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By Lacey Gardner

Kaylee Oswald wins second state title for Wellsville track and field; Scott and Howard cement legacies

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Wellsville’s Oswald smashes school shot put record, Scott dazzles in hurdles, Howard soars in high jump to highlight afternoon at New York State meet at Cicero-North Syracuse  

By CHRIS BROOKS, managing editor, wellsvillesports.com

CICERO — To close out another spectacular season of track out in the great outdoors, the best of the very best in New York State all converged at one place and at one time to begin their chase towards Empire state glory across the next two days, beginning on Friday at Cicero-North Syracuse High School.

It was a familiar place for Wellsville’s Kaylee Oswald, one where she was crowned State Champion just last year.

Now, it was a place where she made history as the first Wellsville athlete to win two State titles in their career, as she took care of business once again from the field to claim the top prize in Division II shot put competition behind even more history for the school.

“She did absolutely amazing. She had a great ending to an awesome season,” said Lady Lions coach Jamie Bump. “She’s already looking forward to next year so she can go for a three-peat. It was a great season to be a part of.

“My highlight was when both of our teams won the Hornell invite leading up to Sectionals. The kids all came together to support one another, and after that, they all gave us some amazing showings.

“We had some new faces that came out and pleasantly surprised us, and now, I’m looking forward to what next season will bring us,” Bump added.”

Oswald’s State Championship-winning performance has also landed her back into the school’s famed history books, as she smashed a record that has stood since 1989 by the legendary Sue Ann Livergood, who recorded a 42-11 distance on the shot put.

NY Land Quest congratulates all student athletes

Oswald will now stand as the lone record-holder after her final performance of the season, setting the new standard with a 44-4.75 distance on her shot at the highest level of competition there is.

Her performance also landed her a spot in the Federation Meet, where she placed second. Also in Division II battle, Oswald placed sixth overall before placing eighth in Federation in the discus event, later on.

She was not alone in the adventure to the Empire State’s biggest meet, as she was accompanied by both Xavier Scott and JJ Howard, each looking to cement their legacies even further. For Scott, he went on to place fourth overall in the 110 hurdles, while Howard eclipsed the Top 10 in the high jump, both in Division II competition.

Boys head coach Dean Giopulos says that for their first time taking in a meet of such stature, Scott and Howard delivered despite some rain in the forecast spoiling the party at times.

“For both of those boys, it was an incredible learning experience. It was their first time being there, and they might have had a deer-in-the-headlights look at first, but I could not have been more pleased with how they performed,” he said. “They might beg to argue a little bit, and neither had their best performance, but under the conditions they were left with, they held up tremendously well. Personally as a coach, I could not be more proud of them. In track and field, you watch the workouts. A lot of the work is critical and a lot of the work is exhausting. It spoke physical and mental volumes, and the teaching of the skills at the level the kids are at, it is extremely difficult to comprehend until you’re actually doing it.”

Giopulos also notes that the story for his two stellar Lions is just beginning. Next year, it will only get even better.

“The one thing with JJ is that he is an incredibly talented young man, and he might be the toughest competitor I have ever seen,” he said of the junior. “He clears the bar in the high jump by mental will. He refuses to accept defeat, and I absolutely love him for it. We have been incredibly fortunate to have John Valentine with us to work with JJ, and he wound up breaking his record this year in his first year. When you sit back and look at Xavier, he is a young kid who has just really matured tremendously in such a short period of time. His work ethic has gone through the roof. He wants to be the absolute best. Isaiah Brooks was an All-American hurdler during his career and he helped provide the highest level of training for Xavier to help him become the athlete he is today. That’s what Wellsville is all about.”

Giopulos continued, saying that “I really can’t wait to see what happens next year with both of them. Xavier is the fastest hurdler that we’ve ever had, and we’ve had quite a few great hurdlers over the years. JJ won Sectionals in three events in the course of a year, and through it, the beating it takes on your legs. I don’t think he has any idea how incredible of a season he has had. It’s only going to get better for both of them.”

More photos and information:

From left, Section V’s state record holders in shot put, Penfield’s Peter Northrup, Wellsville’s kaylee Oswald and Batavia’s Sheldon Siverling.

Xavier Scott achieved his goal as a sophomore, to be on the podium in states. He finished fourth in his class and 8th overall for all classes in New York State.

A two-time state champion and state record-holder was honored with her own fire truck by the Wellsville Fire Department during the parade on champions on Sunday.

J.J. Howard, left, and Xavier Scott, right, had a huge season for Wellsville track and field into states.

Xavier Scott’s name up on the jumbotron after his major achievement in states for track and field.

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