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Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:00

Boys, Girls Win Suburban Titles Together For First Time

By | Sports

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Both the Saratoga Springs boys and girls varsity indoor track and field teams claimed Suburban Council titles on Saturday, January 25—the first time the two each won simultaneously in school history.

The championship crowns were earned by a well-rounded group on both the running and field event sides, as the Blue Streaks had multiple individual first place finishers throughout the day.

Saratoga Springs out-pointed Shenendehowa 119.75–99.75 in the girls championship and outscored the Plainsmen 121–72 in the boys events at the University at Albany.

Ellery Bianco claimed individual wins in all three of her events: 55-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles and 300-meter.

“She has definitely matured as an athlete,” said head coach Linda Kranick of Bianco. “She’s very composed and very focused. That says it all.”

For the boys, Robert Haughton won the 300-meter. Sophomores Aidan Tooker (long distance) and Haughton are just two of the many Saratoga Springs team members who make up a solid core that will be returning next season.

Bianco and runners Olivia Ventura, Estellla Smith, Spencer Hayes and Nick Anderson are just some of the Blue Streaks’ juniors, along with long jumper Liza Jelenik and Nick Green, who broke the school’s shot put record, previously held by Vince Riggi, earlier this season.

Kranick added that she was also encouraged by the Freshman Championships, as Saratoga Springs’ girls finished in first and the boys finished in third.

But with the future looking just as bright as ever for indoor, the Blue Streaks are caught up in the present, with senior powerhouse long distance runners like Jay Navin and Joe Verro, and focused on the next coming task—sectionals.

The Division I Sectional Shot Put and Pole Vault times are scheduled for Saturday, February 8 at SUNY Bubble from 2–8 p.m., while the track Division I Sectional Championships at SUNY Albany will be February 9 from 2:30–8 p.m.

In addition to her and her husband, co-coach Art Kranick, Linda Kranick credits the success of this season to the group of assistant coaches on this year’s team.

Tony Spackmann coaches the girls sprinters, while Chris Conley coordinates the boys. Tina Villa, a former Saratoga Springs High School and University at Buffalo athlete, is in charge of the throwers.

Blue Streaks great Keelin Hollowood’s father, Brien Hollowood, is now a coach and Diane Jorgenson handles the distance runners. Shane Vanetti coaches the younger age group and Jake Vanetti specifically helps the pole vaulters.

Both Saratoga Springs’ pole vaulters, senior Marlaina Murphy and sophomore Tom Conboy, finished in first place at the Suburban meet.

“It’s a team of coaches and a team of kids,” Linda Kranick said. “This year we have one of our largest teams and the kids are just excited about competing. We’re very proud of what they’ve done. I think part of it is getting former athletes back in the program. It’s kind of like controlled chaos, but the kids work hard and work together.”

After sectionals  next week, the Section II State Qualifiers at UAlbany will be February 16.

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