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Track and field: Successful seasons, new school records, girls sectional title & the future

The 2024 girls outdoor track and field team celebrates a Section III Class D title by holding a banner.

The Poland Tornadoes boys and girls outdoor track and field programs saw successful 2024 seasons, highlighted by five new school records and a girls sectional title.


The girls’ team finished with 116 points in the Section III Class D meet at Oriskany High School on May 24.


At the sectional meet, the girls team was led by junior Maddison Haver who secured first-place finishes in the 100-meter run (12.92 seconds), 200m run (26.17 seconds), 400m run (1:03.37) and long jump (16’7”).


Junior Zyanna Irving-Summers won the pentathlon with 2,103 points and sophomore Ariel Pope won the high jump with a mark of 4’8”.


The 2024 victory is the fourth title for the girls track and field program at Poland, having previously won in 2018, 2019 and 2022.


”We’ve had to work hard each year. Each person on the team has grown personally and stepped up in order to continue winning,” senior Sophia Farber said.


“This season meant more to me than other seasons because we didn’t think we were going to win but then we all pulled together when it mattered,” Haver said.


The program also has five team league titles in 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023 and 2024.


“Our goal is to build a program that can consistently compete for league and sectional titles.  The success of the girls team this season is another step in the right direction,” said coach John Allen.


“The girls have been able to rise to the occasion and perform at a high level at the championship meets,” said coach Joel Allen.


In boys’ competition, senior Kyle Grimaldi earned first place in the pentathlon with 2,228 points in the sectional meet as the boys finished 10th.


Despite the lower finish in the sectional meet, the boys team works hard, and that is something teammates take pride in.


”Most of us had many individual successful moments, whether it be personal records or getting to know each other better,” Grimaldi said.


“No matter what the challenge is, we’ve all stepped up, whether it is first place or last place,” senior Mason Salvatore said.


“It’s not all just running and doing events. It’s a mindset you have to get into. Track is something you have to put in extra time and work,” Salvatore said.


“The boys team faced some tough competition this season and had quite a bit of turnover from last year. We were happy to have some first-year athletes to help fill the void from the seniors that we lost. We have a young and talented group that will continue to improve as they get older,“ coach John Allen said.


“Many of the boys were able to achieve personal bests this season. I think some of them even surprised themselves by how well they did,” coach Joel Allen said.


Neither team would be as successful without the coaches.


“They’re really cool as coaches and people. They strive to make us the best we can be. On a personal level, they really connect with us,” Grimaldi said.

The student-athletes believe the future is bright, too.


“I’m hoping we can win sectionals again next year,” Maddison Haver said.


“I’m excited to see everyone grow. As they get older, they will get better. I’m hoping to come back and see that,” Farber said.


It was seventh grader Hailey Haver’s first season competing in track and field. She is looking forward to having an even bigger role in the years to come.


“It felt good to win. I want to learn to do more events so we can become more successful,” Hailey Haver said.


“There is a lot of potential on the boys' side. They can go as far as the girls' side.” Salvatore said.


The student-athletes say while winning is the goal, it’s about more than that.


“People really underestimate how fun track is. Within the team and the section we compete in, we’re all having a good time,” Grimaldi said.


“Everyone works hard in this sport and we are all close,” Maddison Haver said.


The school records set this season:


Maddison Haver - 200 Meter (26.17 seconds) and Long Jump (16’8”)

Sophia Farber – Pole Vault (8’6”)

Mason Salvatore – Pole Vault (9’0”)

Kyle Grimaldi – Pentathlon (2,239 pts.)


A list of the school records for Poland outdoor track and field.