Thomas, Brown lead local contingent to championships

ALBANY – Gloversville’s Chanel Thomas led a group of six local athletes to qualify for the New York State Public High School Athletic Association indoor track and field championships.

Thomas placed first in the long jump, second in the triple jump and third in the 55-meter hurdles to qualify for the state championship meet at Cornell University on March 1.

Thomas set a new school record with her second place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 35-08.0. She won the long jump with a distance of 16-11.5 and placed was third in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.80.

“I am trying to decide yet if I am going to compete in all three,” the senior said. “This is my first time making states indoor and I am trying to decide if I want to just go for it in one event but I am very happy I made it in all three. I did not have my best run in the hurdle finals because it was a long day and my legs got tired.”

Thomas qualified for and competed in pentathlon at the outdoor state championships last spring but came up short of medaling.

“I want to get on the podium for something,” Thomas said of her goal for the state meet. “I want a medal, but I also want to have fun and enjoy myself there.”

Amsterdam’s Izaiah Brown, the defending state championship at 300 meters, cruised to victory in the event at the qualifier with a time of 37.16.

Brown turned in a spectacular anchor-leg run to edge Schuylerville in the final 10 meters to earn the Rams’ 1,600-meter relay team to the state championships.

The team of David Gravely, Julian Gallup, Andrew Druziak and Brown turned in a time of 3:38.39 with Brown making up a 40-meter gap at the final handoff.

Gallup also earned a qualifying berth in the long jump, winning the event with a leap of 20-11.0.

Gloversville’s Mike Budka and Fonda-Fultonville’s Ryan Park finished second and third respectively in the pole vault to earn spots on the Section II team.

Budka cleared the bar at 12-06 for his runner-up finish, while Park rallied from an early miss to clear the bar at 12-0 to win the spot on jumps over Chatham’s Ian Allen. Since I made my PR at 12-09 I have been consistent over 12 feet. Coach [Steve] Wendt told me he thought I could get first or second today and I did it. I am a little nervous but this is a good building experience for outdoors.”

Broadalbin-Perth’s Jake Coveney sprinted into the state championships with his second-place finish in the 55-meter hurdles. Coveney, who also plays on the Patriots’ basketball team, turned in a time of 7.91 in the finals won by Schalmont’s Devon Willis in 7.88.

“I have run outdoors but this was my first year running indoors,” the junior athlete said. “It is different with a short track. It is something you have to get used to, but I like it. The plan at the start of the season was for me to get to states. That was the whole reason for me running indoors and to help the team. They asked me to join.”

Coveney may be faced with a dilemma. If the Patriots advance to the Section II Class B championship game, it also is scheduled for March 1.

“We will work that out when we get there,” Coveney said.