Pack Mentality

C/S/P’s Swabik, Barmore Claim Division II State Titles

Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s John Swabik leads the field during the 1,500-meter run as part of the pentathlon at the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships at Middletown High School. P-J photos by Tim Frank

MIDDLETOWN — Clymer/Sherman/Panama head coach Pam Warner hoped entering this weekend’s New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships that her team would leave Middletown High School with success to invigorate the program for years to come.

With a pair of individual Division II state championships heading back to Panama and Sherman, and three podium finishes, that mission was accomplished Saturday.

One year after finishing third in Division II and ninth overall with a jump of 6 feet, 4 inches, Panama junior Cameron Barmore achieved his ultimate goal of an individual high jump championship — finishing the day at 6 feet, 7 inches.

Barmore finished just a hair behind Division I champion Kwamere White of Henninger, who was able to clear the bar at 6-8 on his final attempt, leaving Barmore second in the federation.

Also leaving Middletown with a state title in tow was Barmore’s teammate John Swabik, who claimed the Division II pentathlon with 3,411 points, finishing second in the federation behind Division I winner John Poplawski of Walt Whitman (3,477).

The Wolfpack’s Cameron Barmore clears the bar at 6 feet, 6 inches during the high jump.

Swabik entered Saturday with just the long jump and one of his strongest events — the 1,500 meters — separating him from victory.

The Sherman sophomore jumped 19 feet, 3™ inches to take 12th place, finishing just steps behind Poplawski in the 1,500 with a time of 4:22.32 to grab second there.

Rounding out an extraordinary day for the Wolfpack was Kylie Schnars, who took home fifth place in the Division II pentathlon and 11th overall with 2,695 points.

Schnars leaped 14 feet, 4 inches in the long jump, good for 16th place, and posted a fifth-place time of 2:33.54 in the 800 meters.

“Today was the perfect culmination to the season,” Warner said. “We took three athletes who have been working extremely hard all season and it was the perfect storm.”

Jamestown’s Grant Moore clears the bar in the high jump.

“Everything clicked and we come away with two state championships, three on the podium and two second places in the federation,” Warner added.

For Barmore, one of the keys to improving on last year’s finish was to stay focused during a slow day of jumps taking place in hot and humid weather.

“My big concern is he was going to be sitting around a lot in 80-degree humid weather,” Warner said. “I was just worried about him getting dehydrated. He passed on jumps until 6 feet and basically won Division II with four jumps.”

Barmore spent much of the day with his jumping coach Paul Smardz, waiting long stretches of time for his turn at the bar. When they came, he made the most of them.

“Cameron had his sights set on being a state champion,” Warner said. “He was feeling good last year but ended up having an ankle injury so he was bound and determined to come back.”

Westfield/Brocton’s McKayla Wolfe clears the bar in the high jump.

After sealing up his Division II title, Barmore and White raised the stakes to 6 feet, 8 inches, with White making that height on his final attempt of the day.

“Paul did a great job of keeping Cam positive, keeping his mind occupied,” Warner said.

Jamestown’s Grant Moore finished in 27th in the high jump, clearing 6 feet.

The weekend started with a similar situation for Swabik, who was returning to the NYSPHSAA Championships on the heels of a sixth overall, second in Division II finish a year ago.

Entering the final event of his weekend, the 1,500, things started off with some difficulty for the sophomore.

Fredonia’s Emily Brown (No. 624) clears the barrier during the 2,000-meter steeplechase at the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Middletown High School.

“The first 100 meters he got a push from somebody, almost went off the rails of the track,” Warner said. “It could have spelled disaster.”

Fortunately, Swabik had the experience to deal with the adversity and was able to fight his way back into contention.

“He just made a move and took the lead after the first 100 and kept that until the last 100.”

Prior to the start of the race, Swabik and his coaches had calculated that he would need to best Poplawski by a margin of 8 seconds in order to take the overall federation title — a truly difficult task.

The good news is that this year’s winner from Walt Whitman will graduate while Swabik will return for two more years in pursuit of a federation title.

Randolph’s Josh Walters anchors the 3,200-meter relay.

While both Swabik and Barmore were looking to improve on strong campaigns from a year ago, Schnars experienced her first weekend at the state championships and will leave with hardware.

A junior from Panama, there is still plenty of room for growth next year.

“Kylie just missed out on going last year, taking third at sectionals, so she had her sights set on the state meet,” Warner said. “It is really nice to have sort of a broad spectrum of kids being successful. I hope these kids help breed future success with our athletes.”

Clymer/Sherman/Panama finished tied for fourth in the men’s team championship standings, with Mount Sinai taking home first with 26 points.

Maple Grove’s Carson Crist would take home 15th overall and seventh in the Division II pentathlon. The senior jumped 17 feet, 11¢ inches and clocked a 4:50.34 in the 1,500.

Ava Crist took home 11th in the Division II 1,500 meters, finishing 22nd overall with a time of 5:05.98 for Maple Grove.

A pair of local teams posted strong finishes in the boys 3,200-meter relay.

A day after claiming first in the 1,600-meter relay, Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s Bryce Baglia, Rayven Sample and Collin Barmore joined teammate Joey Pillittieri in the 3,200. They finished in 8:16.34, taking 28th overall while Ronan McDonald, Christian Riethmiller, Deter Miinte and Josh Walters of Randolph took home 24th in 8:08.84.

With that time the Cardinals were able to break the Randolph school record of 8:11.1, set in 1987.

“They were ecstatic to go to the state meet and cut 3 seconds off of their best time,” Randolph coach Paul Steward said. “It was a great way to end the season for some of them and a great way to end the year for the seniors.”

Dunkirk’s Jericha Petrella finished with a silver medal, grabbing the Division II 400 meters in 57.55 while Emily Brown of Fredonia took home 11th overall and fifth in the Division II 2,000-meter steeplechase with a 7:05.30.

Westfield/Brocton’s McKayla Wolfe finished in 30th place in the high jump, clearing 5 feet.

Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Kylie Schnars runs the 800 meters as part of the pentathlon.

Maple Grove’s Ava Crist runs the 1,500 meters.

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