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Democrat Photo by Frank Rizzo

MARIA SENIW OF Eldred makes her second attempt in the triple jump at saturday’s state meet qulifier in the Gillis Field House at West Point.

Tri-Valley's Iatauro,
Creek Head to State Meet

By Frank Rizzo
WEST POINT — March 9, 2001 – Heather Iatauro and Steve Creek of Tri-Valley will be making the trip to Syracuse this weekend to compete in the state indoor track and field championship meet.
The meet will be held Saturday at the Carrier Dome.
The state meet qualifier was held last Saturday at West Point’s Gillis Field House.
Iatauro, a freshman, qualified in two events: the 1500 and 3000, repeating her achievement from a year ago.
Creek placed second in the 3000.
By contrast, seven county athletes qualified a year ago.
A Friendly Rivalry
As in 2000, Iatauro began the meet losing out to Michelle Wale of Pine Bush in the 3000. Unlike a year ago, when Wale won by 37 seconds, Iatauro stayed with her older rival until about five laps remained in the 15-lap race.
With four laps to go Wale opened up a 10-meter lead as the freshman began struggling. With two laps to go the lead was 30 meters and Wale crossed the line in 10:09.1 to Iatauro’s 10:20.1. The time was a lifetime best for Iatauro and was 17 seconds faster than her seed time of 10:37.1.
“I did the best I could,” Iatauro said. “She’s going to be the state champion… I stayed as close as I could.”
Wale is seeded first in the state in the event.
The pair were seen doing warm up runs together in the hours before the 1500. Michelle has Sullivan County connections: her father, Mike Wale, lives in Liberty. She also happens to be an item with Heather’s older brother Joe, who now races for North Carolina State.
The pace of the 1500 started out slow (Iatauro’s opening quarter was 78, compared to 78.3 in the 3000) and she passed the 800 in 2:34.4 (3000: 2:39.2).
Iatauro took the lead late in the race and by the gun lap three meters separated her from her Wale. She went on to win comfortably, 4:49.0 to 4:51.7. Wale entered the meet with a better 1500 seed time, 4:47.6 to 4:52.1.
“We went out too slow,” Wale admitted. “Heather’s got the speed, I’m more of a pace runner. The longer [the race] the better [I run] — and I like hills!”
The last refers to her prowess as a cross country runner, where again she beat out Iatauro.
Heather’s parents/coaches, Joe and Missy, left it up to her which race she wanted to run Saturday at the Carrier Dome. The following day she was entered in the National Scholastic Indoor Championship at the Armory in NYC, and they did not want to overtax her. Iatauro opted to run in the 3000.
Too Many Races?
Creek set a lifetime best in the 3200, clocking 9:57.5 to place second to Adam Hurst of Minisink Valley, 9:47.6. Hurst had the best time coming in.
Creek held off a late charge by Adam Badstein of Monroe-Woodbury.
“I knew he was coming,” Creek said. “I passed him and pulled away at the mile, then with three laps left he started coming on. I was fine until the last 800, then I was sucking air.
“I knew I had a good chance [to qualify] but I wasn’t positive,” Creek added.
Teammate Zane Illing was entered in the 1000, 600, and 1600. He failed to place in the top two needed to qualify.
“He was in too many races and I take responsibility,” said Joe Iatauro. “We thought he could place in one of them.”
Illing placed fifth in the 1000 with a 2:48.1. Top seed Tony Calabro of Cornwall won the race with a 2:34.1.
Jason Mielcarek of Warwick won the 600 with a 1:25.9. Illing was fifth with a 1:29.1, off his p.r. 1:28.5.
Illing was actually beaten by Adam Bassney of Sullivan West (1:28.6) but according to SW coach Ron Bauer his runner was disqualified because he cut to the inside lane too soon.
Finally, Illing was out of the running in the 1600, fading to a 4:52.4. According to Iatauro, Illing’s best 1600 this year was 4:41.
Coming Up Short
Katy Schlichtman of Monticello placed third in the 55 hurdles with a 9.1, behind Laura Gentile of Minisink Valley (8.4) and Laura Paul of Monroe-Woodbury (8.5). Schlichtman’s best time this year was 8.8.
Maria Seniw of Eldred broke her own school record in the 55 dash in trials, 7.8 seconds (previous: 7.9). In the semis she ran 8.0 and was fourth — only the top three in the heat advanced to the finals.
Seniw started out the day with the long jump, leaping 13-91&Mac218;4. Nichole Brundage of Pine Bush won with an 18-41&Mac218;2.
Seniw also competed in the triple jump, three-stepping 29-5. Brundage winning effort was a 36-9.
Tom Dittmar of Liberty reached the finals in the 55 dash, placing sixth with a 7.0. Odale Green of Kingston won with a 6.5.
Clarissa Waterton of Monticello had to pull out of the triple jump (season best: 35-0) after a subpar 13-63&Mac218;4 in the long jump. Waterton hurt her leg after her second jump and had to scratch her third attempt.
Tom Gain of Sullivan West had his best shot put of the year, 37-101&Mac218;2.
The Sullivan West 3200 girls’ relay bettering its previous standard by 10 seconds, finishing sixth with a 10:25.
Members were Kristen Clifford (2:32), Sandra Scholtz (2:31), Danielle Hendrickson (2:37), and Jamie Clifford (2:45).
As expected, Cornwall won easily with a 9:40.9 clocking.

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