Akinpelu second in 400 hurdles at state meet

C-NS's Austen places fourth in Division I pentathlon

— Ore Akinpelu, Morgan Austen, Mark Vanmarter and Pete Girardi led the contingent of Cicero-North Syracuse and Liverpool track and field athletes working in home territory during last weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship meet at Bragman Stadium.

Akinpelu, the Liverpool sophomore, had concentrated on the 400-meter hurdles, and would nearly earn both state and Federation championships in that event.

On Friday afternoon, in the NYSPHSAA Division I (large school) 400 hurdles, Akinpelu ran to a time of 1:01.18, which gave her the third-place medal. Garden City’s Emma Gallagher won and broke the one-minute mark (59.94 seconds, to be exact), while Saratoga’s Ellery Bianco was second in 1:00.06.

This led to Saturday’s Federation final, where Akinpelu took dead aim at Gallagher and Bianco. Her time fell back a bit, to 1:01.30, but Akinpelu would beat Bianco (1:01.66), who fell to fourth place behind Washingtonville’s Debbie Boerke (1:01.57) in third, but again Gallagher proved too good, winning in 59.98 seconds.

Austen was part of the five-event boys pentathlon, which began on Friday morning. He was third in the 110-meter high hurdles in 15.18 seconds, cleared 5 feet 7 inches in the high jump and threw the shot put 37’8” during the opening-day session.

Then, on Saturday, Austen had a top long jump of 19’2 ½” before a solid time of 4:37.49 in the closing 1,500-meter run put him at 3,197 points, good for a fourth-place medal in Division I and sixth place overall. Arlington’s Will Ackerman won with 3,459 points.

In the Division I long jump, Vanmarter finished sixth in Friday’s NYSPHSAA portion of the event with a top leap of 22’10”, while Ithaca’s Jordan Hackworth (24’3 ¼”) prevailed. Vanmarter didn’t go as far in the Federation long jump on Saturday, but a total of 22’8 ¾” again meant sixth place as Longwood’s Dashaun Taylor went exactly 24 feet to win it.

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