Three Red Storm indoor tracksters to take on the best in the state | News, Sports, Jobs
SARANAC LAKE — For three student-athletes from Saranac Lake, their hard work has paid off.
On Saturday, seniors Mia Sanford and Lydia Wamsganz and junior Mitchell Ellsworth, along with their coach Cy Ellsworth, will travel to South Staten Island for the NYSPHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Ocean Breeze Sports Complex.
“It’s another great opportunity to show their talents. All three have been with me for a long time,” said Cy Ellsworth. “They have the opportunity to compete with the best kids in New York State.”
While most state championships in New York are divided based on division size and class, this is not the case for indoor track.
At the State Indoor Athletics Championships, all New York State public and private high schools will be grouped together rather than separated by division.
“If you can perform well at the state meet, you’re pretty good at athletics,” said Cy Ellsworth. “Especially when you start mixing New York kids.”
While Saranac Lake, along with most northern schools, are at a disadvantage when it comes to indoor track — with SUNY Plattsburgh Fieldhouse being the only Division VII competition venue for the sport — they have something the most schools don’t. It is experience meeting the state.
While the state championship was canceled last year due to the pandemic, Red Storm’s Sanford will return to Staten Island as one of the few student-athletes to have previously competed in the states.
Competing in the United States as a sophomore, Sanford finished 28th out of 34 competitors in the girls’ shot put competition.
“It was the last thing to happen just before the pandemic. We were all a little worried, but it’s a very exciting event. Sanford said. “Especially my sophomore year, I really wasn’t worried about making the top 10, it was more about experiencing the ring. I was the only sophomore in New York State who went to compete. It’s nice to have that advantage of knowing what that ring looks like.
Sanford will not only return to the women’s shot put competition, but she will also compete in the shot put competition.
“It’s a bit stressful, I’m not going to lie” Sanford said. “I’m very excited to come down and compete in both. Shot put was my main indoor activity. I’m going to college for this, I hope. It’s going to be exciting to do the shot put too.
While Sanford’s personal best for the shot put stands at 39 feet, she said she hopes to reach over 42′ or 43′. For the shot put, she wants to throw beyond 34′.
Sanford isn’t the only field athlete to represent Saranac Lake. Mitchell Ellsworth will compete in the boys’ shot put competition.
“I’m very excited. This will be my first state meet because of the pandemic,” said Mitchell Ellsworth. “So this will be my first real state meeting.
“Last year there was an invite that I went to and I was ranked the number one sophomore shot putter in the state,” he said. “So it’s exciting, but to compete against bigger athletes, I’m excited.”
For the past two indoor track seasons, Mitchell has dominated Section VII in men’s shot put competition, winning back-to-back section titles. But the state championship is a different animal.
“It’s going to be different” said Mitchell Ellsworth. “Winning the section for the past two years has been pretty easy for me and I think it’s going to be cool to have more competition, hopefully I’ll improve under the pressure.”
Mitchell Ellsworth’s personal best in the indoor shot put is 47’11.25″, a record he hopes to break on Saturday.
“I think my goal is to be in the top 10, that would be really cool” said Mitchell Ellsworth. “Actually, I just want to do PR, but I think it would be really cool to get in the top 10.”
The only track runner representing Saranac Lake will be Wamsganz.
“I think all the riders in the team have worked very hard this year” said Wamsganz. “I think I’m just excited and grateful to go.”
Wamsganz will compete in the women’s 600 meter competition. Cy Ellsworth said there will be plenty of good riders competing against her on Saturday.
Wamsganz said his goal is to beat his PR (personal best), which currently stands at 1 minute, 47.74 seconds.
She achieved her personal best in the sectional competition on February 13. His time was the second fastest in the competition and was only 0.34 seconds slower than the section winner.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to go there this year and I’m excited to see what I can race,” said Wamsganz.
While Saturday’s competition will be fierce for all three competitors, Cy Ellsworth said he wants his team to have fun and enjoy traveling to Staten Island. He also added that he wants to come home with personal bests.
“Our children are going to see a quality competition this weekend. But they worked hard during the season. said Cy Ellsworth. “We started in November. Now it’s just kind of an opportunity to relax and travel one day and then prepare for a really big competition on Saturday.