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Number of sectional qualifiers abundant for the S-GI girls track team

FLY LIKE THE WIND — Brittney Luther is pictured, hurdling during the Springville Invitational, held earlier in the season. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville-Griffith Institute girls track team traveled to Hamburg, to compete in the Erie County Interscholastic Conference championships on May 24 and 25.

Several Lady Griffins clinched trips to the Section VI championships, which will take place on May 31 and June 1.

The Lady Griffs’ best finish came from Samantha Peterman, who finished in fifth in the 1,500, competing with schools such as Clarence, Starpoint, Williamsville North, Sweet Home and Orchard Park.

Peterman will lead a group of 12 Springville athletes, who will be competing at the Section VI championships held at Pioneer.

The qualifiers are as follows: Lexi Lines, in the 100-meter hurdles; Sierra Bowen, in the 400-meter hurdles; Alena Woodarek, in the pole vault and 400-meter hurdles; Tia Woodarek, in the pole vault; Peterman, in the 1,500-meter run; McKenzie Maloy, in the 2,000-meter steeplechase; Joelle Adamczyk, in the 400-meter dash; Hanna Hebden, in the 400-meter dash; Jessica Wojtkowiak, in the 3,000-meter run and Jessica Wiede, in the shot put.

In addition, the 4-by-400 relay team of Kalei Brautlacht, Alena Woodarek, Adamczyk, Tia Woodarek and Hebden qualified, as did the 4-by-800 relay team of Peterman, Wojtkowiak, Maloy, Ashley Blidy and Brautlacht.

“We had a pretty tough meet,” said Coach Mark Heichberger, about the ECIC event.

“It didn’t go as well as I hoped,” he said. “I don’t think it was our effort, but more of the weather. It was abnormally cold, for this time of the year. It was windy and it was cold, so our times weren’t what we would have hoped. Our sectional rankings overall are pretty good, so I’m looking forward to sectionals.”

Alena Woodarek will head to sectionals with the top ranking in the pole vault, for small schools. She is the only small school competitor who has cleared 10 feet.

Lines continues to rank among the top girls in Section VI, in the 100-hurdles, and will look to qualify for states, for the second year in a row.

Several Lady Griffins will be returning to sectionals, after qualifying last year.

“It certainly helps,” Heichberger said, about Springville’s experience, heading into the meet. “It takes a lot of the nerves out of the meet. But still, you can be there for six years and you’re still going to be nervous and you’re still going to be anxious.”

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