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February 9, 2014

Saranac boys back on top in Section VII indoor track

PLATTSBURGH — After a one-year hiatus, the Saranac boys’ indoor track and field team is back on top in Section VII.

Avenging a one-point loss to Ticonderoga a season ago, the Chiefs fended off the Sentinels, 204-128, to claim the sectional championship at the Plattsburgh State Field House Saturday.

“It was obviously a great season for everyone involved,” Saranac coach Chris Verkey said. “I need to give a big shout-out to all my athletes and everybody involved in our program. Without them, nothing is possible.

“These kids work, day in and day out, as hard as they possibly can. They give everything they possibly can to the program. What we were able to establish and what we were able to do this year as a team, it’s all on them.”

Plattsburgh High (59), Beekmantown (40) and Seton Catholic (31) completed the top-five finishers. Westport (16), Moriah (13), AuSable Valley (11) and Peru (7) finished sixth through ninth, respectively.

A significant contributor for the Chiefs was Justin Liechty. Liechty helped his team win the 1,600-meter relay before claiming the 600-meter run. He also finished second in the high jump event.

“The 600, I really didn’t know what was going to happen, considering that the top-three guys were all neck-and-neck,” Liechty said. “So pulling out a win there was really great.

“The high jump, it’s been a long road. I jumped 6’2” at the start of the season, so only jumping 5’08” is kind of upsetting, but you get over it.”

Caiden Goodman was also a top competitor for Verkey’s squad, finishing second in the long jump and 640-meter relay before finishing third in the 55-meter dash.

“Worked hard all week,” Goodman said. “Didn’t fool around, you know. In the 640-meter relay, we worked hard all week in practice. No one really eased up. It paid off (Saturday).”

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