County track meet begins today in Dunkirk

Host with the most

OBSERVER Photo by Jeremy Izzio: Pictured is Dunkirk High School’s track, which will be the scene for the County track and field meet beginning today and running through Saturday.

Dunkirk High School, home of the Marauders, is set to host the 2017 County Track and Field meet today.

Eighteen teams are all set to compete at their best for a chance to qualify for Sectionals, and Dunkirk track and field coach, Adam Woelfle, is eager to see what becomes of the event.

“It’s exciting to have it at home,” Woelfle began. “That’s a nice feeling to know our kids will get to run at home. … I’m excited to watch our girls 4×100 and our boys 4×800. … And a couple of our seniors that really just get a chance to shine at their last home meet: Faith Rivera, Chris Michalski and Nelson Estrada-Cruz.”

It is important that for a county event that every detail of the field be up to par.

“It’s a little nerve-racking. … But I feel pretty good,” said Woelfle. “Luckily we have our invite every year and we usually get some pretty good compliments in how well we run that. So that makes people like coming to our facility. … It looks very nice around here so it’s a good place to hold a big track and field meet like that.”

The county meet is where the best come to prove themselves for a chance to move on to Sectionals, and there is certainly no shortage of talent for this year’s event.

“A lot of times people think that just because we’re Division 2 small schools that there is not much competition here,” said Woelfle. “But if you look at the leaderboards in the section, a lot of them (leaders) are coming from the smaller schools, so Chautauqua County is being well represented.”

“Clymer/Sherman/Panama has quite a few kids coming. They’ve combined their program and have come leaps and bounds and really improved a lot over the last couple to of years since they’ve combined,” Woelfle continued.

Woelfle is also keeping a close eye on individuals poised to have big performances.

“Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s female pole vaulter, Rachael Ward, is one of the of the top in the section right now. Silver Creek’s Emma Seiders, … She’s been to states a few times. … Our own Emilee Hanlon is the lead in the section in high jump (5-feet-6 inches). That’s the second highest jump in the state as well.”

Dunkirk has hosted the event in previous years, due to the fact that they’re one of three schools (Dunkirk, Southwestern and Olean) that are equipped with everything necessary.

It’s been approximately four to five years since the event has been held in Dunkirk due to the construction of their new track. Now that it’s time, Woelfle and the Marauders are ready and anxious to get out there.

“I’m just excited to see what we bring and to see how many athletes in our county will go to the Sectional meet,” said Woelfle. “It’s always nice to see good representation from our area.”