CARTHAGE Skylar Pastor prays before every race.
She says she realizes at any time she could have an off-day and not compete well.
The South Jefferson sophomore sprinter performed exceptionally to lead the Spartans to an impressive victory at the Frontier League girls track and field championships on Thursday at Carthage high school.
God always helps, Pastor said. I ask, Please let me do my best in this race and hopefully win. If its not me, then help the other girls do well.
Pastor captured the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and anchored the first-place 1,600 relay to help contribute 40 of South Jeffersons 136½ points.
Lowville finished second with 89½ points, and Indian River (76 points) placed third. South Lewis (69) and Beaver River (64) were fourth and fifth, respectively, out of nine teams.
Last year, South Lewis captured the team title over South Jefferson by two points, creating a huge motivator for the Spartans.
They learned from last year that every point counts, South Jefferson coach Julie Storms said. So I reminded them we lost by two points last year, so if you think a sixth place (individual finish) is bad, its not. Every place is important.
Ellie Brooks took second in the 800 and ran on the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays for the Spartans. Teammate Leah Denny was second in the triple jump, and Leah Conners took second in the discus.
Pastor is now a four-time league champion in the 400 and three-time champ in the 100 and 200.
She did amazing, Storms said. Everyone expects her to win, but she really tries hard to do well. I wish I had a video of the 4x400.
Pastor won the Division II state championship in the 400 as an eighth-grader. Last year she was runner-up in the 200 at states.
Other top performers included Kylee Bartlett, who captured the 100 hurdles, high jump and long jump for Altmar-Parish-Williamstown. Gabby Thompson of Immaculate Heart Central won the 1,500 and 3,000.
Three-time defending champion South Lewis has been plagued by injuries this year. Victoria Campanian, one of the top distance runners in the league, suffered a leg injury early in the season and has returned to competition gradually.
Its really difficult, Campanian said. I just want to be out there running again, but I know I have to take some time off and just recover and start focusing on bigger races.
Ronni Ehlers sprained her hip at the league relay meet before the season was under way. Three of the Falcons throwers ended the season early due to injuries.
Its been a rough year, South Lewis coach Cindy Young said.
Campanian, the three-time defending champion in the 3,000, stood instead by the track and cheered her teammates in that race.
I just wanted to be in it, and I wanted to race, she said. It felt really weird not being in it, especially being my senior year.
Campanian did run in the 1,500 and 800, placing fifth and 10th, respectively. She was the defending champ in the 800 and had won the 1,500 the past two years.
I think she was more embarrassed than anything, Young said. I dont think shes ever lost the 3,000 in her life. Shes not used to losing.
The Falcons Sierra Corbett won the 800 and Christina Platt the pole vault.
Emma Bonk of Indian River claimed the 400 hurdles and ran on the first-place 400 relay, and teammate Elizabeth Kolodgy won the discus.
Lowvilles winners included Serena Vargulick in the triple jump and Ellory Roberts in the shot put, while Malori Mattimore won the pentathlon for Beaver River.