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Sunday, June 12, 2016: Wray breaks meet record to complete discus sweep

   Leading off today: A day after earning a NYSPHSAA championship in the discus, Starpoint senior Sam Wray capped his track and field career with the longest discus throw in the history of the state meet.

   Wray threw 193 feet, 8 inches during the Federation competition Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse to eclipse the state meet mark of 187-9 set in 1985 by Rome Free Academy's Tony Washington.

   It gave the University at Buffalo signee a sweep of New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Federation championships for the second consecutive spring.

   "It's just an incredible feeling sweeping it two years in a row," Wray told The Buffalo News.

   Said Spartans coach Steve DeWolfe: "What he's done at Starpoint is incredible. He's set every school record, two-time state champion, two-time Federation champion. ... I'm kind of at a loss for words."

   Watson repeats her double: Rush-Henrietta junior Sammy Watson won the girls 1,500 meters in 4:22.09, crushing her Section 5 record by more than three seconds.

   North Rockland's Katelyn Tuohy set a state record for eighth-graders in the same race at 4:24.36. She passed Watson and took the lead heading into the bell lap, but Watson bore down and produced her patented kick to prevail by 10 meters.

   "I think that was the best race I ever ran," Tuohy told The Journal News. "I am in shock. I can't believe what I just did."

   It made for the second consecutive year in which Watson swept the NYSPHSAA Division I and Federation titles in the 400 and 1,500.

   She's both one of the most successful and most recognizable female athletes in Section 5 history.

   "I think it's all really cool," Watson told the Democrat and Chronicle. "I like when people come up to me and say that I'm their idol or something or they say they are watching me and they'll be looking for me. They will come up to me at meets and just say hi and how good of a job I'm doing.

   "All the positive energy really helps with my running, because I see them cheering for me while I'm running and that gives me the strength, I find it in me to keep going, to keep doing what I'm doing."

   Watson finished her weekend by contributing a 2:06.2 anchor for the Royal Comets' 3,200 relay, which did not place.

   Teammate Lanae-Tava Thomas went one better than Watson in individual achievement, snaring five first-place finishes. After claiming the NYSPHSAA Division I long jump Friday, the sophomore won NYSPHSAA 100 and 200 titles, plus the Federation 200 and long jump. Her times of :11.83 and :23.68 in the sprints set sectional records.

   "I came here to do a hard four, she said.

   On the boys side, Wilson senior Kelly Brown aced a challenging schedule. Brown won the Federation and NYSPHSAA Division I 100 and 200 races, plus placed third in the NYSPHSAA Division I and Federation 110 hurdles. He ran in three NYSPHSAA finals in a span of 45 minutes.

   "It seemed a lot faster than that," Brown said.

   Infinite wisdom: Huntington's Infinite Tucker was as good as advertised, tripling on the meet's wrap-up day. The Umass recruit won the 110-meter hurdles in :14.06, 400 hurdles in :52.35 and as part of the 1,600 relay with Lawrence Leake, Kyree Johnson and Shane McGuire in 3:15 flat.

   The high hurdles race was his closest call. Beacon's David Adams finished .03 seconds behind.

   "To be honest, I like it when someone is in front of me, so I can play catch up," Tucker told Newsday. "My main goal is always to play catch up. As he got in front of me I just kept snapping my lead leg down and I pulled out the win."

   Daniels doubles again: Alexis Daniels of Binghamton added Federation championships to her sweep of the NYSPHSAA Division I discus and shot put titles a day earlier.

   Daniels' last of four attempts in the discus sailed 134-6 after Grayce French of Saratoga had thrown 132-10. Her only legal throw in four attempts with the shot went 46-5 for a winning margin of more than six feet.

   Stellar in the steeple: John Jay Cross River senior Eion Nohilly, who won the Division I and Federation 800 titles Friday, won both steeplechase golds in 9:06.36 to edge Noah Affolder of Carthage (9:06.52).

   Affolder led for all but the final strides. Nohilly, the 2015 runner-up, made up time by "throwing myself" over the final hurdle, forgetting about form.


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  •    "I thought maybe I gave him a little too much room," he said of Affolder. "I knew I had to go to that final gear. That's dangerous but it paid off."

       In the girls steeple-chase, Warwick senior Megan Reilly relinquished the lead with two laps to go and started to fade before rallying to win in 6:45.34, a Section 9 record.

       "When I tell you I was dead, I was really dead," Reilly, a state cross country champ in 2012 and '13, told the Times Herald-Record. "I didn't know if I could do it. And another girl passed me, and then I heard people around me. I was like, 'Oh my god ... I am going to get passed by everybody.' I was truly freaking out."

       She remained within striking distance entering the bell lap, regained the lead over the final water jump and powered down the front stretch more than five seconds ahead of the previous sectional record.

       North Rockland junior Alex Harris, who earned bronze last summer in the Junior Pan Am Games, finished second in 6:49.65. She said she miscalculated by allowing Reilly to retake the lead.

       "I'm a little disappointed but it adds fuel to the fire for next time," she said.

       Baseball draft: Two days after the Atlanta Braves made Shenendehowa pitcher Ian Anderson the third overall selection in the Major League Baseball draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected his twin brother and batterymate Ben in the 26th round, the 792nd overall selection.

       "It's been a crazy weekend for our family and for this team," Ben Anderson told The Daily Gazette. "I don't even know if that news has hit me yet."

       Other New York high schools selected Saturday through the 38th round:

        • St. Dominic pitcher Kyle Young Kyle Young to the Philadelphia Phillies in the 22nd round.

        • Ramapo catcher Jeffery Parra to the San Francisco Giants in the 24th round.

        • Poly Prep corner infielder Daniel Bakst to the Baltimore Orioles in the 27th round.

        • Georgio Luperon (Manhattan) pitcher Joel Orena to the hometown New York Mets in the 27th round.

        • Syracuse Henninger pitcher Jeff Belge to the Boston Red Sox in the 32nd round.

        • Rye pitcher George Kirby to the New York Mets in the 32nd round.

        • Suffern catcher Matthew Popowitz to the Miami Marlins in the 36th round.

        • Albertus Magnus pitcher James Reilly to the Seattle Mariners in the 38th round.

       Bakst was one of the more highly regarded New York prospects, but teams backed away in the early rounds because he's considered all but certain to enroll at Stanford in the fall.

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