Hodges And Gulija Advance To States

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After making it into the Southampton record book at the Division Championships last week, Noelle Hodges cemented her place at states, twice.

The senior notched a Small School county title in the triple jump with a leap of 36 feet 6 inches. That jump also landed her fifth overall in the county, regardless of school size. In the long jump she grabbed a place in the small school section with a leap of 16 feet 8½ inches and seventh overall in the county. Both results earn her a spot at the New York State Championships, which will take place on Friday and Saturday at Cicero/North Syracuse High School. In order to finish with All-State honors she has to finish in the top six of Division II.

“She had an outstanding first season as a senior,” said coach Eddie Arnold. “She’s a phenomenal athlete and has great family support. Her goal was to make All-State and she has a good chance to accomplish that.”

Joining Hodges at states is senior Erika Gulija, who won the Small School county title with a personal best, 71.06, in the 400-meter hurdles.

“I consider Erika to be ‘Miss Southampton Track and Field.’ She’s been with this team for six years and has done anything and everything for this program. Going to states is a nice way for her to end her high school career. She will be deeply missed,” Arnold said.

Hannah Connolly-Sporing grabbed a personal best result in the 800-meter run. Her time was 2:19:46, which broke her previous personal record by a full five seconds. She finished seventh overall in the race.

Despite all the positives that came out of Friday and Saturday’s meet, an impressive streak came to an end. For the first time in nine years, the 4×100 relay team will not be going to states. They did achieve a personal best time of 51.82, however, and that left Arnold satisfied.

“They gave me their all,” said Arnold. “They had really good hand-offs, but I just couldn’t get any more out of them. It wasn’t their year, but I’m very proud that they gave me their very best and it’s unfortunate it didn’t pan out. The other team was just faster.”

Arnold said he’s looking forward to next year’s relay team with Connolly-Sporing, Gabriella Gavalas and Brook-lyn Walker all returning.

Boys

Sophomore Jesse Scanlon continues to be the only bright spot for Southampton boys track as he has advanced to states in the triple jump.

Scanlon, who had clinched his spot in the state qualifier back on May 10 in the Loucks Games, placed sixth overall in the county on Friday, with a leap of 43 feet 10¾ inches. Scanlon also competed in the 110-meter hurdles, but finished last after tripping and falling over a hurdle. His time was 19.80.

Other competitors for Southampton were junior Joseph Strassfield, who finished 14th in the 400-meter dash with a time of 52.38, and freshmen Spencer Cough and Sebastian Hunter, who finished 21st and 24th respectively in the 800-meter run.

Scanlon will be traveling up to Cicero/North Syracuse High School this weekend for the New York State Championships, which take place on Friday and Saturday. Additional information was not provided.

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