Area athletes set to compete at state championships

GLOVERSVILLE — For the first time since 2014, Gloversville will be sending an athlete to the state outdoor track and field championships.

“I think it’s huge for our program because it shows the younger kids what is possible,” Gloversville coach Jim Carter said. “They can see it and celebrate it, and the program can build on that success.”

Sophomore Zoie Tesi qualified in two events and will compete in the high jump and triple jump at Cicero-North Syracuse High School on Friday and Saturday.

“It was a goal of hers to go in two events,” Gloversville assistant coach Josh Herod said. “To qualify in two events is great. We’re very happy for her.”

Tesi qualified in impressive fashion at the Section II state qualifier at Shenendehowa High School last Friday. Tesi won both the Division 2 (small-school) high jump and triple jump, setting school records and personal bests in both events.

“We were expecting her to make it to states, but she still had to go out and perform,” Carter said. “She had a great day at the state qualifier.”

Tesi won the high jump with a height of 5-5, and won the triple jump with a leap of 36-9. In the triple jump, Tesi broke the school record of Chanel Thomas, who was the last Gloversville girl to make the trip to the state meet in 2014.

“I wasn’t expecting to go to states in the triple jump,” Tesi said. “I had a good day at the state qualifier and I was able to make it.”

In the high jump, Tesi not only topped the Division 2 results, but had the best jump of the day, topping even the 5-4 height of Division 1 (large-school) winner Reagan Ennist of Shenendehowa.

“The competition was tough at the state qualifier,” Tesi said. “They combined Division 1 and 2 in the high jump, so I was facing athletes from bigger schools and that definitely pushed me.”

This will be the second state meet of the year for Tesi, who also qualified to compete in the high jump during the indoor track season. Tesi placed 17th overall with a leap of 4-10 at the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in Staten Island.

“I think the experience of going to states during the indoor season will help me,” Tesi said.

Heading into the state meet, Tesi is seeded fifth in Division 2 in the triple jump. She is seeded eighth overall and second in the high jump in Division 2.

“I’m only a sophomore, so I don’t want to go in overconfident,” Tesi said. “As long as I relax and do my best, and I think I’ll have a good chance to be on the podium in both events.”

In addition to Carter and Herod, Gloversville also is coached by Anthony Yacobucci, Chris Murphy, Shauna-Rae Haley and Andrew Ficili.

Carter said that he’s looking forward to seeing how Tesi fares this weekend.

“I think her goal is to do her best, but she’s not going up there to walk away with nothing,” Carter said. “She wants to be on the podium.”

Several other area athletes will be joining Tesi at the state meet, which is taking place for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That group includes Broadalbin-Perth’s Hunter O’Dell, Amsterdam’s Garrett McHeard, and Fonda-Fultonville’s Bennett Melita, Carter Petersen, Amelia Petersen and Alessandro Saltsman.

O’Dell, a junior, qualified in the triple jump to win Division 2 at the State Qualifier with a leap of 43-10.5. He hadn’t competed in nearly two years after suffering a pair of knee injuries. He is seeded ninth in Division 2 going into the state meet.

“It’s been a long time coming,” O’Dell said after qualifying at last week’s Section II state qualifier. “I think now I’m getting pretty close to where I want to be. I think a jump of 45 feet is possible.”

O’Dell also extended B-P’s streak of sending an athlete to the boys’ state meet to seven straight dating back to 2014.

“It’s a credit to coach [Jeff] Richards,” Broadalbin-Perth assistant coach Vincent Calderone said. “He’s done a phenomenal job with the program and getting the athletes to really believe in their abilities.”

Carter Petersen won the 110-meter high hurdles and pole vault in Division 2 to advance to the state meet. Petersen is seeded first in Division II and second overall in the pole vault. He also is seeded second in the 110 hurdles in Division 2.

Saltsman also will compete in two events as he qualified for states in the shot put and discus. He is seeded first in Division 2 in both events.

Melita is seeded 13th in Division 2 in the 3,200 after winning the event at the state qualifier, while Amelia Petersen won the girls’ 100-meter hurdles at the state qualifier and is seeded 13th in Division 2 for the state meet.

McHeard is the lone area competitor that will be competing in the Division 1 meet at states. He was second in the shot put and discus at the state qualifier. He is seeded sixth in the discus and fourth in the shot put for the state meet, which is scheduled to begin Friday at 11 a.m.

By Paul Wager

Leave a Reply