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Another big day for Smith at state meet

June 13, 2010
By DEREK DUNNING, The Leader-Herald

VESTAL - Saturday was already going to be a long day for Fonda-Fultonville's Shane Smith at the New York State Track and Field State Championships at Dick Hoover Stadium on the Vestal High School campus.

It was even longer after a two-hour weather delay forced Smith to wait to compete in his final event, the discus Federation Championship.

However, it turned out the unexpected break helped him.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Derek Dunning

Fonda-Fultonville’s Shane Smith throws the shot during the shot put Federation Championship at the New York State Public High School Track and Field State Championship Meet at Vestal High School on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Smith lost his chance for a throwing sweep after finishing second in the Division II shot put to Wheatley's Joshua Haghighi and second again in the Federation Championship for shot put to Riverhead's Michael Smith.

The break gave Smith a chance to get some extra rest and re-focus.

"When the thunder and lightning came, that was probably the best thing that could have happened for me," Smith said. "I went and laid down in the car with the air conditioning on and ate some more."

That turned out to be bad news for the competition.

Smith closed out his FFCS throwing career with a bang, once again crushing the competition in the discus, winning the Federation title with a throw of 170-9. His nearest competition was Hackley's A.J. Wolf, who finished second with a toss of 155-5.

"I was happy to win even though it wasn't my best throw," Smith said. "I threw a couple around 185-186 in warm-ups, which would have been a personal record and close to the state record of 187. But, I'm definitely happy to close out my career with a win."

None of the other five competitors even broke 150 feet, including Mount Vernon's Kaydon Davis, who won the Division I discus with a throw of 172 feet and was expected to challenge Smith in his best event.

The Division II shot put started out well for Smith as he recorded the farthest throw in the preliminary round with a throw of 57-4.

After fouling on his last throw of the preliminaries, Haghighi put a mark down that counted in the finals with a 57-10.

Smith, trailing for the first time in the entire meet, wasn't able to better his mark of 57-4 in any of his final three throws. Instead, Haghighi lengthened his leading mark with throws of 60-1 and 60-6 to clinch the Division II title.

In the Federation finals, Haghighi was only able to throw 54-8. Smith improved his mark to 58-6, but it fell just short to Riverhead's Michael Smith who took the title with a 58-8.

"The humidity and the heat started to get to me earlier in the day and my shoulder started acting up during the Division II shot put," Smith said. "I iced up, drank a lot of water, and ate a little and was able to pull through the Federation round and finished second."

FFCS throwing coach Tom Carpenter said he was proud of Smith's accomplishments on the weekend

"He ended the day and his career on a positive note even though it wasn't his best throw in the discus," Carpenter said. "Two firsts and two seconds to me are outstanding. I'm real proud and happy for him and I'm certainly going to miss him next year."

Smith battled through injuries all season and all in all he ended up winning a state and Federation discus championship as well as two second place finishes in the state and Federation shot put.

"Coach Carpenter always pushed me harder and worked with me even though I couldn't practice every day," Smith said. "It paid off in the end. To come out and get a state and Federation title were things I never thought would happen. But through hard work and dedication, good things happen.

"I'm very happy with my performance on the weekend. Two firsts and two seconds are awesome. I didn't get my best marks, but to come close with the 182 in discus yesterday and throw 58 in the shot put, I'm happy."

Broadalbin-Perth's Adam Rasefske also competed on Saturday and finished 14th in the Division II 1,600 meters with a time of 4:33.04.

"I went out well and was on a good pace. But, then around the third lap my feet got hot and that slowed me down. On the last lap, I tried to give everything I had left."

Saturday was Rasefske's final race as he said he doesn't plan on running in college.

"It feels great to be able to make it this far and have states be my last race and not last week at state qualifiers," he said. "It was an honor to represent Broadalbin-Perth because no one else made it this far from our team, even though I didn't run as well as I would have liked."

This was Rasefske's third trip to a state meet, but the first time as an individual after making back-to-back trips with his cross-country team in 2008 and 2009.

"To be honest going as a team was a lot better," Rasefske said. "I didn't really know anybody here. It just more fun and has more meaning to it when you're here with your team because you're not just running for yourself, you're running for your team."



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