In his first, last and only season competing at North Tonawanda, foreign exchange student Anton Kunnas has established himself as not only one of the top pole vaulters in program history, but in the entire state.
The Finland native, who first picked up a pole five years ago, has broken not only the school record, but the Section VI record that has stood for a decade.
He currently holds the mark at 15-feet 3-inches, which he set the Varsity Meet at Fredonia in mid-February.
"In general, it's been very overwhelming. I had a really good time on the track team, breaking all the records," he said with a laugh.
"The fact that he works so hard makes it nice that his name will be in the record books until somebody else from North Tonawanda comes along," Head Coach Kevin Wartinger said.
Competing in the US and for the Jacks, an experience unlike any other for the teen sensation.
"My school has only like 150 people. This is about 10 times bigger. I really like the sports culture here in the school because we don't really have school sports in Finland," he said. "People make a bigger deal of the sports than what I'm used to in Finland. People adore me much more than what I'm used to. It's cool."
Editor's Note: Kunnas' leap of 15'3", which stood at the top mark in NYS, was passed during a competition earlier this week.
***SUPER 7 COUNTDOWN***
#1 – Anton Kunnas, North Tonawanda Track & Field
#2 – Katrina Patterson, Clarence Indoor Track
Won the 3,000 meter race at the Section VI Championships at Houghton college in 10 minutes, 39 seconds.
“She left it all on the track. To finish out the race in the manner she did, took a lot of heart and it was great to see her take the title.” – Justin Weldon, Head Coach
#3 – Adam Batz, Williamsville North Hockey
Scored the game-winning goal in overtime of the Large School Championship, in a 3-2 victory over Lancaster.
#4 – Je’ne Brown, Medina Basketball
Scored 13 points to help power the Mustangs into the B2 Championship.
“Je'ne played extremely strong defensively and offensively for us. She once again led us in scoring with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 3 huge blocks. The game was faced paced, physical, and filled with emotion. The fact that she played as intense as she did, while never being subbed out, is a testament to her growing basketball I.Q., her heart, and her conditioning. I am not only very proud of how far she has come, but how far this team has come in developing their game. They're reading defenses, playing together, and communicating extremely well with each other on the court. It's fun to watch!” – Ken Haak, Head Coach
#5 – Colby Moultrie, Canisius Basketball
Scored 12 points and was named the Manhattan Cup Tournament Most Valuable Player, helping power the Crusaders to their third straight championship.
“Colby’s play the last month has changed our team and focus. We saw that the most in the playoffs, his toughness and playmaking was key to our playoff success.” – Kyle Husband, Head Coach
#6 – Claire Wanzer, Amherst Girls Basketball
Scored 20 points and help rally the Tigers to a 56-53 victory over Lake Shore to advance to the A2 semifinals.
“Claire hit some big shots to help overcome a 6 point deficit. She scored 8 of the last 12 points in that rally.” – Mike Chatelle, Head Coach
#7 – Shakur Harris & Ray Mushat South Park Basketball
Harris scored 28 and Mushat 18 to help power the Sparks to the A2 Championship with a 74-64 Cheektowaga.
“Very proud of our young men. They all played extremely focused and played very hard. Shakur Harris played great. He was a great leader on the court and Ray was clutch. All of our guys contributed and this is a great day for South Park Athletics on Saturday.” – Peter Hudecki, Head Coach