Lockport quartet on track for indoor states

Four Lockport High School sophomores are slated to compete Saturday at the prestigious 2019 New York State Public High School Athletic Association Indoor Track & Field Championships on Staten Island.

LHS 10th graders Kahniya James (55-meter dash), Sydney Nowicki (3,000), Skylar Pointer (weight throw) and Colin Thompson (300 dash) will compete beginning at 9 a.m. at the Ocean Breeze Track and Field Facility

“We’re definitely excited that we have four sophomores going to states, including the fact that two (James and Nowicki) are repeat state contenders,” Jablonski said on Wednesday afternoon, while putting his team through a workout at LHS.

James sprinted to a Section VI championship in the 55m dash in a time of 7.16 seconds, one of the fastest recorded times in the entire state this year.

“It was very nerve wracking going into that race, especially with so many other good competitors,” James said. “I just have to get a good block start, run hard and run as fast as I can. Usually, if you have a good, powerful block start you know you’re going to have a good race. I’m just going to run as fast and as hard as I can.”

Nowicki won the sectional 3000-meter run in 10:32.77, qualifying for her second straight indoor state meet.

Her fastest time this year is 10:21, but she thinks she can do a lot better.

“Hopefully, I can get under the 10-minute mark because, physically, I’m definitely faster than 10:21,” Nowicki said. “I’m just really excited top be running against everyone that’s faster than me.”

Thompson had a great season in 2018-19, culminating with his third-place finish in the 300 dash, which he explained is basically a sprint around three-quarters of the indoor track. He’s also excited to learn that the track will be angled at states, unlike the local flat indoor track surfaces. He posted a state qualifying time of 36.61 seconds.

“I also competed in the 55 meter, but I didn’t qualify for that, so I put all of my effort into the 300 race and when I finished, my coach told me I had qualified for states and I was real happy,” Thompson said.

While Jablonski and assistant coach Tim Willett were putting those three statesmen through practice at LHS on Wednesday, Pointer was working out with assistant coach Matt Vermette at the Kenan Arena.

“Skylar’s done a great job all year. She PR-ed at 41-0 feet early in the season and that set the 10th grade class record in the weight throw,” Vermette said. “She finished second in the weight throw to qualify for states and she was also finished third in the indoor shot put in the section.”

Coach Vermette said the weight throw is similar to the hammer throw, but with a shorter chain.

“It has a lot of the same momentum and movement as a hammer throw,” Vermette said. “Basically, it’s taking s a 20-pound weighted ball attached to a small chain and being able to generate enough torque and velocity through rotation to throw it out there in the same way that a hammer throw is thrown on the outdoor level.”

Skylar first took up track and field last year, placing third at outdoor sectionals in the shot put.

“I’m excited about going. I have expectations to not place because there are a lot of really good throwers going, but I’m excited for the experience of going,” she said.