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SECTION IV TRACK & FIELD: JOHNSON-LED SPRINTERS PACE WAVERLY AT DAY 1 OF STATE QUALIFIER (24 PHOTOS) (2024-05-29)

Valley Sports Report
ENDICOTT — Waverly didn’t score a team point on Day 1, but the Wolverine sprinters set the boys team up for a big day here Thursday at Section IV, Track & Field State Qualifier.

"On the whole, Day 1 went really well for us," said Waverly coach Dave Hogan. "The first day always sees us push our athletes to run smooth, clean races that allow them to advance to finals.

"Some didn’t advance as a result of today, but their performances still put them close to their personal-bests and they should be proud of those efforts and their improvement on the season," added Hogan.

Senior Ralph Johnson was at the top of the leaderboard after the 100- and 200-meter dashes preliminaries, and led the 400-meter relay team to a season-best time in the prelims.

"Ralph Johnson ran exceptionally smooth races in the 100 and 200 trials, to the point where he made it look relatively effortless," said Hogan.

Johnson posted the fastest time in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash, clocking in at 10.85 seconds, while senior Micah Chandler was sixth-fastest at 11.39 seconds. Both will run in the Thursday’s finals.

Junior Kolsen Keathley finished 19th in the 100 in 11.78 seconds.

Johnson also ran the fastest time in the preliminaries of the 200-meter dash, posting a time of 22.06 seconds, and Keathley also qualified for Thursday’s finals with the eighth-fastest time of 23.77 seconds.

Senior Charlie Larrabee finished ninth in the 200 in a time of 23.82 seconds, and Chandler was 24th at 39.51 seconds.

Chandler, who was the second seed in the 200, will also be headed to States by virtue of hitting the state’s Super Standard during the season and competing in the event Wednesday. His performance Wednesday was hampered by an injury.

"Micah Chandler strained his hamstring a bit weeks ago, and it popped up again during his 100-meter trial, hence his 200-meter time," said Hogan.

"We’ll come together and make smart decisions about his upcoming performances that will allow us to be successful and also preserve his speed," added Hogan.

Johnson also teamed with Chandler, Keathley, and junior Xavier Watson to run the fastest time in the preliminaries of the 400-meter relay, clocking in at 43.0 seconds, and will run in Thursday’s finals.

Hogan also switched up the relay order, moving Johnson from lead to anchor leg.

"Our boys 400 relay looked really good with a new order and was able to hit a new season-best, going 43 seconds flat," noted Hogan. "This is currently the second-fastest time in Division 2 in New York State.

"They’ll have the top seed and will battle a tough second-seeded Horseheads team for a shot at our third straight Section IV title in (Thursday’s) final," Hogan added.

Senior Jacob Benjamin finished 10th in the discus with a toss of 123-feet, 9-inches.

Larrabee finished 21st in the 400-meter run in a tie of 54.94 seconds.

GIRLS
Sophomore Mira Kittle finished eighth in the pole vault at 8-feet, 6-inches. She was 18th in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 18.68 seconds.

Senior Mackenzie LaForest finished 11th in the shot put with a heave of 30-feet, 2-inches.

Sophomore Haley Larrabee finished 15th in the 400-meter dash in a time of 1:05.13

The foursome of Larrabee, seniors Caprice Haney and Haylie Davenport, and 8th-grader Kaylin Twedt finished 15th in the 400-meter relay in 54.76 seconds.

"Although the girls’ 400 relay didn’t advance to tomorrow’s final, it was really special to see them come together the way they did this season and put out some great times," said Hogan.

"They have nothing to hang their heads over," added Hogan. "The same grouping will get to run together in tomorrow’s 1600 relay."

Twedt finished 21st in the 100-meter dash in a time of 13.89 seconds.

Day 2 action begins at 5 p.m.

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IN PHOTO 1: Waverly’s Ralph Johnson. … PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES, TIM TAYLOR, and CRISTINA ROSSI


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