CICERO — If there have been faster 200-meter runners in The Daily Star's circulation area, the list is short.
Names such as Sidney graduate Josh DuMond, Walton graduate Jake Armstrong and Oneonta High alum Geoff Bean may have run similar times, but the 22.40-second fully-automated-time (FAT) 200 that Downsville senior Antonio Gomes sprinted to Friday on the first day of the state track meet ... well, it was fast.
From the moment he burst off the blocks in Lane 5 to crossing the line and blowing a kiss skyward, Gomes ate up meters in blinding fashion.
Gomes' performance highlighted the efforts of area performers on a day when those not wearing sun screen at Cicero-North Syracuse paid a painful price.
Running in a Division II preliminary (school enrollments of 600 or fewer), Gomes held a slight lead as he exited the curve and then held off all comers in winning his heat and advancing to Saturday's final.
"My legs felt kind of shaky, but I didn't feel that tired," said Gomes, who ran his fastest FAT 200. "Coming off the turn, I really felt strong and I didn't really feel like I was backing down."
His fastest FAT clocking before Friday came at last season's state meet, when he ran a 22.59 to place fourth in Division II.
Gomes' goals are higher for Saturday.
"There are a lot of fast guys — a lot of fast guys," said Gomes, who'll be seeded second for the D-II final, which is scheduled for 12:25 p.m. "I'm looking to place better than the fourth I got last year. If I do really well, hopefully, I'll make it to the Federation (the top eight times from D-I and D-II qualify for the race)."
The top seed for the D-II final is Roosevelt's Raymond James, who eased to victory in his heat, crossing in 21.80. The third seed is Hudson's Darien Blanks at 22.50.