Weekly Feature



2012-04-18 / Sports

Sweet Home boys, girls teams seek division titles

by PATRICK J. NAGY
Reporter


Sweet Home senior Wayne Gordon is seeking a state title in the 200-meter dash. 
Photo by Nick LoVerdePurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Sweet Home senior Wayne Gordon is seeking a state title in the 200-meter dash. Photo by Nick LoVerdePurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The Sweet Home boys and girls outdoor track and field teams always want to win division titles, but this could be the year both squads achieve first place. Last year the boys finished 3-2 and the girls went 2-3 in ECIC Division II.

“Division titles are always a goal for us,” Sweet Home coach Brian Lombardo said. “We try to make that a focus.”

Both teams got their first league test against Williamsville North at home Tuesday, but the results were unavailable before press time.

With 63 members on the boys team and 51 on the girls team, Lombardo has a ton of talent he can mold.

“The more depth we have, the chances of finding a state champion increases,” Lombardo said.

Sweet Home boys

Redemption is on the mind of Wayne Gordon.

At last year’s state meet, the Sweet Home senior speedster strained his right hamstring in the 100-meter dash trials and did not finish the race. Gordon is the defending two-time Section VI champion in the 100 and 200. His goal this year is to win a state title in the 200.

“Wayne is to the point now that he reads too much into everything,” Lombardo said. “That’s good because it shows how much he cares. He wants to win a state title in the 200. It’s a lofty goal, but that shows the level he is at.”

Gordon is coming off a great indoor season where he took runner-up in the state in the 55-meter dash, lowering his record-breaking Western New York time, and then at nationals, becoming an All-American in the 60 and 200.

Gordon, the team’s only captain, will also be part of Sweet Home’s 4x100 relay that has a great shot winning a section title for the second time in three years. The other three members of the relay will come from a deep pool of sprinters, including seniors Jordan Johnson, Dorian Dixon and Brian Bannister, juniors Jeff Hart and Tyvon Rivers, and sophomores Derell Hennings and Romello Franklin.

Johnson also runs the 100 and 200. Hart runs the 100, 200 and 400 and long and triple jumps. Rivers is also an accomplished hurdler, coming off an indoor season where he took second in the state. Bannister also hurdles and runs the 100, 200 and 400. Dixon and Romello both run the 100 and 200 and Hennings can do everything from the 400 hurdles down to the 100 dash, as well as triple, long and high jump.

Senior Juwan Douglas adds depth in the 400 and hurdles.

The team is also deep in distance events and includes senior Vasanth Raveendrathas, junior Brendan Doyle, sophomore Matt Ciminella and freshman Mitchell Daddario.

“Most teams don’t have that kind of flexibility,” Lombardo said. “It especially helps in dual meets where other teams have one or two guys.”

Sweet Home girls

Much of the Lady Panthers success will come from senior Stephanie Izard.

Izard took fourth in the pentathlon at last year’s state meet and is coming off an indoor season where she won a state title in the high jump and became an All-American in the pentathlon.

Her best score in the pentathlon is 3,522 which she set at indoor nationals. The Section VI outdoor record is 3,614 set in 2005 by Williamsville South’s Alyssa Hasan.

“We’re not going to put a high focus on it,” Lombardo said. “The high focus is to win a state title in the pentathlon. If the section record comes, it comes.”

“If it happens, it would be an awesome way to end my high school career,” Izard said.

Lombardo said Izard is better in every event in the pentathlon than she was a year ago, including a full second faster in the 100 hurdles and six feet longer in the shot put.

During the regular season, Izard is capable of competing from the 100 up to the 800, the 100 and 400 hurdles and the long, triple and high jump.

“She’s extremely talented, but she works hard at it,” Lombardo said. “We game plan our dual meets starting with where we’re going to put her and go from there.”

Izard is one of five team captains. The other four team captains are seniors Sabrina Bush (hurdles), Kristen Milleville (throws), Kaleigh Timko (throws) and Cassie Williams (sprints).

Bush should once again be a top hurdler in the section. She’s qualified for the state meet in the event for the past two years. Bush can also run the 100, 200 and 400.

“She looks great,” Lombardo said. “We’ve worked on her explosion, her trail leg coming through and her lead leg being in position. She’s faster than she’s ever been.”

Other returning athletes include senior Amani Coleman and freshman Rachel Roberson in the sprints, junior Kennedy Lewandowski and freshman Melanie Izard in middle distance, junior distance runner Jenny DelSignore, a two-time section champ in cross country, and junior thrower Tia Robinson.

Freshmen Aileen Doyle and Alex Ortega add great depth behind DelSignore in distance events.

Sweet Home 2012 Schedule
4-21 Sweet Home Invite ............................... 10 a.m.
4-24 at Will. South...................................... 4:30 p.m.
4-27 at Town of Amherst Championships
(Williamsville North) ................................. 4:30 p.m.
4-28 at Penn Relays (University of Pennsylvania)
TBA
4-28 at Batavia Invitational (Batavia) .......... 2 p.m.
5-1 at Hamburg ........................................... 4:45 p.m.
5-5 ADPRO Sports Panthers Relay............... 2 p.m.
5-8 Williamsville East................................. 4:30 p.m.
5-12 at Starpoint Spartan Team Challenge (Starpoint) ................................................................. 9 a.m.
5-12 at Royal Comet Invite (Rush Henrietta).... 10
a.m.
5-15 West Seneca East............................... 4:45 p.m.
5-18 at Erin Bigler Memorial Invite (Clarence) 5:30
p.m.
5-19 boys at Carl J. Roesch Memorial Classic
(Clarence) ......................................................... 9 a.m.
5-19 girls at WNY Girls Track and Field Classic
(Lancaster) ....................................................... 9 a.m.
5-19 at Kenmore Track Invitational ............. 9 a.m.
5-25 at ECIC Championships (Depew)........ 4 p.m.
5-26 at ECIC Championships (Depew)........ 9 a.m.
6-1/2 at Section VI Championships (Lewiston Porter) .......................................................... noon

email: pnagy@beenews.com

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