Performing your best come title time is always the goal in sports.
And, for the Sweet Home 4x100 relay team, not only were they at the top of their game at the state outdoor championships, but they ran right into the record books.
"It was exciting," Anthony Williams said. "It was just exciting."
In the Division I Championship race, the squad not only took home 1st place but clocked a lightning fast 41.36 in the event -- a new Section VI record and the 7th fastest all-time in New York State high school relay history. They've earned the praise of not only those around the state -- but alum like current Bills running back Jordan Johnson, a Sweet Home alum.
"Them coming before us, we didn't think we'd reach their standard," Thomas Rivera said. "We succeeded. We're very proud of it. It was unexpected."
"My mindset during the 1st leg when I was watching my teammate run was - that was the fastest he ever came out," Eric Johnson added. "So, I was very confident in him getting me the baton. We got in a good situation and I handed it off to him and I knew it was over."
Qualifying for the Federation Championships, the squad earned their spot among the best 4x1 relays of all-time, becoming the first Section VI team to win the Fed title as anchor Nathaniel Davis rallied the Panthers back to a spot at the top of the podium.
"I do my best to get where I need to be," Rivera said. "I see Nathaniel and it's all good. I call him the finisher. He gets it all done."
"It's a great feeling. I watched that video, the 4x1, a good 10 times the last three days," Davis joked. "That feeling still hits me it was kind of like stuff was moving in slow motion and I could feel myself go by and everything I was like 'we're really going to do this for a second time.'"
The group will now take their historic numbers on the road to the National meet, in the hopes of of capturing a national title this weekend.
"I know that whatever the time is, we're ready to run it," Davis said. "These three and me will do whatever we need to do, to bring home a medal."
***SUPER 7 COUNTDOWN***
Sweet Home 4x1 Relay Team
Became the first Section VI relay team to win the Federation Championship at the State Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Their time of 41.36 seconds is the 7th fastest all-time in New York state.
Sam Spinella, Depew Track & Field
Won the long jump at the State outdoor track and field meets for the second consecutive year with a leap of 18-feet 1.75-inches.
“Samantha Spinella is now a two-time state champion at the long jump. On Friday at Union-Endicott High School, Samantha jumped a new personal best of 18 feet 1.75 inches on her final jump of the day to clinch the NY State Division 2 long jump title for the second year in a row. She has been a pleasure to coach over the past 5 years as she has served as a leader of the team for much of her duration. I knew that Samantha was going to be a special athlete during her 8th grade season, where she was running in practice with our fastest kids and holding her own. During her first ever meet she tied a school record in the 50 meter dash and qualified for the Section 6 Championship. Samantha has added 6 more school records to resume and has qualified for 5 NYS Championships between the indoor and outdoor seasons, with 7 state medals earned. Samantha's drive and focus have enabled her to be the most decorated athlete in school history as she now possesses two of the school's three state championships. I am proud of Samantha for her accomplishments as an athlete and as a person.” - Justin McElligott, Depew Head Coach
Colin Miller, St. Joe’s Baseball
Pitched the complete game, a 6-1 win, to secure the Marauders first Georgetown Cup since 2013.
“He certainly was a bulldog in the final game yielding only 4 hits. We relied on our pitching all year and in the biggest game one of our best stepped up and was equal to the challenge that St. Mary's brought” – Paul Nasca, Head Coach
Abbie Stellrecht, Williamsville East Softball
Only an 8th grader, Abbie went 4-for-5 at the plate, including a double, and drove in three runs as the Flames finished as the Class A runner-up.
“She plays way older than her age! Abbie batted .449 with 20 RBIs (this season).” – Chris Durr, Head Coach
Paul Kemsley, Lancaster Track & Field
Won the Boys Division I discus at the State Outdoor Track & Field Championships with a toss of 24-feet, and won the Federation title by more than 10-feet.
“Pauls’ performance was the most dominating win I’ve seen in 17 years of coaching at the New York State meet. He absolutely destroyed the competition wining by over 24-feet. To put that into perspective, it would be like winning the 100 meters by 2.5 seconds.” – George Rak, Throwing Coach
Karsen Cotton - Depew Softball
Karsen Cotton no hit Babylon, who was ranked #1 in the state entering the semifinal game. She also threw a 3 hitter in the State final vs. Solvey, allowing 1 run. In the 2017 playoffs, Karsen only allowed 3 runs, in 7 games." - Dan Seelig, Head Coach
Andrea Taboni - Depew Softball
"Andrea Taboni made a handful of highlight reel defensive plays in both games. None bigger than a 2 out, bases loaded diving stop up the middle to hold Solvey off the board in the 6th inning final." - Dan Seelig, Head Coach
Jordyn Petyk - Depew Softball
"Jordyn Petyk went 2 for 2 in the semifinal and was robbed of a double in the seventh inning in the State Final 1-0 loss." - Dan Seeling, Head Coach