By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY June 9, 2006 Athletes from four Sullivan County school districts will be competing at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Track and Field championship meet today and tomorrow at St. Lawrence University in Canton.
The local athletes earned the opportunity to compete at the state meet with their outstanding performances this past Sunday during the Section IX state qualifier meet at Warwick High School.
Leading the Sullivan County contingent will be Kyle Anthony of Eldred and Jacob Schwartz of Liberty.
Anthony took first place at the qualifier meet in the long jump and triple jump events. In the long jump, Anthonys best leap was 22 feet, 10 inches which exceeded the state-meet qualifying standard of 22 feet. In the triple jump, Anthonys best effort of 47-8 3/4 easily exceeded the qualifying standard of 44-6.
Anthony also finished second in the Division II (small school) 400 hurdles with a time of 49.7 seconds. His time was better than the qualifying mark of 50.2 seconds, making Anthony a wild-card qualifier. But he opted out of the state meet in the event.
Schwartz, who won the Section IX pole vault championship on May 25 with an effort of 13 feet, 6 inches, took first place at Sundays state qualifier by clearing the bar at 13-6. That mark equaled the state standard of 13-6, earning Schwartz a trip to the state meet.
Other county athletes who qualified for the state meet in field events were Alan Ackermann of Sullivan West and Fallsburgs Matt Moore. Ackermann won the discus competition on Sunday with a best throw of 153 feet, 2 inches. His throw easily beat the state standard mark of 148 feet. Moore placed second in the shot put competition with a best effort of 47 feet, 2 1/2 inches.
Four Tri-Valley athletes earned a trip to Canton with their performance on the track. Sean Messenger won the Division II 110-meter hurdles in 14.8 seconds, which equaled the state standard time. Max Fielder took first place in the Division II 400-meter hurdles with a time of 57.1 seconds.
In addition, Fielder and Messenger teamed up with Michael Kaplan and Derek Smith to earn a fourth-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay. The four young men completed the race in 8:22.9 and qualified as the Section IX Division II representative at the state meet.
The only local girl to earn a trip to Canton by turning in an outstanding performance on Sunday was T-Vs Kanacia James. She placed seventh in the discus competition with a throw of 92 feet, 4 inches.
Uncle Bill to the Rescue
Recently Sullivan Wests Alan Ackermann was preparing for the state qualifier in the discus when he let off a terrific throw at the practice field at the Jeffersonville Campus.
His favorite discus sailed off into the wild blue yonder, over a fence, down a hill and into a brook, which was swollen due to the recent heavy rains.
Well, Alan searched high and low to where he thought the discus finished up but he couldnt find his disc. He went off last weekend with his two back-up discs and sure enough, qualified for the state championships in Canton.
Alan told his uncle, Bill Ackermann, his dilemma and Bill returned to the field with his waders and metal detector and lo and behold, was able to fish the discus out of the stream just in time for the state championships today and tomorrow.