. Among the events that they will compete in are 4x800 relay races, long jump, 3,200 meter races, hurdles, and more.
At the qualifier on Sunday, Saratoga senior Will Navin took the baton in the anchor leg position of the 4x800 relay while his team was in 2nd place behind Shenendehowa. Staying focused on the prize, by the end he crossed the finish line in 1st place and secured his team’s trip to the state finals. Along with Navin, the 4x800 relay team consists of senior Nick Brady, sophomore Peter Moller, and sophomore Ezra Ruggles. For Brady, Moller, and Ruggles, this will be their first ever state meet.
“I was feeling really confident,” Navin said about starting the final leg of the relay. “I just locked my eyes on [the Shen guy’s] back, stayed with him, and when it was time to go it was time to go.”
In the 3,200-meter event, senior Declan Hines and sophomore Shea Weilbaker will be competing. This is the first state-level meet for both athletes. Both Weilbaker and Hines say they are keeping their practice routines consistent with what they have been doing to keep themselves fresh and calm leading into the meet on Saturday. Senior Nick Cavotta will be competing in the long jump event, and after his strong performance at Sunday’s event, is already qualified for championship division nationals. Cavotta usually competes in both long jump and 3K, and so is changing his practice routine to focus strictly on long jump. This means shorter, “more explosive” work outs.
“They say its gonna be a pretty competitive field,” Hines said. “Gonna be good to just get out there and race.”
“I’m just excited, I don’t really have anything to lose,” Cavotta said. “I didn’t expect to even get to this point.”
Senior Mimi Liebers, junior Keellyn Cummings, junior Caroline Starace, and sophomore Kelsey Chmiel will also be competing in the girls’ events at the state meet. Chmiel and Liebers will be entering familiar ground this weekend, as each athlete has competed at multiple state level championships in the past. Liebers will be competing in the hurdle, Cummings in the 1K, Starace in the 1,500 leg of the relay, and Chmiel in the 3K.
“They’ve been working really hard,” Coach Chris Conley said, speaking to the achievements of his athletes. “I think [making it to states] is a tribute to the work they put in.”
The venue for the state championship event will be the Ocean Breeze Track Facility in Staten Island. According to coach Conley, the large location with its 200-meter track has a good chance of bringing strong times from the athletes competing.
“Should be some good performances down there,” Conley said.