Frank Speziale Photo
NORWICH – The Norwich Purple Tornado hosted their 11th annual REK 'Friends Forever' Track Invitational this past Friday, May 6.
The REK Invitational, in remembrance of the three Norwich Track and Field girls who lost their lives in a tragic drunk driving accident many years ago, began as it always has, with the moment of silence and the annual 100 meter remembrance walk.
Following the walk, the meet was underway in full force. About midway through the nights events, Norwich recognized all the seniors present for the evening, but especially recognized its own graduating seniors and asked that their parents accompany them to midfield.
After all the ceremonies were completed, Norwich proceeded to walk away as the winners on both the boys and girls side of the meet, with the Tornado boys earning 175-points and the girls earning 149-points.
Norwich also claimed both of the awards for Most Outstanding Athlete, with Zach Race taking the award on the boys side and senior Katelyn Shaver walking away with it on the girls side.
“They both exceeded what was expected of them. The REK always seems to have great competition for a small invitational. But the spirit that the Norwich kids have during the meet is unmatched,” said Norwich head coach Shaun Horan.
Scoring for the boys side would see Sidney trail in second place with 94-points, followed by Morrisville-Eaton with 70, Cherry Valley-Springfield with 64, Edmeston with 38, Sherburne-Earlville with 28, Unadilla Valley with 23, Greene with 20, Cincinnatus with 18, Bainbridge-Guilford with 13, DeRuyter with 8, Waterville with 7, and Oxford with 0.
While the scoring on the girls side saw Sidney once again trail in second place with 84-points, followed by Unadilla Valley at 63, Greene at 54, Bainbridge-Guilford at 50, Cherry Valley-Springfield at 42, Morrisville-Eaton at 31, DeRuyter at 23, Sherburne-Earlville at 20, Cincinnatus at 16, Edmeston at 8, Oxford at 1, and Waterville at 0.
The Norwich boys saw first place finishes in 10 of the possible 18 events in the meet, with various other top place finishes, en route to their impressive showing at home.
Most Outstanding Athlete, Zach Race, managed to land three events with first place fishes starting with the 4x100 meter relay team consisting of David Berger, Zach Race, Connor Nial and Eric Conant. The Norwich 4x100 team edged out Morrisville-Eaton for the win, when they ran a 46.07 to best ME who ran a 46.92. The 4x100 teams from S-E and B-G would come in third and fourth in a close race, with times of 49.58 and 49.91.
Race also finished the top runner in the 100 and 200 meter dash with blazing fast times of 23.04, and 11.41 respectively.
Dan. Norris of B-G trailed Race in the 100 to take second with a time of 11.66, while S-E's Lincoln Owen placed third with a time of 11.88, ultimately edging Norwich's Eric Conant, who broke under 12 seconds to place fourth with a time of 11.90.