Beavers’ Kempney reaches pinnacle

Beaver River’s Colton Kempney competes in the state indoor track and field meet in March at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island. Provided photo

CICERO — Beaver River senior Colton Kempney capped the final track event of Friday’s track program with a victory.

The Beavers’ decorated distance runner won the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:06.18 in Division II at the NYSPHSAA outdoor track and field championships at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

It’s Kempney’s first state title in the event’s past three years. The last two editions were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kempney turned in the fourth-best time of any runner in Divisions I and II. Myles Hogan of Section 1’s Fordham Prep set a meet record with a time of 8:52.42 and running in the faster second heat helped Kempney out.

“It helps being in a fast heat with runners that can go out and push you,” Kempney said. “I’m able to stick to them in a faster heat.”

Kempney will have to deal with a short turnaround as the 3,000 steeplechase is slated to be the first track event of the day scheduled for 10 a.m. today. However, Kempney is ready to take on the challenge in his final state track meet.

“I think he’ll be fine,” Beaver River coach Alex Barrett said. “Running that fast does take a bit out of you, but he’s a senior and he’ll get a good night’s sleep and be ready for the steeplechase.”

The Furman University-bound runner has competed in state meets in all three high school sports seasons. Kempney won the state title in Class D boys cross country, competed in the state indoor track and meet and now posts a 3,200 win. However, he’s excited to turn in an even stronger performance in the steeplechase.

“I know a lot of guys in the race can run a nine (minutes) flat and that’s the goal,” Kempney said.

Canton senior Nick Lyndaker finished third in Division II in 9:25.50. He managed to get a third-place showing despite being in the first heat.

South Jefferson senior Elise Hill added three more wins to her resumé, taking in the wheelchair 100, shot put and discus. Hill won championships in the 100 and the shot put in 2019, and added a victory in the discus. Hill also cut down from her winning time in 100 in 2019 by almost three seconds and she added about a foot to her winning toss from 2019. Those extended state records she set in previous years.

Potsdam senior Ansen Herrick placed fifth in the Division II boys triple jump with a mark of 43 feet, 11.75 inches. Herrick’s scoring leap took place on the third attempt as the event was won by East Rochester’s Manuel Sepulveda of Section 5 with a jump of 47-1.25.

Norwood-Norfolk senior Maddie Dinneen took sixth in the 800 in Division II with a time of 2:18.26. She’ll run in the 1,500 and 2,000 steeplechase today in her final events before heading off to Clemson.

“I really have to get used to other people being around me going over the barrier in the steeplechase,” Dinneen said. “I’m confident in my speed and ability.”

The state meet wraps up today with events starting at 10 a.m. with the steeplechase on the track and the pentathlon long jump in the field.

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