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SECTION IV TRACK & FIELD: JOHNSON A DOUBLE-WINNER, BREAKS OWN SCHOOL RECORDS IN 100, 200 TO HIGHLIGHT STRONG DAY 2 FOR WAVERLY (2024-05-30)

Valley Sports Report
ENDICOTT — Senior Ralph Johnson won a pair of Section IV gold medals, and broke his own school record in both events to pace a strong outing for the Waverly boys team at Day 2 of the Section IV Track & Field State Qualifier.

"Day 2 was special for Waverly Track & Field," said Waverly coach Dave Hogan. "We saw so many great things happen."

Johnson won the 100-meter dash in a school-record time of 10.65 seconds, and Chandler was fourth in a time of 11.12 seconds.

Johnson eclipsed his own school record of 10.7 seconds set earlier this year, breaking the mark of 10.79 seconds set by Kaleb Bechy last year at the State Qualifier.

Johnson also won the 200-meter dash in a school-record time of 21.52 seconds. Junior Kolsen Keathley placed fifth in a time of 23.06 seconds.

"Ralph Johnson was truly dominant in his Section IV title sprints in the 100- and 200-meter dashes," said Hogan. "After his 100 final, Ralph had a real positive energy about him, and we knew his 200 would be outstanding, too.

"His times of 10.65 seconds and 21.52 seconds break his current school records, hit the New Balance National standards, and put him in second and first, respectively, in New York State Division 2.

"He is a generational talent, and a master of his craft," added Hogan. "We are wowed by his performances every meet."

Johnson, Chandler, Keathley, and junior Xavier Watson teamed to finish second in the 400-meter relay in a time of 42.52 seconds — just .02 seconds behind the winning Horseheads foursome.

"Our 400 relay narrowly missed its third straight Section IV title, finishing runner-up to a fantastic Horseheads team and going 42.52 seconds," said Hogan. "That time puts them atop New York State Division 2 rankings.

"As expected, Horseheads gave us a fight," added Hogan. "Although the boys were kind of let down that they didn’t win, they were quick to get some perspective and realize they just cut their time by nearly half-a-second."

Watson finished ninth in the high jump, clearing the bar at 5-feet, 8-inches.

Waverly placed seventh in the team standings with 34 points. Ithaca won the overall team title with 64 points, while Lansing, which placed third overall, won the Division 2 title with 51 points.

The New York State Track & Field Championships are June 7-8 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

GIRLS
Freshman Makenzie Olmsted, junior Harper Minaker, sophomore Mackenzie Chamberlain, and senior Elizabeth Vaughn teamed to finish seventh in the 3,200-meter relay in a time of 10:49.98.

Seniors Haylie Davenport and Caprice Haney, sophomore Haley Larrabee, and 8th-grader Kaylin Twedt teamed to finish eighth in the 1,600-meter relay in a time of 4:24.83.

"Our girls 3200 And 1600 relays had season bests in their final races," said Hogan. "As coaches, that’s what we’re looking for."

Makenzie Olmsted finished 19th in the 1,500-meter run in a time of 5:29.79.

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

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