Lockport shows and proves at Section VI track meet

Paul Battson/ContributorLockport's Kahniya James finished the Division I girls 100-meter dash in 12.05 seconds at Saturday's Section VI State Qualifier at Williamsville South.

WILLIAMSVILLE — The 2019 track and field season just keeps on rolling for Lockport.

The Lions were able to come out on top in several events in Saturday's Section VI State Qualifier at Williamsville South. In total, Lockport will be sending seven athletes to the NYSPHSAA track and field championships next week at Middletown High School.

Malik Brooks was able to take the boys 100-and 400-meter dashes in Division I (large schools), then anchored the wins in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays alongside Collin Thompson, Anthony Haak and Jalyn Jones.

Sophomore sensations Sydney Nowicki and Kaniya James provided Lockport with stellar performances as well. James battled through injury to win the girls 100-meter dash while Nowicki captured the girls 1,500-meter run. Devon Toland also earned a spot at next week's state meet, placing third overall with a throw of 152 feet, 7 inches in boys discus.

Brooks shared his thoughts on what he and his fellow relay teammates are looking to accomplish heading into the state meet.

"We're trying to win states in the 4x400. Hopefully, taking it in the 4x100. We've got a good chance," Brooks said. "In the 4x400 we've got a really good chance. I just want to do the same thing I did today ... work hard, stay humble and go in with the right mindset next."

Lewiston-Porter's Andrew Perreault got back to his winning ways by anchoring the Lancers' victorious Division II (small schools) 4x800 relay team with Cole Accetta, Corey Stack and Miguel Bautista, taking first in the boys 3,200-meter run and securing the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the third straight year.

Perreault said his previous trips to state can prepare him for next week's event.

"Last year I had a little bit of a rough year (at states)," Perreault said. "I ran worse than I did at sectionals. I have the experience now though, going the past two years. So I'm hoping just to use what I know (and) what I've learned from those two years and use those to help make me do my best while I'm there."

Niagara Wheatfield's Le'Gary Jackson was another winner representing the Niagara Frontier League, coming up with a win in the Division I girls high jump. Jackson is no stranger to the state meet herself and will be making her fourth consecutive trip next week.

For Jackson, she has had several motivating factors play into what keeps driving her to succeed in the sport.

"The first time I went it was with my sister (Kyri Jackson). So that also helped me to keep it going," Jackson said. "And now that she's graduated, the first year I felt like I was just carrying on her legacy. ... With us being a Christian family, it's all God. He's allowed me to even have the talent like this. So I'm grateful and the help of my family having my back and supporting me kept me going (too)."

Two Niagara Falls High School records were broken on Saturday — the boys 4x800 relay team of Michael Snowden, De'Andre Prum, Joseph White and Matt Kifer broke the school record and a 38-year-old city record, finishing in second place with a time of 8:14 in Division I. Renaijah Purvis also broke a Wolverines' school record in the girls' triple jump with a distance of 36-4, notching a third place finish.

Other notable winners were Starpoint's Kiara McDowell (Division I girls discus, shot put), Newfane's Reese Casinelli (Division II boys 400 and Royalton-Hartland's Kali Scharping (Division II girls high jump). Grand Island's Sebastian Melendez (D-1 400 hurdles) will also be joining Saturday's winners in Middletown after his second place finish.

Similarly to the Section VI state qualifying meet, the NYSPHSAA state meet will also take place over a two day span, beginning at 11 a.m. Friday.

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