MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — The girls 4x800 relay was Waverly’s last event of the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships — and Elizabeth Fritzen, SheridanTalada, Olivia Nittinger and Cora Smith made it their showcase for stardom.
The quartet clocked nine minutes, 45.54 seconds, breaking they own school record and placing sixth in Division II.
Obviously, the group was excited about their performance.
“I thought today was a great experience,” Fritzen said. “We had new competition and new people who were exactly at our level to push us, and I though we ran very well in the conditions.”
“I thought we did great today,” said Talada. “I thought the competition really pulled us along, and I feel like the atmosphere really helped us today.”
“I just think we did so great, especially with the weather conditions with it being so hot,” added Nittinger. “We stayed with us, and the competition really helped us along.”
“I’m really happy with our performance today,” said anchor Cora Smith. “We all work so well together and we all motivate each other and push each other to keep working harder.”
The coaching staff was thrilled as well.
“They have been together forever,” said Waverly assistant coach Nate Culver, who has been working with this group for a few years now. “I’ve worked with them. I know what they’ve done. To finally see them through all these years, it’s finally paid off for them. It’s a coach’s dream. You could get a closer group of girl of that to happen for, so it’s like the perfect end to a story for us.”
In the boys meet, Wolverine junior Isaac Chandler and sophomore Collin Wright competed in the 110 hurdles and 3,000 steeplechase, respectively. It turned out to be a tough outing for both athletes.
Chandler placed eighth in the hurdles final with a time of 15.52. He was close to the front-runners before clipping two of the final three hurdles.
“I think yesterday was a long day and a very successful long day for him, but it takes a toll on kid dealing with some hot temperatures,” Waverly coach Dave Hogan said. “I still look at it; he was eighth in the state and you can’t take that away. It’s a huge accomplishment. He’s only a junior. He’ll likely be back here next year, so I think it was still good run.
“Also, he’s kind of a perfectionist. I mean that in a good way. He’s not going to be thrilled about that time, but I think he needs to keep his head high. I still think it was a good race on a hot day.”
In the steeple, Wright finished 12th in D-2, posting a time of 10:10.24. He was well off his seed time of 9:53.71, but he accepted the result with class and dignity.
“I think heat can affect anybody, but heat is just another factor that we have to get over,” he said. “As runners, you can’t make excuse that temperatures change or anything like that. I won’t use that at all to describe my performance or try to say it helped or hurt me in anyway.”
Wright was not satisfied with his effort, regardless of the fact he made it this far.
“I definitely wasn’t happy with it. I was looking for a lower PR-type time,” he said. “I just came to run today and that’s all I had.”
Wright said he will use this as incentive for 2020.
“Again, I’m disappointed in myself that I couldn’t bring out the time I wanted today, but my teammates, coaches, parents were all awesome, cheering me on. I’m going to use this as motivation to springboard myself into next year.”