Panther track and field athletes clinch section title

ALBANY–On the campus of the University at Albany Sunday the Chatham Panther boys track team captured the Section II Class B Indoor Track championship, narrowly defeating Fonda-Fultonville, 114 to 107.33. Ross Wightman and Rephael Joseph each paced the Panthers with a pair of first-place finishes, while Tyler Rivera also brought home a first place.

Wightman captured wins in the 1,000 meter and the pole vault and was also part of the 4 x 800 meter relay team that finished in second place. Joseph won the 55 meter race and the long jump, while Rivera captured the high jump crown and added a fourth in the 55 meter. Travis Overby also put in a strong day, earning a third place finish in the 300 meter dash and was also part of the 4 x 400 meter relay team that finished in first.

Senior Ryan Mackerer finished fourth in the 600 meter to earn four points for Chatham and he was part of the 4 x 400 meter relay victory. Max Longoria picked up points in two individual events, bringing home second place in the high jump and finishing fourth in the 55 meter hurdles. Sophomore Ian Allen had a good showing, earning points as part of the 4 x 400 relay win and the 4 x 800 relay second place finish, and he finished second in the pole vault. Jon Mackerer was the fourth member of the 4 x 400 win, while Brody Witaszek was part of the 4 x 800 meter team that finished in second and he finished third in the long jump.

In the 55 meter Joseph was the only runner to break seven seconds and he did so twice, running a 6.99 in the semifinals and a 6.94 in the finals. Overby was less than a second off the lead in the 300 meter, coming in at 39.11. The 1,000 meter run came down to the wire, with Wightman crossing the line at the 2:42.75 and the second place finisher Matthew Hoffman from Fonda finishing in 2:43.03.

The 4 x 400 meter relay could not have been any closer, with Chatham finishing in 3:45.94, beating out Greenwich by just .01 second. Both Tyler Rivera and Max Longoria cleared 5’10” to finish first and second in the high jump. Chatham dominated the pole vault, with Wightman clearing 12′ to win and Allen going over 11’6″ for second.

On the girls’ side the Panthers finished in sixth place scoring 32 points. Freshman Erin Clark led the way, finishing in first place in the 1,000 meter race and the 1,500 meter. In the 4 x 200 meter relay Chatham’s Callie Buchan, Charlotte Tucksmith, Samantha Wheeler and Lauren Berry brought home third. Buchan also scored in the high jump as the sophomore finished tied for fourth. Another sophomore, Wheeler pointed in the long jump, finishing in fifth, while Faith Avens brought home a sixth place finish in the 600 meter race.


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