Grand Island's Brooke Christensen, Starpoint's Emily Waldron use career days to finish in top-5 at states

So much for seeds.

Grand Island’s Brooke Christensen entered the Division 1 shot put championships seeded 10th out of 12 competitors. The senior was one of four throwers who hadn’t hit 37 feet during the season, but ended up being one of the three who did it at states.

In her sixth and last attempt, Christensen threw a personal-best 38 feet, 6 ½ inches to take third place at the NYSPHSAA Track and Field Championships Friday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Christensen advanced to the overall state championship Saturday and is seeded sixth.

Christensen, who won the Section VI and Niagara Frontier League titles, came into the meet with a top throw of 36-6.25 and hadn’t thrown farther than 35-1.25 in her first five attempts at states, including two throws under 35 and two under 34. Her final throw vaulted her from eighth to third in the standings.

Kingston’s Daniella Johnson only landed two successful throws, but one of them was 38-10.25 to take second place, while Miller Place’s Jillian Scully — the top seed — only had one throw that beat the top throws from Christensen and Johnson and it was a whopper, producing a heave of 42-10.

Starpoint sophomore Emily Waldron also performed higher than her seed, recording the best jump of her career to finish fifth in Division 1 and fifth overall in the pole vault. Waldron, whose best career jump was 11 feet, 5 inches, pulled off a vault of 11-9 Friday.

Waldron, who vaulted just 10-5 at the state qualifier, hit the mark on her third and final attempt and then missed three tries at 12 feet, finishing behind John Jay-East Fishkill’s Maia Perillo and Pine Bush’s Ella Galloway. Warwick’s Lily Beattie was the state champion at 12-9.

Niagara Falls’ Jhonnea Harris also reached the podium by placing sixth in the Division 1 long jump at 17-7.25. The junior had the 14th-best jump in both divisions at press time and the top-eight advance to the overall state championship Saturday.

Lewiston-Porter’s Casey Fetzner placed seventh in the Division 2 discus with a toss of 115-0. The junior placed eighth with a toss of 109-1 last year.

Niagara Wheatfield’s Gianna Glovack placed seventh in the Division 1 discus, throwing 112 feet, 8 inches. Glovack was seeded 11th out of 14 entrants coming in and made her best throw on the first attempt.

Lockport junior Amari Germany raced to eighth place in the Division 1 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1 minute, 4.52 seconds. Germany was seeded 16th entering the race and ran the best time of her career by 0.27 seconds.

Lockport’s Melia Towns placed 15th in the Division 1 triple jump with a leap of 36 feet, 8 ¾ inches. The senior later finished 17th in the Division 1 long jump at 16-4.75.

Medina’s Madelynn Rutledge placed 15th in the Division 2 long jump at 16-9. The senior placed fifth in the event in 2022.

The Niagara Falls girls 4x100 relay finished 16th overall with a time of 50.49 seconds. The quartet of Harris, J’Nysha Cary, T’Mya Jenkins and Jayla Scott finished runners-up in the first heat, just 0.11 behind Nottingham.

Grand Island’s Hailey Martinez placed 30th in the Division 1 100-meter dash prelims with a time of 12.94 seconds.


Niagara Wheatfield’s Nicholas Morgan finished 13th in Division 1 and 19th overall in the 800 meters, running 1 minute, 58.39 seconds during his first trip to states. The junior came into the meet seeded 30th overall.

Lewiston-Porter’s John Robinson placed 13th in the Division 2 shot put at 43-7. The senior was seeded 10th entering the event.

Grand Island’s Luke Watkins placed 46th in the Division 1 100 prelims with a time of 11.84 seconds and he scratched from the 200 prelims. He was seeded 10th in the 100 (10.77) and 17th in the 200 (21.99), but suffered a leg injury at the state qualifier and did not finish the meet.

Niagara Falls’ Nicholas Young was 39th in the Division 1 200 prelims with a time of 24.45 seconds. Royalton-Hartland’s Braden Ricker placed 19th in the Division 2 200 prelims with a time of 23.77 seconds.

Lockport’s Matthew Towns placed 19th in the Division 1 triple jump with a leap of 42 feet, 2 inches.

Lew-Port’s Leo Clark and Starpoint’s Timothy Lukasik are slated to compete in the 1,600 meters Saturday, while Medina’s Gordon Young is entered in the Division 2 high jump.