HERKIMER – Nearly 20 local track and field competitors, aged 9-14, travelled to Herkimer the last weekend in June to compete in the annual Western New York Regional Finals of the Hershey Track and Field Games. Individual athletes from Norwich have attended the state meet before, but this is the first year an entire team from Norwich competed. This year’s Norwich team was part of the annual track and field camp sponsored by the Norwich Family YMCA and coached by the YMCA’s Health & Fitness Director, Shannon Gawronski. Assistant coaches this year were Andre Bryant, Emily and Katie Woodford. “We are so fortunate to have such excellent track and field athletes volunteer their time each summer to help create a new generation of track and field athletes,” Gawronski said. ”The kids get to see excellence up close, and they are clearly inspired by that.”
Norwich’s team began its training in May, and practiced two to three times a week. The kids learned track skills such as how to start a sprint out of the blocks, how to finish a race with a lean, and how to do proper relay handoffs. They are also introduced to the high jump, the long jump, the hurdle,s and the throws. A local meet was held on the Norwich track on June 14 to qualify young athletes for the state meet in Herkimer. “The age requirements are difficult for the Hershey Games because its done by the age the child will be on Dec. 31, so often, kids are required to compete in an older age group than their actual age,” Gawronski said. “And that can be difficult.”
However, the Norwich team had a very respectable showing in its first year. Several competitors finished in the top eight of their respective races, and were recognized for their efforts.
Below are Norwich individual results with Andrew Mullen, Gabe Sutton, Katie Gawronski, and Gabe Gawronski leading the way with first-place finishes:
(Name, age group, event, time)
Andrew Mullen, Boys 9-10, 50 meters, 8.24
Gabe Sutton, Boys 9-10, 400 meters, 1:18.06
Katie Gawronski (10), Girls 11-12, 800 meters, 3:04.52
Gabe Gawronski (12), Boys age 13-14, 800 meter, 2:43
Other notable finishers
(Name, age group, event, place finish)
Jessie Sutton, Girls 9-10, 100 meters, fifth
Andrew Mullen, Boys 9-10, 100 meters, 2nd.
Gabe Sutton, Boys 9-10, 100 meters, 7th.
Boys 9-10 400-meter relay (Mullen, Sutton, Tanner Nichols, Tristan Terry), 4th.
Alex Gage, Boys 11-12, 200 meters, 8th.
Katie Gawronski, Girls 11-12, 400 meters, 3rd.
Riley Revoir, Girls 11-12, 400 meters, 4th.
400-meter relay, 11-12 girls (K. Gawronski, R. Revoir, Carissa Nichols, Margie Winter), 3rd.
Joshua Mioduszewski, Boys 13-14, 100 meters, 3rd.
Gabe Gawronski, Boys 13-14, 200 meters, 5th.
Joshua Mioduszewski, Boys 13-14, 200 meters, 6th.
Hailey DeBates, Girls 9-10, standing long jump, 4th.
R. Revoir, Girls 11-12, standing long jump, 6th.
Margie Winter, Girls 11-12, standing long jump, 7th.
A. Mullen, Boys 9-10, standing long jump, 3rd.
J. Mioduszewski, Boys 13-14, standing long jump, 4th.
H. DeBates, Girls 9-10, softball throw, 8th.
A. Gage, Boys 11-12, softball throw, 6th