With a mix of veterans and first-timers, an area contingent of 16 athletes will see where they fit in among New York’s best during the two-day state track and field meet that begins today at Middletown High.
Sidney will send six athletes — all making their first appearances at states — Oneonta High has four, Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton will bring two, and Downsville, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton/Morris, Cooperstown and Unatego have one apiece.
The meet starts at 11:30 a.m. today and resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The busiest among the athletes who’ll compete on the first day will be Sidney’s Ethan Green and Hunter Sowersby. The Warriors qualified their 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams and they’ll run about half-hour apart this afternoon.
Seniors Green and Sowersby will join classmates Aaron McCarroll and Nate Magnussen on a 400 relay that’s seeded 11th in Division II (school enrollments of 600 or fewer). They’ll run around 4:20 p.m.
At about 4:50 p.m., Green, Sowersby, fellow senior Austin McCarroll and freshman Dean Howard will run on the 1,600 relay team that’s seeded fourth.
Both foursomes broke school records at last Thursday’s Section Four State Qualifier at Vestal. The 400 relay crossed in 44.70 and the 1,600 relay team finished in 3:26.14 to win overall sectional title.
“Very seldom do all four hit at the same time, but we had four PRs,” Sidney coach Paul Sims said of the 1,600 relay, which dropped about four seconds off its previous best last Thursday.
Sowersby had the fastest split at 50.5 seconds and Austin McCarroll was next at 50.9.
“Right now, their eyes are set on the Section Four record of 3:24.21,” Sims said of the mark set in 2009 by a Dustin Ross-led Bainbridge-Guilford/Afton quartet that went on to win a Division II state title that season. “Looking at the seeds, we’re seeded fourth in D-II. We have a goal of wanting to win a state championship, but the No. 1 seed (Bayport-Bluepoint, 3:21.79) is about five seconds ahead of us. We’re looking for a time in that 3:24 range.”