Seiders takes second at state finals in 400 dash

ENDICOTT — Silver Creek senior Emma Seiders saved arguably her career-best performance for one of the biggest stages Friday afternoon at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships at Union-Endicott High School.

Against some of the most skilled competition the state has to offer, Seiders came through with a blistering time of 56.94 in her heat of the girls Division II 400-meter dash, which was ultimately good enough for a second-place finish, highlighting the student-athletes in Chautauqua County on Day 1 of competition.

“I thought I was going to die (the last part of the race),” a relieved Seiders stated following her splendid showing. “I usually don’t finish races that (strong), I usually (get tired out). So like that’s what I was thinking was going to happen, but I ended up not so it was nice. … It’s really exciting. I didn’t get to do this last year, I missed it. It’s a good way to end my (high school) career.”

Cattaraugus-Little Valley junior Bailey Gostomski placed third in Division II in one of the last events of the day, the girls 3,000-meter run, with her impressive clocking of 10:18.03.

“Well, I just had confidence to stay with (the leaders) up front,” Bailey stressed, “and it was tiring, but I pushed through it. It’s really fun, because I love running (against great competition like this).”

Bailey’s sister, Abby, also turned in a solid performance, ending up with the fourth-best Division II time of 2:14.95 in the girls 800-meter run.

“I felt pretty good,” Abby emphasized. “People kept cutting me off, but I didn’t give up and just stayed with the pack.”

Both of the Gostomski sisters will be back in action today on Day 2: Bailey will take part in the girls’ 1,500-meter run while Abby will take part in the 2,000-meter steeplechase.

Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s Amber Morrison had a productive day in both of her field events, placing ninth in the girls Division II discus throw (109-09) and fifth in the girls Division II shot put (38-10).

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“It’s pretty amazing just being here,” Morrison stated. “This is the best meet I’ve ever been in in my life. There’s a lot of competition and I enjoy it a lot. … This is the biggest meet I’ve ever been to. Even just seeing everyone here having so much fun, it’s great.”

Morrison’s teammate, Rachael Ward, came through with a sixth-place finish overall in the girls pole vault and had the third-best Division II height (11-6).

Salamanca’s Mushirah Sheppard was 17th overall in the girls pole vault (10-6).

Fredonia’s Lydia Lanski puched her ticket to today’s finals of the girls Division II 100-meter hurdles thanks to her preliminary time of 15.90, which was the seventh-best clocking. The top eight times in that respective event moved on to the finals.

Southwestern junior Lauren Swan put a bow on her outstanding spring campaign with a ninth-place finish in the girls Division II 400-meter hurdles (1:07.18).

“I was really proud of what I did,” Swan emphasized. “Being able to make it through sectionals and make it to states is (an accomplishment) in and of itself.”

Silver Creek’s 1,600-meter relay team comprised of Kylie Procknal, Grace Restivo, Jaylah Cossin and Seiders was 11th in Division II with a time of 4:08.96.

In girls Division I action, the Jamestown 400-meter relay quartet of Zakya Slaughter, Orianne Simon, Allison Stockwell and Taylor Brightman, fresh off of a title at the Section VI State Qualifier, wound up 14th after crossing the line with a clocking of 50.14.

Dunkirk’s Emilee Hanlon, who is seeded third in the girls high jump, will compete today.

On the boys side, Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Jutin Svetz currently sits at 11th overall in the boys pentathlon with 1,806 points, good enough for the fourth-highest Division II total. Svetz, a senior, had a time of 17:05 in the 110-meter hurdles, and did well in both the high jump (5-8.75) and the shot put (39-1.25).

Southwestern’s Jake Thorp came in ninth in the boys Division II 400-meter hurdles after he came through with a time of 58.09.

“It was a good day,” Thorp explained. “It’s amazing. I’ve been dreaming about this since freshman year. It was awesome. Staying in the hotel was so much fun. … Just the experience. … To see people like this compete is really cool.”

Local boys competing on Day 2 will be Maple Grove’s Michael Peppy in the 1,600-meter run, Maple Grove’s Michel Padilla in the high jump, Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Cameron Barmore in the high jump and Svetz, who will finish up the pentathlon.

In addition, Dunkirk’s 3,200-meter relay team of Christopher Michalski, Anthony Ruiz, Mike Deland and Nelson Estrada-Cruz will be in action today. Ethan Yannie is listed as the team’s fifth member.

Complete results from Day 1 can be found at