On the soccer pitch Alex Reid garnered All-American honors. If the Lockport senior keeps performing the way he did Thursday at the annual Niagara Frontier League Track & Field Championships, the accolades are bound to just keep pouring in.
Reid won both the 200- and 400-meter dashes and ran the second leg of the Lions’ winning 400 and 1,600 relays in front of an estimated 600 fans at Lewiston-Porter High School’s Harry Blakeslee Field. And Reid didn’t even compete in two of his better events — the 100 and long jump.
While the 200 (23.31) was expected, perhaps the 400 (52.38) was even more impressive as Reid had never run the event in competition. Yet it’s the relay wins that are most satisfying for the team-oriented Reid.
“The reason why I’ve always liked soccer better is because of the team aspect of it and that’s why my relays mean so much more to me than the individual races in track,” said Reid, who is headed to Daemen College to play both sports next year.
Reid, who suffered a pair of torn hamstrings during the indoor and outdoor postseason last year, was joined by Andy Reid, Nick Hamilton and Josh Beshaw in the 400 relay (43.96) and Andy Reid, Josiah Chandler and Dan Jones in the 1,600 relay (3:39.16).
“Alex is a very tough competitor,” Lockport coach Miles Patterson said. “He’s trained hard and him being healthy has been a key this year. Because of his health we now have two relays that have a real shot at,” winning sectionals.
Beside Alex Reid, junior Mitch Loiacano also stood out for the league champion Lions, winning the 3,200 (10:27.93) and 1,600 (4:40.41). In addition, he led off the winning 3,200 relay (8:41.42), which also included Jones, Adam Perilli and Conor Doran.
Other, Lockport boys winners were seniors Derek Dunlop (high jump, 5-8), Andy Reid (400 hurdles, 1:02.52), Dave Pollock (pentathlon, 2,893) and Brian Farfaglia (triple jump, 39-11½) along with Beshaw, a junior who won the 100 in 11.18 seconds.
The Lockport girls were equally as impressive, taking first in seven events on their way to the team title. Senior Jessica Monzyk was a double winner in the 3,000 (11:40.45) and steeplechase (7:49.75). Other Lockport winners were seniors Keeley Ralyea (discus, 101-2) and Megan Evans (pole vault, 10-0), juniors Kasey Johnston (100 high hurdles, 16.73) and Kailyn Szymanski (400, 1:00.40) and sophomore Hannah Kurbs (1,500, 5:05.65).
“I’m very, very pleased with all of our kids,” Patterson said. “They knew they had to go hard, work hard and they came through.”
Kenmore East also had a strong showing, particularly on the girls side with sophomore Austin Nagelhout nabbing both the long jump (17-7¾) and triple jump (34-8¾). Junior teammate Erin O’Brien was first in the 400 intermediate hurdles (1:10.36) and led off the winning 1,600 relay quartet that finished in 4:16.35 .
For the Ken East boys, seniors Gavin DiMaria (pole vault, 13-0) and Jared Dolan (discus, 140-5) took first.
Grand Island, meanwhile, won four boys titles (Ian Young, long jump, 19-10; Dom Petrilli, shot put, 52-7; Andy Masiello, steeplechase, 10:53.19 and Kevin Freedman, 110 HH, 14.63) and two on the girls side (Jesse Dhaliwall, shot put, 39-7½ and Jessica Brownschidle, pentathlon, 2,174).
Niagara-Wheatfield freshman Kyri Jackson was the youngest winner at the event, crossing the finish line first in both the 100 (12.54) and 200 (26.63). The spiritual speedster, who often recites Bible scriptures prior to races, hopes recent changes to her starts will help her improve on a third-place finish at sectionals a year ago.
Another youngster, Niagara Falls sophomore Anthony Hawthorne, took first in the 800 with a time of 2:01.29. For the Falls girls, Diamond Hamilton, Shawteona Spires, Cachae Smith and Tyshia Jackson teamed up to win the 400 relay (51.78).
North Tonawanda sophomore Kelly Nichols won the 800 (2:25.53) and ran a leg of the victorious 3,200 relay (10:28.56).
The host Lancers received a first-place finish in the high jump (4-10) from senior Julie Law.