Weekly Feature



2018-03-07 / Sports

Wende shines at state track meet

by TAYLOR NIGRELLI Reporter

Christina Wende put an exclamation mark on her terrific indoor track career for Kenmore West this past weekend at the NYSPHSAA Championships at the Ocean Breeze Institute in New York. She finished second in the triple jump at 38 feet, 3 inches, fourth in the 55-meter hurdles at 8.7 seconds and fifth in the long jump at 17 feet, 6.25 inches.

“It’s a long day with a lot of events condensed into a short amount of time,” Kenmore West coach Mike Panepinto said. “We kind of started late; it was messy with the weather. It was supposed to start at 9 a.m. and it didn’t start until about 1 p.m. It was pretty hectic; it didn’t get done until pretty late at night. It was a long weekend, but she performed well.”

Wende had her best finish in the triple jump but came away wanting more. She wanted to win the state title, which she will have the opportunity to do in the upcoming outdoor season.

“She was second in the triple jump, which she was a little disappointed about,” Panepinto said. “That tells you a lot about her. To finish second in the state is amazing, but she was a little disappointed. She wanted to win. I was talking with her after and she’s really going to focus on the triple jump in the outdoor season.”

She actually had her best time in the hurdles in the preliminary round at 8.4 seconds but stumbled early in the finals only to rebound with a strong finish.

“Her hurdles was her best time of the season by one-tenth of a second,” Panepinto said. “To do that at this type of meet is incredible. She ran an 8.4 in the semifinals. She didn’t get off to a great start in the finals and that hindered her, but she still finished fourth.”

Wende will now move on to the National Championships at The Armory in New York, where she will compete in the long and triple jump. After that, she’ll take some time off to get ready for the latter part of the outdoor season.

“She needs to take some time off,” Panepinto said. “That’s not easy to do. The events she does are tough on the body. She does hurdles, triple and long jump. That can be jarring for the legs. She just needs to take some time to get the proper rest. Then hopefully she can peak at the right time.”

Wende, who has a scholarship to compete on the University of Buffalo track team starting next season, has one more track season to add to her legacy at Kenmore West. Although she’ll take some time off to start the season, she’ll look to peak late with success in the Section VI and State Championship Meets.

“She’s going to take some time off in the beginning of the season to rest her body,” Panepinto said. “The key thing is to be able to peak at the right time. She did a decent job of doing that in the indoor season. You don’t want to peak too early. You want to save everything for the later part of May and June.”

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