State meet bound

It’s off to Syracuse for a pair of Whitehall track and field athletes.

Junior Brittany St. Clair won the Section II/Division II triple jump with a mark of 37 feet, 2 ½ inches, while also qualifying for the NYSPHSAA state meet in the long jump with a second place finish (17 feet, 5 ½ inches).

Along with St. Clair, sophomore Kelsie Benjamin qualified for the state meet with a shot put mark of 38-feet, 3-inches, a second-place finish that met the state qualification standards.

“I thought that the event went good,” said Benjamin. “I got a good throw in right off the bat.”

Benjamin said she felt her throw would be good enough for second place.

“I didn’t think that it was going to be my throw that was going to win,” she said. “I was sure that I could probably get a second and qualify for states. The girl that threw right after me beat the mark, but after that I was pretty confident that I was going to make states. I wasn’t sure, but I was hoping for the best.”

“It felt really good to qualify for states,” said St. Clair, who just missed out on qualifying in the 200-meter race, as well.

St. Clair said while she was able to qualify in the long jump, she was hoping for a more consistent result on each jump.

“The long jump was not as good as I expected,” she said. “I was real inconsistent on the board. But I got a good jump in when I had to.”

In the triple jump, St. Clair said the event was more consistent.

“I was right on the board the first two or three jumps,” she said. “I thought that I had faulted on them because I am not used to running up so far onto the board. It took some pressure off getting the first one in without faulting.”

St. Clair said she was very confident after her first jump that she would be heading to states and bringing a Section II/Div. II title back to Whitehall.

“The two that were jumping behind me had jumped against me before, and they jumped around 37-feet.”

For the pair of Railroaders, the season culminates this weekend in the state championship meet, where St. Clair will participate in the jumping events on Friday.

“My goal is to just try to make it to the finals,” St. Clair said. “I want to get a thirty-eight-foot jump in and get into the top ten. I would be happy with that.”

Benjamin said she hoped another week of practice would allow her to continue to work on her technique.

“I am going to continue to work on my technique again and speed up my arm,” she said. “I am looking forward to getting some experience at the state level. I don’t think that I will do terrible out there, I think that I can be competitive, but mostly I want to go there for the experience since I have two more years left after this year to go back.”

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