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Lafayette athlete earns bragging rights

Lancaster runs away with Roesch team title; Black shines at Classic

News Sports Reporter
Mark Mulville/Buffalo News
Grand Island's Kara Black was the track events MVP at Lancaster's Western New York Track Classic.


Mark Mulville/Buffalo News
Kenneth Bragg of Lafayette earned MVP honors at the Carl Roesch after wins in the 100 and 200 meters.


Kenneth Bragg stood on the track at Clarence with the MVP trophy from the Carl Roesch Classic in one hand and a cell phone in the other.

"Dad, I got it!" he said.

The Lafayette junior couldn't wait to share the news of Saturday's triumphs with his father, Rayford, who enjoyed tremendous success on Western New York tracks in the early 1980s.

Bragg had plenty to brag about. He won the 100 meters in a personal-record 10.8 seconds and the 200 meters in 22.5.

"This (MVP) is very surprising to me. I'm so happy to have it," said Bragg. "I thought I was going to run at least an 11-flat. I wasn't expecting the weather to be this nice. I had a pretty good start, but I'm not the most explosive runner. I started pulling away in the middle of the race, and I leaned at the tape."

While Bragg garnered the top individual honor, Lancaster was clearly the dominant team in the field of 28, taking first place by a 53-point margin. The 50 points by the Redskin throwers alone would have been enough to outscore the field.

Lancaster placed first in six of the 18 events. Jim Townsend broke his own school record by 2 inches when he cleared 13 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault having just graduated to the 15-foot pole.

Justin Halleck threw 52-11 in the shot put to beat his personal best by 5 inches, Ron Giza won the 110 hurdles (14.9), Mike Ettipio took first in the high jump (5-10) and Steve Maciejewski bettered the discus field (146-5). The 'Skins' 1,600 relay of John Durkin, Josh Durkin, Steve Gregor and Adam VanKuren crossed first in 3:35.3.

Kenmore East senior Justin Craddock broke the meet record in the 800 meters, running away from the field in a season-best 1:53.2. The previous mark of 1:54.6 had been held since 1999 by Doug Johnston of Clarence.

"I just wanted to go out hard the first lap (52.5) and hang on for the second lap," said Craddock. "It was a nice day and I've been running in bad weather. I ran this race fresh."

James Starks of Niagara Falls looked strong in winning the long jump in 21-11/2 and placing second in the triple at 41-3.

The 3,200 meters featured three runners under 9:30.6, led by Mike Deren of Frontier in 9:25.8.

Girls track

21st Western New York Classic: Senior Kara Black of Grand Island tied two meet records at the event held at Lancaster. She ran an 11.9 in the 100 meters to share the spot with Becky Poulson of Frontier in 1996. Her 25.2 earned her a share of the 200-meter record with Natalie Knight of Medina (2000).

"I had a great start (in the 100)," said Black, named the track events MVP. "My legs felt really good. They're not sore. They're not tight, and the wind really helps, too."

Joining Black in breaking meet records were Mary Saxer of Lancaster, who jumped 13 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault to break the American High School record. Alyissa Hasan of Williamsville South broke her own record in the pentathlon with 3,330 points. Jessica Ortman of Williamsville South set a new mark in the 800 meters (2:14.3).

Hasan ran an impressive 14.0 in the 100 hurdles but earlier this season ran a career-best 13.7 in a meet with Depew.

Desiree Rudloff of East Aurora ran a 15.4 in the 100 hurdles, placing second and breaking the school record of 15.8 that had stood since 1986. Rudloff said she plans on signing a national letter of intent soon with UB.

Sarah Strobino of Sweet Home was a double winner, taking the long jump in 16-113/4 and the triple in 35-3.

Shannon Crane of Lancaster ran a strong 3,000 in 10:11.5, then anchored the Redskins' winning 3,200 relay with Julia Ruggerio, Jill Cadby and Genna Pfeiffer.

Clarence enjoyed victories from Alex Brown in the 1,500, Gina Adornetto in the 400 hurdles and its freshman 1,600.

North Tonawanda established itself with wins from Jacquelyn Burns in the 400 meters, Reya Russell in the 100 hurdles and its 400 relay of Emily Genio, Casey Green, Jilynn Wealth and Reya Russell (51.0).

Little Four Championship: Cleveland Hill won the 33rd annual event for boys and Cheektowaga earned the title of the 12th annual event for girls at the meet hosted by JFK. Brian Kotarski of Cheektowaga broke the meet record in the 800 meters, winning by nearly an eight-second margin in 1:59.8.

Cheektowaga's Josh Bailey was the only triple winner. He owned the sprints, winning the 100 in 10.9 and the 200 in 22.7. He also took the long jump in 18-101/2.

JFK, runner-up by only three points, had double winners in Jon Amidon and Jim Niwinski.

The only meet record among the girls was by the JFK foursome of Brittany Jordan, Khibla Vozba, Danielle Smith and Alea Carney, who ran the 3,200 in 10:52.3.

8th Holland Tulip Festival: Holland swept the boys and girls team titles. Ten boys' records were broken and three more were tied while eight girls' records fell and one was tied.

Terry Lunser of Springville won the 100, 110 and 400 hurdles. Jeremy George of Holland won the 400 and 800 and was on two winning relays.

Double winners among the girls were Noelle Keller and Alex Bender of Holland, Shannon O'Keefe of Springville and Amanda Giambrone of Pioneer.