The best of the best from area track and field teams will converge on Pioneer High School in Yorkshire today and Saturday for the Section 6 Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Events begin at noon both days.
On the boys' side, Dunkirk will send nine Marauders to the event. Alex Williams will compete in the shot put as the No. 14 seed while Nick Barlette will participate in the 100-meter dash as the second seed and the 200 as the eighth seed.
"That's quite a feat in itself," Dunkirk boys' coach Kurt Warmbrodt said regarding Barlette's seeding in the 100.
Rashad Graham races in the 400 and takes part in the high jump as Javier Soto, the No. 14 and final seed, runs in the 3,200.
All three relay teams will compete for Sectional glory. Barlette, Verek Nixon, Kevin Morales and Graham run in the 4x100 while Nixon and Morales join Nick Stolinski and Ray Tarnowski in the 4x400. Soto, Tarnowski, Morales and Ethan Francis represent Dunkirk in the 4x800.
"I just hope everybody can have their best times of the year," Warmbrodt said. "It's only the top athlete in each event (that advances to States). This time of year, that's all you can ask."
Warmbrodt's runners don't need to hear the importance of making States from their coach. They can see it as often as they please.
"It's on the Internet," Warmbrodt said. "Two years ago, you'd struggle like crazy to know if you're even in the darn meet."
Meanwhile, a trio of Hillbillies will make the trip to Sectionals, led by senior Pat McCarthy and junior Matt Civilette. McCarthy competes in the 400 hurdles today as the third seed and takes part in the 110 high hurdles as the No. 11 seed. Civilette begins action in the triple jump as the fourth seed today and does the same in the long jump Saturday.
"We want to get our best time or, in Matt's case, our best jump in," Fredonia boys coach Bob Ball said. "We want to see everyone do their best at the end of the season. Pat's within a little less than two seconds of the (top seed). Civilette is up there, competing with guys he's seen before. I'd like to see everyone come home with their season's best."
Senior Jacob Brown took the No. 16 seed in the 1,600 and will wrap up his Fredonia career on the section's biggest stage.
"He's been valuable to our track team," Ball said. "He was excited he was able to get in because he knows there's no place to go but up. He's been training hard this week.
"They're excited and looking forward," Ball continued regarding this weekend. "The competition's going to be there. It's a chance to perform well and rise to the competition. It's going to be a good day."
Silver Creek's Tyler Bain will compete in three events as the ninth seed in the 100 and the No. 16 seed in the 200 and high jump. James Feldman is the No. 16 seed in the 400 while Caleb Makuch is the seventh seed in the 400 hurdles.
Kevin Fredrickson represents Gowanda in three events - the pentathlon (No. 11 seed), the 400 hurdles (No. 12 seed) and the 110 hurdles (No. 12 seed). Brennan Geiger is the No. 15 seed in the high jump. The team of Ben Myzel, Lucas Brawdy, Fredrickson, Geiger, Nick Marrocco and Dylan Accordino makes up the No. 16 seed in the 4x400.
Jordan Imm (No. 10) and Jacob Gray (No. 13) represent Westfield in the high jump.
William Sischo is the No. 15 seed for Cassadaga Valley in the 1,600 run.
On the girls' side, six Lady Marauders will compete for Sectional crowns.
Lisa Dunbar is the No. 11 seed in the 100, No. 10 seed in the 400 and the No. 13 seed in the pole vault while Rachel Rosas is the No. 12 seed in the 800, the fifth seed in the 2,000 steeplechase and the No. 16 seed in the 1,500. Janelle Jasinski is the third seed in the pentathlon (2,194 points), just 203 behind top seed Jillian Faltyn of Holland. The team of Dunbar, Samantha Hemenger, Savia Moreland, Calan Pogorzelski and Rosas is the No. 12 seed in the 4x100 relay.
For Fredonia, Lauren Reyda heads up the group of six participants as the fourth seed in the 1,500 and the fifth in the 3,000.
"She's just starting to peak at this time of the season and that's what we're hoping for," Fredonia coach Mike Marshall said.
Devin Kowalewski is the fifth seed in the 100 and No. 14 seed in the triple jump. Ally Cobb is the No. 12 seed in the 400 hurdles, Gwen Stokes is the No. 16 seed in the 2,000 steeplechase, Nicole Woleben is the fifth seed in the long jump and Emily Mackinnon is the No. 15 seed in the shot put.
"Every time (Kowalewski) runs the hurdles or triple jumps, she seems to get better and better," Marshall said. "She keeps PR-ing, getting her personal record. Mackinnon is coming on strong in the shot put, throwing the best she has all season. Stokes has only ran the steeplechase a couple times this year but she continues to get stronger and stronger each time.
"Ally Cobb is a strong performer in the 400 hurdles," Marshall continued. "Last week, in the County she ran a 400 and was strong in that. She's the type of person who comes out of the blocks, then kind of loses the pack in the middle of the race and comes back strong at the end. It's the last 150 meters that makes the difference."
Ninth-grader Hannah Sieders leads three Silver Creek Black Knights into Sectionals as the eighth seed in the 100 hurdles and the third seed in the 400 hurdles. Emily Harford is the No. 17 seed in the 100 and the seventh seed in the pole vault while Jessica Makuch is the No. 11 seed in the 400 hurdles.
Gowanda sends seven girls to Sectionals led by two relay teams. The group of Hanna Brawdy, Sarah Grubbs, Taylor Kickbush, Hunter Samuelson, Marcella Torres and Colleen Steward is the No. 10 seed in the 4x400 relay while Grubbs, Kickbush, Samuelson, Steward, Kelsey Eddy and Torres are the fifth seed in the 4x800. Steward is also the sixth seed in the 800 and Eddy is the No. 16 seed in the pentathlon.
Miranda Warner of Westfield is seeded fifth in the high jump and the team of Brenna Culbreth, Molly Laurie, Maddison Knapp, Sydnee Abele and Emma Fernier is the No. 12 seed in the 4x400.
The weather could have a large presence on the goings-on at Pioneer this weekend. Temperatures will approach 90 degrees on both days - a stark contast from the cold weather teams experienced last weekend at the CCAA Championships in Olean.
"It's going to be a totally different weather situation than last weekend," Marshall said. "At Saturday morning, it was 35 or 37 degrees. It'll be interesting to see how they respond to those two extremes.
"For a teenage kid to sit around in the hot sun for what could be seven or eight hours, it could be a factor," Marshall continued.
"It's going to be hot, it's going to be good times and people should be doing quite well," Warmbrodt said.