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Palmisano closes Geneva career with eighth-place finish at state

Jun. 1—DAYTON — Two Geneva girls track and field participants closed out their seasons in the Division II state tournament on Friday.

On Friday, shot putter Alyssa Palmisano improved by almost exactly two feet, but found herself on the same place on the podium as last season — with an eighth-place finish.

Palmisano survived a brutal Division II regional at Lexington, where she threw more than 39 feet to earn fifth last weekend.

She didn't automatically qualify for the state tournament, but found out over the weekend, the mark was good enough to advance.

At state, the competition was intense, as many shot putters posted more than 40-0 marks. Palmisano got back on the platform with a put of 39-6, and was smiling from ear to ear.

"I definitely thought it [the 39'6"] would get me higher on the platform because two feet is amazing," Palmisano said. "I can't be upset placing how I did last year right on the end of the podium. I am definitely proud of how I stepped up to the competition and ended my senior year this way."

Palmisano said during the winter she lifted with both the softball and track teams, sometimes on the same day.

A starting catcher for the Eagles softball team, she was only able to practice or compete a couple of times a week with throws.

Geneva throws coach Annah Haeseler worked around Palmisano's schedule to allow practice at odd times. Haeseler said they would meet before school, during planning period or after softball games.

"I would watch the game and we would go and throw," Haeseler said.

Geneva head girls coach Jason Dalton said Palmisano has been a huge motivator for the rest of the team and won the "heart" award for the team this year.

"She is a person that brings energy," Dalton said.

Norton senior Morgan Hallett won the state shot put with a mark of 44-0.

Later on Friday in the long jump, Boland had a difficult day.

The junior jumped 16-0 after qualifying with a mark of 17-6.25 at the Lexington Regional.

Dalton said Boland, who ended up 17th in the state competition, has been dealing with a leg injury for the last several weeks and it was aggravated at the regional competition.

Boland wore a leg sleeve, but didn't seem to get into her rhythm.

"I'm really disappointed," she said. "I was dealing with leg issues after the regional meet and I couldn't practice because of the pain. I'm really upset, but I still have another year, and I'll be back next year stronger."

Geneva jumps coach Abraham Rosales added, "She came down and competed the best she could. It's upsetting, but I am proud of her for getting down here."

Rosales said the hard work took her from the 15 to 17 range in one year.

Africentric senior Ashtan Winfrey claimed the long jump title with a mark of 19-6.