Albany Times Union
Hayes races ahead of the pack
La Salle junior doesn’t sweat technicalities
Athlete of the Year: Gitch Hayes, La Salle
It was a euphoric moment, though fleeting, for Gitch Hayes and his La Salle teammates following their win in the 1,600meter relay at the Group 2 sectional championships, a win secured by Hayes’ rally on the anchor leg.
Born Getachew Hayes, “Gitch” is his nickname. Hayes called the celebratory moments immediately following the race with teammates Dimitri Cerrone, Nassir Young and Alex Rontondi the highlight of the season before the team was disqualified by race officials due to a uniform violation on Hayes, though the junior from La Salle cleared checkin with the same shorts he ran in.
“It was on my shorts, there was a brand name,” Hayes said. “They allowed me to check in and go through and after the race, they said it was a violation. No one thought it should have been a violation or a DQ. It is what it is. Other than that, it was a great moment with my four-byfour team. For those few seconds after the win, it was amazing.”
The moment with his team
mates, along with sectional titles in the 800 and 1,600, were just a few of the highlights of the outdoor track and field season for Hayes.
Hayes recorded the second-best time in Section II this year in both the 800- and 3,200-meter events and had the best time in Section II in the 1,600 at 4 minutes, 17.95 seconds at the Colonie Relays.
Hayes faced a field of runners from notable schools such as Saratoga, Shenendehowa and Burnt Hills but held off the competition in a race that featured the five fastest runners in the event in Section II this season.
“I didn’t go for a time, didn’t go for my max, just went for the win,” Hayes said. “The first lap was a couple of seconds faster than I wanted and I realized I was 10 meters ahead of the rest of the field. I slowed down at 600 meters, got with the group until the three-and-a-half-lap mark (1,400-meters) and then I made my kick and went for the win.”
Hayes says the mile is his best event — he qualified for nationals — and he uses his other races to help him in the mile.
“The mile is my main focus,” Hayes said. “I use the 800 for speed and the two-mile for endurance.”
With one year left at La Salle, Hayes will have a chance to enhance his legacy and provide many more moments of celebration — next time, after post-race uniform inspection.
100: Baden Seabury, Jr., Ichabod
A Crane: Won the Section II title at the Group 3 level. … Followed up that performance with a second-place showing at the New York State Showcase postseason event, finishing with a time of 10.75 seconds.
A 200: Carter Cukerstein, Jr., Shenendehowa: Ran the fastest time in Section II this season with 21.87 effort in his thirdplace finish at the New York State Showcase. … Recorded second-best time in Section II at 21.92 seconds in May dual meet against Schenectady.
A 400: Tal Hamel, Sr., Bethlehem: Only Section II runner this season to eclipse the 49-second mark as he posted a time of 48.51 seconds in his win at the New York State Showcase.
A 800: Will Cusato, Jr., Guilderland: Won Group 1 championship at sectionals with Section II season-best time of 1:56.03. … Placed third at the New York State Showcase. A 1,600: Gitch Hayes, Jr., La Salle: Won Group 2 sectional championship, recorded top time in the event on a sectional seasonend merge. … Time of 4 minutes, 17.95 seconds in his win in the Colonie Relays came against elite field of Section II runners as the top five runners in the 1,600 this season competed in the race.
A 3,200: Ryan Bush, Jr., Saratoga Springs: Won Section II title at Group 1 level. … Best time of season was 9:19.33 effort at the Garden State Twilight meet. … Finished fourth at the New York State Showcase in the two-mile.
A 110 hurdles: Michael Kilgallon, Jr., Queensbury: Won the Group 2 title at Section II championships with a time of 15.01 seconds and bettered that mark with a 14.87 showing in his second-place finish at
the State Showcase meet.
A 400 hurdles: Neil Howard, Fr., Taconic Hills: Versatile freshman won the 400 hurdles to win the NYS Showcase championship to go with his sectional championship at the Group 3 level. … Time of 56.18 seconds at the showcase was best in the event of all Section II hurdlers this season.
A 3,000 steeplechase: Julien Franjieh, Jr., Niskayuna: Won Section II title at Group 1 level with Section Ii-leading time of 9:35.12. … Though the distance was shortened at the NYS Showcase, Franjieh won the 2,000-meter steeplechase.
A 400 relay: Colonie (Thomas Davis, Jr.;
Fabien De Silva Jr., Sr.; Ben Ross, Jr.; Zaire Higgins, Sr.): Narrowly edged Schenectady at the wire in the Group 1 championship at sectionals as Zaire Higgins’ rally on the anchor leg was the difference.
A 1,600 relay: Saratoga Springs (Evan Barthelmas, Jr.; Aidan Slavett, So.; Dawson Tooker, Sr.; Ryan Bush, Jr.): Edged Colonie by less than a half-second to pull out the win at the Group 1 sectionals.
A 3,200 relay: Shenendehowa (Gavin Ethier, Sr.; Colin O’neil, Sr.; Michael Clay, Jr.; Aidan Glynn, Sr.): Posted top time in Section II this season with winning effort of 8:10.05, more than four seconds faster than runner-up Saratoga Springs.
A High jump: Jack Hogan, Sr., Hudson Falls: Dominant season saw Hogan jump a Section Ii-best of 6 feet, 8 inches at a May dual meet and at sectionals. … Won Group 2 title at sectionals and also grabbed the win at the New York State Showcase.
A Long jump: Jacob Gomez, Sr., Amsterdam: Won Section II title in Group 1 with a jump of 22 feet. … Nearly matched that mark with his runner-up finish at the New York State Showcase (21-10¾).
A Triple jump: Alexandros Wheeler, Jr., Columbia: Blue Devils junior finished second at the New York State Showcase with a Section Ii-best jump of 45-4¾, slightly more than his winning jump of 45-4½ in his Group 1 win at sectionals.
A Shot put: Jaston Ormsby, Sr., Shenendehowa: Finished second at the New York State Showcase. … Toss of 56-3¾ at the Colonie Relays was best effort of all Section II throwers this season. … Runner-up at Group 1 Section II championships.
A Discus: Alex Saltsman, Jr., Fondafultonville: Toss of 166-9 at a May dual meet was the best in the area this season. … Won Group 3 title at sectionals.
A Pole vault: Matti Levasalmi, Jr., Bethlehem: Only Section II performer to pass the 15-foot mark this season, and he did it twice. … Vault of 15-4 was the best in the area and the junior hit 15-0 in his win at the Section II Group 1 championship.
A Pentathlon: Gabe Lucarelli, Sr., Lasalle: Scored 2,504 points in his win at the Group II sectional championship, the highest point total in the area this season.
Coach of the Year
A Peter Hansen, Albany Academy: With points at a premium, Hansen guided the Cadets to a thrilling Section II title in Group 2 by two points over Burnt Hills.
A 100: Fabien De Silva Jr., Sr., Colonie
A 200: Tal Hamel, Sr., Bethlehem
A 400: Fabien De Silva Jr., Sr., Colonie
A 800: Gitch Hayes, Jr., Lasalle
A 1,600: Ryan Bush, Jr., Saratoga
A 3,200: Gitch Hayes, Jr., Lasalle
A 110 hurdles: Bashir Praileau, So., Albany
A 400 hurdles: Jason Colindres, So., Shenendehowa
A 3,000 steeplechase: Matthew Rounds,
So., Burnt Hills
A 400 relay: Schenectady (Shemar Delphin, Sr.; Deron Davis, Jr.; Dior Roberts, Jr.; Che Samiel, Jr.)
A 1,600 relay: Colonie (Zaire Higgins, Sr.; Dante Genovese, Sr.; Thomas Davis, Jr.; Ben Ross, Jr.)
A 3,200 relay: Saratoga Springs (Max Fredette, Sr.; Shifan Shaffe, Sr.; Jack Donnelly, Sr.; Cole Harris, Jr.)
A High jump: Daryl Headen, Jr., Schuylerville
A Long jump: Neil Howard, Fr., Taconic Hills A Triple jump: Dylan Zinsley, Sr., Shenendehowa
A Shot put: Scott Dochat, Sr., Shenendehowa A Discus: Scott Dochat, Sr., Shenendehowa A Pole vault: Neil Howard, Fr., Taconic Hills A Pentathlon: Dahvion Wimberly, So.,