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Geneva's Palmisano, Boland ready for state experience

May 30—Alyssa Palmisano will conclude her athletic career at Geneva High School this week at the state track and field tournament.

Caramia Boland still has more time with the Eagles.

The duo are scheduled to compete in Division II competition on Friday at Dayton's Welcome Stadium.

Palmisano is in the girls shot put field at 9 a.m., while Boland will go in the long jump later Friday.

Palmisano, a senior, is making her second state appearance.

Last season at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Palmisano placed eighth in the shot put.

Palmisano posted a 39-9.25 in the Lexington Regional Tournament last week. There are six competitors that enter state with better marks, including Norton's Morgan Hallett with a best 46-5.75.

Hallett won the Lexington Regional shot put.

"My goals in Dayton are to hit 40 feet and get higher on the podium than I did last year," Palmisano said. "I really have to focus on pulling my glide leg close to my other leg when I'm throwing.

"In practice this week I am going to work on that the most. The competition is going to be close, but no matter what happens, everyone is deserving of being on that podium."

This is the second straight year Palmisano had to wait to see if she would compete at state.

She placed fifth with her mark at the regional tournament.

The top four automatically advance to state, and the top two athletes in each event from among the four statewide regions, also advance.

"I am very glad that I could come back my senior year and go to state," Palmisano said. "That was one of my goals."

Palmisano will look to use last year's experience to help her out.

"The whole process will be much less stressful because I know what to expect," she said.

Friday will conclude a four-year career of pulling double duty by playing softball in the spring for Palmisano.

On the diamond this season, the catcher batted .405 with a .460 on-base percentage and .671 slugging percentage.

She also clubbed five home runs, and recorded six doubles, 28 RBIs, 25 runs scored and 12 stolen bases, to go with .980 fielding average.

"Softball is my first sport so I practice that every day and go to all the games," Palmisano said. "I've been doing that sport longer so it's like second nature to play.

"Track, on the other hand, I cannot go to practice every day. I go as much as I can. My coach is really good about practicing with me on our own time after my games. I'll even throw at home or on my own somewhere if I know I need to practice more.

"It truly helps that all of my coaches [Annah Haeseler, Jason Dalton and Emily Long for track and Eleshia Pitcher softball] work so well with me. I would never be able to do this without them treating me so well."

Currently, Palmisano is planning on not playing sports in college, but leaving the door open as possibly doing so. She is attending Kent State University for early childhood education.

Boland, a junior, notched 17-6.25 at Lexington for third place.

Shelby's Madison Henkel has the top mark entering state at 18-7.50.

"My goal was to make it to state, so now I have a new one," Boland said. "I would like to be on the podium in the top eight, but if I don't then I won't be upset because I already made it this far."

If the name Boland sounds familiar, it is.

Caramia is Connor Boland's sister. Connor won the Division I 400-meter championship in 2022 in Columbus.

"I rely on Connor a lot," she said. "I trust him and his knowledge and I like having him there because I know I can rely on him if i need it."

Boland said being Connor's sister has its challenges in athletics.

"Sometimes it's a lot of pressure," she said. "When people find out he's my brother, they expect me to be just as fast as him. We are different people and we have our own thing, but it's cool to look up to him and have a knowledgeable and experienced supporter."

Boland also watched Palmisano compete in Columbus last season.

"It's very exciting seeing so many talented people at the state meet," she said. "There's so many people watching so that is a little nerve-racking."

Once the season is finished, Boland is slated to run cross country for the Eagles and then compete in indoor track before the outdoor season begins.