OLEAN - TJ Hornberger no longer has to remind himself what the Section VI record is in the 1,600 meters.
The mark now belongs to him.
For the past year, the Lake Shore senior has been writing the record time of 4:13.07 down on small pieces of paper and leaving them in places he would frequent during the course of his day, a notebook, his locker, rooms in his home … “I wrote it down like everywhere. I just wanted it so bad,” he said.
The motivation worked. On Saturday he put the race of his life together running a 4:12.77 to break the long-sought-after 27-year record set by Charlie Kern of Sweet Home in 1987.
“This was the best I felt all year because I was injured, so I’m so excited I could run this fast,” said Hornberger, who won by a gaudy 16 seconds. “I was going for 4:13 or faster. I saw my time (after the third lap) and I knew I could get there, so I just picked it up and went as fast as I could go.”
Fans sitting in the bleachers at Olean sensed they were witnessing history. They stood and cheered during Hornberger’s final 100 meters, an all-out sprint to the finish.
The two-day Section VI Track and Field Championships at Olean High School attracted athletes from 85 schools.
Hello from one of my favorite days after one of my other favorite days on the high school sports calendar, the Section VI championship tripleheader at All High Stadium in girls lacrosse (boys lacrosse was yesterday).
I'll have updates throughout the day in the live blog below, while I'll also have end-of-quarter #PrepTalkLive updates on Twitter. We start with the Class B final of Hamburg and Williamsville North at 3:30, followed by the Class C final between Amherst and Lake Shore at 5 and the Class A annual showdown of Frontier and Lancaster playing at 8.
As always, we're looking forward to your #PrepTalkLive updates on another important day in Western New York high school sports. The Section VI quarterfinals in both baseball and softball were played yesterday, but some were postponed to today.
Contribute updates and keep track of others as well in the blog -- the easiest way to do that is to tweet updates with the #PrepTalkLive hashtag. Those tweets will automatically appear below.
We want tweets from all varsity sports every day of the week. The #preptalklive blog (and hashtag) -- as it was during football season and the winter -- is the place to check out scores from all over Western New York.
While all of our Prep Talk Players of the Year have impressive resumes, it is hard to find an athlete who has been as synonymous with success in his sport as T.J. Hornberger of Lake Shore.
Hornberger, a senior who is headed to Syracuse University, is the Prep Talk Player of the Year for boys cross country.
He won four straight Section VI Class B championships. As a junior, he was second at the state meet, setting a Section VI record at Elma Meadows in doing so. This past fall, he capped off his senior high school season with a New York State Public High School Athletic Association title in Class B.
He was named the All-Western New York cross country boys Runner of the Year following his outstanding fall.
He is back on the track this spring, returning from some wear-and-tear issues to win the 800 and 1,600 at the Carl Roesch two weeks ago and at the ECICs in Jamestown this past weekend.
He owns the Section VI record in the 3,200 and school records in the 800 and 1,600 and will certainly be a runner to watch this coming weekend at the Section VI championships and the following weekend at the state meet.
* * *
All Prep Talk Players of the Year will be honored at the inaugural Prep Talk Awards on June 16 at the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, featuring Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Reed and Janet Snyder of Kiss 98.5. The Prep Talk Awards will honor Prep Talk Players of the Year in more than 30 sports, along with the All-Western New York first teams in football and basketball.
* * *
Our Countdown to the Prep Talk Awards will feature a different Prep Talk Player of the Year each day until the big night.
Here are the Plays of the Weekend for Week Five of high school football.
Watch video highlights below and vote in the poll:
1. Patterson Off To The Races: Alden's Justin Patterson left defenders in his path as he ran 76 yards on this touchdown run in Alden's 14-13 win over Depew in a battle of unbeatens.
2. Kelly Krunch: It isn't very often Chad Kelly gets sacked, but St. Francis' Joseph Smith delivered the quarterback quite the blow on this play. St. Joe's defeated St. Francis 27-20.
3. Akeel Airborn: St. Francis' Akeel Lynch usually uses his feet to get the ball to the end zone. This time he sent some airmail 35 yards to Jarrett Dolegala for The Red Raiders' first score of the game.
4. Lake Shore Sack Attack: Lake Shore's defense delivered back-to-back- sack's to South Park's quarterback Maurice Howie in the first quarter. Final score: Lake Shore 29, South Park 6.
5. Zach Zips On By: St. Francis' Zachary Wells wiggled through defenders to return this kickoff 78 yards and into the end zone.
Hello from All High Stadium in Buffalo for the Section VI girls lacrosse championships. Class B gets us started with Lake Shore and Hamburg; Class C follows with six-time defending champion Amherst trying for a three-game season sweep of East Aurora at 5:30; at 8 p.m. six-time defending champion Lancaster takes on Frontier in the Class A showdown.
Great venue for all sports -- and it's a wonderful weather day for the action. Should be a great two days here as the boys championship tripleheader is tomorrow.
3:43 p.m. Lake Shore is off to a quick start, as Lauren Scanlan has three goals and the Eagles have a 4-1 lead with 20:13 left in the first half.
3:45 p.m. Another Scanlan goal, off a nice feed from Vivian Curry, makes it a 5-1 lead for Lake Shore.
3:49 p.m. Two quick goals from Hamburg cut it to 5-3, but another Scanlan goal on a breakaway makes it 6-3 Lake Shore with 16:04 left in the first half.
4:01 p.m. Timeout on the field with 11:01 left in the first half -- the players left their sticks in their places on the turf; ostensibly it is a water-break timeout mandated by officials. It is certainly a hot one here. Lake Shore has teh ball and its 6-3 lead.
4:03 p.m. A great feed from Curry from the right side, a great catch by Scanlan cutting down the middle, and she scores her sixth goal as Lake Shore goes up, 7-3, with 10:08 left in the first half.
4:05 p.m. Solo rush from the right side of the cage for Hamburg's Amanda Obenshain -- her second of the game -- make it 7-4 with 8:59 left in first.
4:07 p.m. Lake Shore answers that with a Curry goal inside to make it 8-4 with 7:56 left in the first half.
4:12 p.m. Obenshain takes a very nice feed from Taylor Wolff on the left doorstep of the cage and she scores to make it 8-5 with 4:08 left in the first half. That came just after a nice save by Lake Shore goalie Kachine Lay.
4:13 p.m. A draw control win and another goal by Obenshain, who made a few dodges in front of the cage before scoring and we're at 8-6 Lake Shore with 3:38 left in the first.
4:18 p.m. Big goal late for Lake Shore, who had been pressuring Hamburg but goalie Lauren Courteau came up with four nice saves in the final two minutes. Shelby Stevens then came up with a big steal of a Hamburg clear; she passed to Scanlan, who found a slashing Alie Jimerson for a nice catch and score for a 9-6 lead with 11.4 left.
4:22 p.m. We are at HALFTIME and Lake Shore leads Hamburg, 9-6.
Obenshain went down with an injury with 5.2 seconds left and was writhing on the field for a few moments before trotting off the field.
Lake Shore seems to be overpowering with Scanlan playing a big part of draw controls and the offense, but Hamburg continues to keep hanging around.
4:38 p.m. Curry comes back with her third goal to answer one by Obenshain; Lake Shore leads, 10-7, with 22:08 left.
4:42 p.m. Curry on a clear breakway from midfield -- she sprints to the cage and fires an overhead shot under the crossbar to make it 11-7; 30 seconds later Scanlan makes a great catch of a feed, then whirls in front of the cage to score for a 12-7 lead with 19:45 to go in the game.
4:44 p.m. Obenshian up the middle after a penalty and Hamburg pulls within 12-8 with 18:23 left.
4:45 p.m. Official-mandated water break with 18:18 left in the game and Lake Shore up, 12-8.
4:54 p.m. Hamburg got a great goal from Megan Mikolajek, who went coast-to-coast after a steal deep in the Hamburg end. ... but Curry scores two straight to push the Lake Shore lead to 14-9 with 14:18 left.
4:58 p.m. Lake Shore scores again as Scanlan fires it in for her eighth goal -- the lead is now 15-9 with 11:57 left and Hamburg takes a timeout.
5:03 p.m. Obenshain scores her seventh goal in front to make it a 15-10 lead for Lake Shore with 9:21 left.
5:04 p.m. Curry comes right back -- a familiar theme there for Lake Shore. She goes to the goal, has her shot stopped but she scoops up the rebound and fires it in for a 16-10 lead with 8:55 left.
5:08 p.m. Officials timeout for a water break with 6:22 left.
5:12 p.m. Hamburg cuts it to 16-11 with 5:56 left on Mikolajek's second goal.
5:13 p.m. Hamburg back to within four as Obenshain scores her eighth goal to make it 16-12 with 4:23 left.
5:15 p.m. As has happened many times today, Lake Shore comes up with a big goal just when Hamburg is thinking of making a game out of it. Kiersten Kennedy scoops up a loose ball on a turnover by Hamburg, goes to the goal and her backhand shot trickles over the line to make it 17-12 with 3:21 left.
5:18 p.m. Amanda Patrone scores on the doorstep for Hamburg to cut it to 17-13 with 2:30 left. Lake Shore's Melissa Haring was down on the play due to cramping. She remained down through an official timeout before walking to the bench.
5:23 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Lake Shore 17, Hamburg 13.
Lake Shore wins its first sectional title. Interview time for me.
And the Class B postgame show:
6:04 p.m. The Class C game is underway and Amherst, expectedly, jumps on top of East Aurora on an Ivy Timlin goal less than two minutes in.
6:06 p.m. EA ties it up on a Addie Ohler goal with 21:32 left in the 25-minute half.
6:12 p.m. Hmmmm. EA, which lost twice to Amherst during the regular season, gets another Ohler goal to take a 2-1 lead with 16:49 left.
6:15 p.m. EA scores again, with Victoria Budzyn scoring after a foul call right in front. EA takes a surprising 3-1 lead and Amherst calls a timeout with 15:13 left in the first half.
6:24 p.m. Amherst gets one back as Alana Rockoff wheels around from the right side to the left and scores to make it 3-2; that's followed by an officials timeout for a water break with 10:20 left in the first half.
6:29 p.m. Moments after a big save by EA's Rachel Hallnan, Katie Daminski scooted coast-to-coast, accelerating nicely in the Amherst half before scoring to push the Blue Devil lead to 4-2 with 7:32 left in the first half.
6:33 p.m. Alanna Rockoff scores 85 seconds after Sara Bischof and Amherst has tied it at 4-4 with 5:33 left in the first half; timeout EA.
6:38 p.m. Rockoff scores on a free shot in front -- moments after a yellow card was issued to an EA player after a collision -- to give Amherst its first lead of the game at 5-4 with 3:43 left in the first half.
6:40 p.m. Sophie Nieschur circles the cage, comes around the right side, waits a step against her defender and wheels and scores for a 6-4 lead.
6:43 p.m. After a nice save by EA goalie Hallnan, a scramble results in Sara O'Brien left open in front of the cage and she converts a pass to make it 7-4 Amherst with 1:12 left in the half.
6:46 p.m. At HALFTIME, Amherst leads East Aurora, 7-4.
Nice surge by Amherst to score the last five goals of the half; the last three came after the yellow card was issued to EA.
7:09 p.m. Amherst has kept rolling in the third quarter, scoring the first four goals to take an 11-4 lead with 18:42 left. I'm starting to write my story. Three games in one story and the Class A game is an 8 p.m. start, which puts us in a little deadline danger.
7:22 p.m. EA gets on the board but Amherst answers shortly thereafter as Ivy Timlin scores her fourth goal of the game to give the Tigers a 12-5 lead with 12:08 left.
7:26 p.m. A highlight goal from EA's Ohler, who goes coast to coast and finished it off by jumping to the left of the cage and shooting across her body to score at a very tough angle. Amherst's lead is 12-6 with 9:55 left.
7:33 p.m. EA gets two quick ones to cut it to 12-8 with 4:11 left. After Ashley Friess scored, Nikki Schneider scored right off the draw control win to cut the lead to 12-8.
7:39 p.m. Myriah Magaris with a goal off a free position shot for Amherst to make it 13-8 in the final minute.
7:40 p.m. We have a FINAL SCORE: Amherst 13, East Aurora 8.
Seventh straight title for the Tigers, first for coach Kristy Grossman who took over for Janet Battaglia this year.
The Class C postgame show:
8:19 p.m. The Class A game has started with some great play -- by the goalies. Lancaster's Brooklyn Schilling and Frontier's Mia Wagner have exchanged saves on the first two trips by each team. Wagner then stopped two straight free position shots from near point-blank range. Whoa.
8:26 p.m. After some more great defense, Sarah Lorusso sprints in alone on a fast break and scores to put Frontier up, 1-0, with 14:14 left in the first half -- that's 10 minutes-plus of scoreless play, and it was very good stuff, not what you would automatically think of a scoreless start.
8:32 p.m. It is 2-0 Frontier as Ashley Bandt-Hunter loses the ball after a check, but then scoops it up and scoots to the goal to score on an overhand shot with 9:49 left in the first half.
8:38 p.m. We definitely have a situation here. Frontier's Lorusso scores again to give Frontier a 3-0 lead over the seven-time defending champions with 6:10 left in the first half. Lancaster called a timeout after the goal.
8:43 p.m. BIG goal for Lancaster as Alexis Ruggiero, a freshman midfielder, scores on a free position shot with a bounce shot that is the first to get by Wagner. Lancaster cuts the Frontier lead to 3-1 with 3:01 left in the first.
8:45 p.m. A big draw control violation gives the ball to Lancaster, and they capitalize as Brittany Delano scores to make it 3-2 with 1:54 left in first. Great surge here late in the half by the Redskins.
8:50 p.m. Frontier with several chances deep in Lancaster territory in the final minute, but Schilling made two big saves, one on a free position shot and one on a bang-bang pass play, and another free position shot went wide.
8:52 p.m. At HALFTIME, Frontier leads Lancaster, 3-2.
The low score is not a surprise considering the team's two meetings this year. Lancaster won both by scores of 5-4 and 9-5.
9:18 p.m. Working on my story so updating when I can.
Frontier made it 4-2 with 18:52 left on a transition play by Bandt-Hunter, who went coast to coast and fired it in after accelerating near the cage. The Falcons just made it 5-2 on another Bandt-Hunter goal with 12:22 left, prompting a Lancaster timeout.
9:33 p.m. Timeout Frontier with 3:31 left to play. Teams have exchanged goals in the last 23 seconds with Frontier leading, 6-3.
9:41 p.m. HUGE win for Frontier.
We have a FINAL SCORE: Frontier 6, Lancaster 3.
Lancaster's reign as Class A champions ends after six straight titles.
Hello from Lake Shore, site of the Section VI Division I wrestling championships.
Consolation bouts are winding down, after which the five-mat layout will be changed to one for the championships.
Below is the lineup of the finals, which I'll be updating as we go.
As you can see, all top seeds have reached the finals with only three upsets making it to the finals: two No. 3 seeds and one No. 7.
5:28 p.m. The gym has been cleared and reopened and fans are filing in while one green mat has been set up in the middle.
5:49 p.m. We're starting with the 96-pound final.
96: 1-Anthony Orefice (Lockport-8, 38-1) vs. 2-Austin Acquard (Iroquois-9, 48-3)
First period: Takedown and three back points for Orefice just over halfway through the period. Acquard tried to escape but no sale. Orefice, 5-0.
Second period: Orefice starts on top, remains in control through the first minute. Out of bounds with :37 left. Remains in control through end of period.
Third period: Orefice picks down. Quickly escapes for 6-0 lead. Takedown for 8-0 lead. Out of bounds with :33 left; Orefice warned for stalling. Acquard apparently has hurt his knee; :27 left. Acquard back up. Orefice wins by decision, 8-1.
103: 1-Rocco Russo (Frontier-9) vs. 2-Kellen Devlin (Amherst-7)
First period: Two-point takedown to Russo after some early scrambling. Devlin is undefeated on the year. Stalemate with :53 left. Escape by Devlin; 2-1 Russo. Russo takedown in final seconds of the period to go up, 4-1.
Second period: Russo starts on top; 1:35 restart. Stalemate with :54 left. Russo remains in control; Deviln tries to back out of the hold but he can't as time expires.
Third period: Russo, up, 4-1, starts on top. Devlin jumps early at the start, his third caution, which costs him a point. Russo, 5-1. Stalemate with Russo in control with 1:16 left. Devlin jumps out early again; Russo, 6-1. Russo wins by decision, 6-1.
112: 1-Steve Michel (Lancaster, 34-5, two-time Section VI champion) vs. 2-Jake Zaleski (Williamsville North-10, 29-8)
First period: Quick takedown less than 30 seconds in by Michel after grabbing a leg; 2-0 Michel. Michel starts on top on a restart with about 1:32 left. Michel lets Zaleski go for an escape and a 2-1 lead. Close to a takedown for Michel but he's out of bounds. Another takedown by Michel, now a 4-1 lead. Lets Zaleski escape again; 4-2 lead. Blood time for Zaleski with :33 left. Out of bounds with :18 left. Clinical takedown again by Michel with about 10 seconds left. Michel leads, 6-2.
Second period: Michel selects down. Uses some great leg strength to stand up and nearly escape. Out of bounds with 1:44 left. Michel quickly up again. Potentially dangerous position with :57 left. Michael spins around and completes a reversal for an 8-2 lead; allows another escape for 8-3; another takedown followed by an escape, 10-4. Out of bounds with :19 to go. Another takedown Michel and he leads, 12-4, in final seconds.
Third period. Michel promptly is after Zaleski to start the third and he pins him with 1:37 left. Michel wins by fall, 4:23.
119: 1-Eric Lewandowski (Lancaster-10) vs. 2-Ron Duguay (Kenmore West, 42-5)
First period: Lewandowski beat Duguay in last week's Class AAAA championships. Lewandowski takedown with about :45 to go.
Second period: Lewandowski on bottom. With both standing, Lewandowski escapes for a 3-0 lead. Takedown by Lewandkowski; followed by a two-point reversal for Duguay, 5-2. Reversal came with about 40 seconds left. End second period with Duguay bleeding from the nose.
Third period: Lewandowski on top and with a 5-2 lead. Blood time Duguay with 1:16 left. Lewandowski two back points for a 7-2 lead and remains in control the rest of the way. Lewandowski wins by decision, 7-2.
First period: Out of bounds, 1:39 to go. Caruana looking to go low but they continue to feel each other out it seems. :30 left. Nearly a takedown for Caruana but Cohen spun to avoid it as the period ends.
Second period: Cohen on top. Caruana escapes for a 1-0 lead less than 10 seconds in. Blood time Cohen with 1:25 left in second. Caruana drives Cohen forward and gets a takedown just inside the out-of-bounds; 3-0 Caruana. Caruana maintains a hold of Cohen's leg. Cohen with a very nice reversal to make it 3-2; out of bounds with :15 left. Cohen holds on to end the period. Caruana leads, 3-2.
Third period: Caruana starts on top, drives Cohen to mat. Stalemate with 1:16 left. Caruana on top. Caruana wins by fall with :40 left. Great scene as crowd got louder and then roared with the pin. Caruana wins by fall, 5:20.
Here's the big finish:
130: 1-Timothy Schafer (Lancaster-10, 35-3) vs. 7-Terrance Acker (Grand Island-10)
SANBORN -- Greetings from Niagara County Community College, site of the Section VI wrestling championships this weekend. Division I (large schools), finished a couple hours ago, while Division II (small schools will wrestle all day Saturday, with finals set to start at 4:30 p.m.
We're finished with our print responsibilities for the night and have plenty of notes left over to share. First, an observation: The simple finalist information sheet each coach fills out for his wrestlers is a valuable tool for the announcer and media in attendance. One of the toughest aspects of covering high schools sports is the availability of (reliable) statistical information, so when coaches have stuff like that prepared, it helps journalists write a better, more complete story on their student-athletes.
On to the winners and some information about them, as well as additional quotes that didn't make the paper.
96-pound champion: Steve Michel, Lancaster: Michel beat teammate Eric Lewandowski, 4-3, in a match I'm not sure either wanted to wrestle. Lewandowski was emotional after the loss, while Michel didn't seem to take much happiness out of his second straight 96-pound title. Here he is on the move that gave him the deciding points: "I shot a sweep single, then I hooked his leg and I stepped over."
103: Ronald Rodriguez-Spencer, Cheektowaga: The Class AAA winner improved his record to 32-5 and was the youngest competitor (eighth grade) to win a sectional title.
112: Tim Schaefer, Lancaster: Schaefer is 3-for-3 in sectional tournaments. He won at 96 in seventh grade, 103 last year and now 112 as a freshman.
119: Dylan Caruana, Kenmore West: One of the best matches of the night, Caruana held off Daiquann Burney of Sweet Home with a late reversal for a 6-3 decision. Here's Caruana on the fantastic finish: "The end was really exciting. I just didn’t want to give up that take down. He was about to get behind me and I couldn’t let him do it. I was only up by a point, so it was real close." Caruana has won two most outstanding wrestler awards this season, at the Orchard Park Tournament and last week at the AAAA tourney.
125: Joey Malvestuto, Niagara-Wheatfield: Plenty on this match in the print product, but a quick note: Malvestuto has overcome a broken hand and knee injury this season. He's rounding into form and improved to 31-3. Opponent Ben Mikac lost his first match of the season, falling to 34-1.
130: Joe Kalinka, Iroquois: The first of three Iroquois champions on the night, Kalinka (46-2) will make his second straight tip to states. He won the AAA tourney last week, while his opponent, Mike Feeney of Lockport, won the AAAA tourney.
135: Pat Mix, Lake Shore: Both Mix and opponent Zack Fummerelle had just one loss entering the mach. Mix took control with an early takedown, then held on for the win. Nice celebration by the Lake Shore coaches and Mix after the match, too. A school not known for its wrestling program made nice strides this season.
140: Jimmy Kloc, Iroquois: Kloc, who is a pitbull on the mat, looked like he was going to cruise, but Gage Bateman of Sweet Home gave him all he could handle. A fitting final for a weight class my wrestling go-to guy, Fredonia assistant coach Ross Conti, called the deepest of the tournament.
145: Jacob Beichner, Williamsville East: Beichner was the only wrestler not seeded first or second (he was third) to win. His reaction after winning showed all that's right with high school sports: a tearful hug with his parents. Here's Beichner on what the win meant to him: "He was beating me up pretty good in the beginning, but I’ve been training my whole life for this moment. I just wasn’t going to let that stop me. I knew he was getting tired and he was breaking. It’s my senior year, I just went full force." The loss was the first of the season for Irvin Buck of Niagara Falls.
152: Kris Duge, Clarence: It was the 38th win of the season for Duge, a senior.
160: Raleigh Defields, Iroquois: Defields was struck with pneuomia during the season and didn't start to get healthy until the end of January. He had dropped an earlier decision by one point to his opponent Friday, Lancaster's Sean Woods. Defields was a fun interview after his match. Here's some of what he had to say: "I set a goal as a freshman that I always wanted to at least win [a] class [tournament] and going to states is just an awesome bonus." On his recovery: "I've been busting my hump in practice getting my conditioning levels back and it paid off because I could have gone another minute if need be." On the end of the match, which went to overtime: "I looked up at the clock with five seconds left, held on for dear life and smiled."
171: Tony Lock, Pioneer: A sophomore who has progressively improved this season, Lock picked up his 40th win.
189: Angelo Malvestuto, Niagara-Wheatfield: Falcons coach Rick Sweney called him the best wrestler ever to come through Niagara-Wheatfield, which sums up Malvestuto's career well. He was the only one to record a pin Friday night.
215: Kyle Colling, Pioneer: A 2009 national champion, the only surprise in Colling's title is that it didn't come by pinfall. According to Conti, it's believed Colling could become the first wrestler in state history to win class titles in Division I and II, due to Pioneer moving up to Division I this season (he won Division II last year).
285: Jim Donner, Niagara-Wheatfield: Donner gets a chance to build on his fifth-place finish at last year's state tournament.
Talk to you tomorrow from the Division II tournament.
Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.