Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Lancaster's Kurzdorfer sets state shot put record

Lancaster senior Melissa Kurzdorfer set the state record in the shot put during an outstanding performance Saturday at the Hartford Public High School Invitational.

Lancaster's Melissa Kurzdorfer, in a feature shot in January taken for a story on indoor track. (John Hickey/Buffalo News) Kurzdorfer's shot put of 49 feet, 9-1/2 inches at Veterans' Stadium in New Britain, Conn., broke the 26-year-old record in the event.

She went 1 inch farther than the 49-8-1/2 mark set by Cheryl Klein of Long Island's Bellport in 1984. The Western New York record of 49-5 had been held by Stacey Schroeder of Grand Island (1992).

Kurzdorfer not only won three events, the Kent State recruit broke meet records in all three in the 39th edition of the competition (see all meet results here). She won the discus in 159-08 (the state mark is Schroeder's 172 feet) and she took the hammer throw in 192-08.

According to, Kurzdorfer's Saturday marks are are among the very best in the nation this season. Her shot and hammer throw are both second-best this year while her hammer throw is sixth.

Kurzdorfer is the reigning state champion in the shot put and discus; the hammer throw is not an official event in New York State.

---Keith McShea

Thursday Evening Live: Lancaster girls, Hamburg boys make lacrosse statements

I headed out to catch some big lacrosse matchups this afternoon and saw two top teams head on their way to statement victories in league play.

I started out at Lancaster to see a portion of the second half of its 10-3 victory over Clarence, then swung south to Hamburg, where I saw the Bulldogs put some distance between themselves in Amherst in the beginning of the fourth quarter in what would be a 13-5 win.

Here are some highlights. Happy squinting.

I'm in the office putting together the High School Extra for Friday's paper. Check the high school home page (link below) for all the scores and highlights.

---Keith McShea

2010-11 boys hoops, here we come: Niagara Falls' Cataract Classic field is set

Yes, the All-Western New York basketball issue just came out.

And yes, this is a post about the 2010-11 schedule.

One of the top early-season showcases is already set: the Cataract Classic at Niagara Falls. Event organizer Sal Constantino emailed the schedule to us today.

As always, a great mix of teams and some great matchups. Here it is:

Friday, Dec. 10
North Tonawanda vs. Lancaster, 5 p.m.
St. Joe's vs. Depew, 6:30 p.m.
Niagara Falls vs. Jamestown, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 11
Wilson vs. St. Mary's/Lanc., noon
V-Charles Finney vs. Amherst, 1:30 p.m.
V-Batavia vs. Williamsville North, 3 p.m.

Williamsville South vs. Canisius, 5 p.m.
Niagara Catholic vs. East Aurora, 6:30 p.m.
V-Aquinas vs. Niagara Falls, 8 p.m.

I sure hope the Pastor-Cooper Tournament is the week before (Nov. 29-Dec. 3) -- that's the way things have gone down the last two years. I've covered a state championship football game on the last Sunday in November and then seen some hoops at Daemen the next day.

We won't have a building-the-schedule post up for a little while yet, but if anyone out there has some confirmed dates, please feel free to add them here or to email me at

---Keith McShea

Wednesday Night Live, pre-chat from prequarterfinal hoops (with video)

It's one of those nights. We've got a lot of high school action and we've got a live chat at 10 p.m. What will we be able to see?

With 23 boys hoops games all starting at 7 p.m., I've got to be selective and smart with my travel plans.

Miguel Rodriguez is blogging live updates from tonight's Federation hockey semifinals in Amherst, which was one place I was considering dropping by. 

7:11 p.m. We're at St. Mary's School For The Deaf for the first time and watching a very spirited game between Tapestry and Maritime, two charter schools squaring off in Class C.

7:20 p.m. It's 16-16 after one quarter after Maritime got a steal and layup at the buzzer. Tapestry had started strong.

We're off to Sweet Home, which is hosting Kenmore West.

We have a report than Williamsville North is up at Lancaster, 18-9, after the first. That's another game I'm considering trying to get to.

7:44 p.m. Got to Sweet Home just in time for a special moment as Deshanaro Morris had his No. 4 retired by Sweet Home at halftime. I'll have pictures and a video of Day-Day's speech up as soon as I can.

I might not stick around too much longer, however. It's halftime and Sweet Home is up, 36-18.

Then again, maybe I'll stay. North is up, 39-24 at halftime at Lancaster.

8:01 p.m. Sweet Home keeps rolling. North's lead is under 10. I'm outta here.

Lancaster scorebook Williamsville North scorebook 8:31 p.m. I made it here for the last few minutes of a big victory for Williamsville North, which wins it, 68-57.

The scorebooks are at right.

Here's Will North coach Chuck Swierski on the win and the Spartans making a trip to top-seeded Orchard Park for Friday's quarterfinals:

I'm headed to the office to write some stuff up for the paper and add some details and clips here.

I'll be able to type faster -- a keyboard instead of a phone will help :-).

And there will be plenty to talk about in the chat at 10.

* * *

THANKS BIG TIME to Prep Talk Nation's BullsFan for keeping me updated on the Will North-Lancaster game. A tremendous help that aided in our coverage.

---Keith McShea

Live from the Federation hockey Division I semifinals: Will North, Niagara-Wheatfield win

It's the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation Large School playoff semifinals.

So long as the wireless keeps working, we will provide updates of the showdowns between Williamsville North and Clarence and later on Niagara-Wheatfield versus Lancaster.

Both games are rematches of last year's semifinals. North beat Clarence in double overtime last year, while Niagara-Wheatfield stunned Lancaster en route to the title.

Williamsville North vs. Clarence

First Period

Williamsville North leads 1-0 through 15 minutes.

North had the better of the play but didn't cash in until the 11:10 mark of the period when Matt Bauman slipped a loose puck in the crease into the net during a goal-mouth scramble. Chris Marsack and Ian Moskal earned the assists on the goal.

The Spartans outshot Clarence, 12-4, and didn't allow the Red Devils a quality chance until the final seconds of the period. Off a faceoff to the right of North goalie Parker Gahagen with 26.5 seconds left after an icing call, Mark Armstrong fired a low, hard shot through traffic that almost slipped between the arm and body of Gahagen.

Second period

North carries a 2-1 lead into the locker room. The Spartans have carried the play against the spunky Red Devils but have failed to cash in on transition chances as well as quality scoring opportunities from the slot when they've been buzzing around the Clarence zone. Shots off those chances have either sailed wide or over the net.

Continue reading "Live from the Federation hockey Division I semifinals: Will North, Niagara-Wheatfield win" »

Video: PrepTalkTV wraps up the regular season

The final day of the boys basketball regular season, highlighted by Middle College's Yale Cup title and Lancaster's home win over Depew, is captured in the fourth episode of PrepTalkTV:

The video is accessible at the home page or via our video player page.

Reporter/videographer/producer Lauren Mariacher and I will putting another episode together on Sunday as the Manhattan Cup holds its four quarterfinals at Canisius College.

Let us know what you think.

---Keith McShea

More from the Section VI Division I wrestling championships

The champs. Section VI provided the photo (but not the who's who :-).

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.

---Jay Skurski



Vote for the four Section VI wrestling class tournament champions

Getting with the programs

It's always fun to get programs at different high school events. Foremost for reporters (and photographers) — we need those rosters to make sure we get the names and players correct in our reporting.

But a tremendous amount of work goes into those programs, compiling not just names and uniform numbers, but statistics, photos, records and the history of teams. It's also neat to see how the community supports the team through the different advertisements.

For those of you out there that are proud of your work, there is a contest for you. Entries for the third annual National High School Sports Publication Awards competition are due Sunday. The competition recognizes excellence in the preparation of high school athletic media guides and souvenir programs distributed in 2009. Go to for information.

Recently I picked up a basketball program for Middle College boys basketball that had bios and color photos of players while Medina's came with a convenient scoring sheet that included not just both teams but both junior varsity squads as well. During football season, the programs for schools like North Tonawanda and Lancaster can get pretty bulky.

If you have a favorite program, let us know about it below (and let the school know they should enter the contest).

---Keith McShea

Who's going to win the Connolly Cup?

The finalists for the 38th Connolly Cup are:

Lockport sr. RB David Fluellen, Lancaster sr. QB Justin Juda, Grand Island sr. RB Andy LaLonde, Williamsville South jr. QB Joe Licata, Sweet Home sr. QB Pat McMahon, Cassadaga Valley sr. RB/DB B.J. Monacelli, St. Joe's sr. QB/DB Matt Rosenhahn, Maple Grove sr. QB Chris Secky, Iroquois sr. RB/DB Calvin Sluberski and Southwestern sr. QB Zack Sopak.

Tell us why you voted the way you did in the comments section below. Also, what do you think of the list? Who's not on the list that should be?

Remember to be RESPECTFUL of ALL of the players because they all had a great seasons.

I'll be keeping my thoughts to myself for now since we are deliberating The News Player of the Year.

The winner will be announced Saturday afternoon shortly after 2 p.m. I'll have the winner posted here and at as soon as it happens.

---Keith McShea
« Older Entries Newer Entries »

About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

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.

@KeithMcSheaBN |