|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: UHL HEADLINES "SUPER 7" AS "FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WINTER" (2015-03-14)
By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Waverly senior Kaylee Uhl capped a brilliant indoor track & field career with an 8th-place medal at the New York State Championships to earn the 2014-15 Valley Sports Report “Female Athlete of the Winter.”
It was the fourth overall state medal for Uhl, who has competed in 12 state meets (cross country and indoor & outdoor track). It was her second indoor medal — the first coming as a 7th-grader — in five trips to the state meet.
By her standards, she struggled through the majority of the season, but came on strong late and finished third in the 600-meter dash at the Section IV State Qualifier. While she did not qualify for that event at States, she did earn a spot on the intersectional relay team at States, along with Pearl Cooper of Corning, junior Nicole Leo of Binghamton and sophomore Mackenzie Tubbs of Elmira.
Cooper kicked off the kick off the relay running the 1,000 meters, with Leo following in the 200 meters, Uhl running the 600 meters as the third leg and Tubbs running the 1,600-meter anchor leg. The foursome clocked in with a medal-winning time of 10:51.39.
Uhl is the only senior on the winter season “Super 7.”
The “Super 7 Female Athletes of the Winter” are:
Kaylee Uhl, senior, Waverly: See above.
Genevieve Burnett, freshman, Tioga: Burnett won silver medal at Section IV State Qualifier to qualify for States, where she finished 37th.
She finished fifth in IAC with a season average of 183.14. She had the high series in the IAC this year with a 687 and the third-highest game of 263 and then finished 9th at IAC Championships.
Kate Oteng-Bediako, freshman, Waverly: Bediako broke the school record in the long jump by 4 1/2 inches in her first-ever indoor track & field meet. Her effort of 17-feet, 3 1/2 inches also qualified her for States.
She finished 27th at the State meet.
Morgan Westbrook, junior, Athens: The ultra-athletic Westbrook, who was also the Valley Sports Report girls basketball “Co-Player of the Year” is deadly in transition. has a silky smooth mid-range jumper and can step out hit the occasional 3-pointer. Defensively, she was among the NTL’s best low-post defenders.
Westbrook averaged 10.3 points and 5.6 rebounds, as well as 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game in lead the Lady Wildcats to a 22-6 record and a trip to the PIAA, Class AAA playoffs.
Paige Wampole, junior, Sayre: Wampole, who was also the Valley Sports Report girls basketball “Co-Player of the Year” and “Defensive Player of the Year,” was a dominant defensive presence, blocking 2.4 shots and altering at least as many shots, while registering 3 steals per game.
She was also a force on the boards, grabbing 9.7 rebounds a game, and her offense was improved — scoring 8.8 points per game and handing out 1.8 assists, while leading the Lady Redskins to a 18-8 season that ended one win shy of the state playoffs.
Taylor Lane, sophomore, Athens: Lane turned in a strong performance at the District 4 Championships. She finished fourth in both the 100-yard butterfly and the 100-yard backstroke, and swam on the fifth-place 400-yard freestyle relay and on the sixth place 200-yard medley relay.
At the NTL Championships, Lane was on the winning 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relay teams. She was second in both the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard backstroke
Courtney Dukes, junior, Athens: Dukes was a triple-winner at the NTL Championships, winning the 500-yard freestyle and being part of Athens’ winning 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays. She finished second in the 200-yard freestyle.
At the District 4 meet, she swam on the fifth-place 400-yard freestyle relay and on the sixth place 200-yard medley relay. Dukes was seventh in the 500-yard freestyle and was ninth in the 200-yard freestyle.
Newcomer of the Winter: Waverly freshman Elle Nittinger made an immediate impact in her first varsity season and will be a force in the Lady Wolverines’ program for the next three years.
A guard on the JV team last year, Nittinger was shifted to the low post this year and with her length and quickness thrived. She can score in transition, from the perimeter and by hitting the offensive boards.
Team of the Winter: The Athens Lady Wildcats basketball team finished the season at 22-6. They were District 4 runner-up, appearing in their second district title game in three years and advanced to PIAA playoffs.
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