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March 5th, 2014

NFA Athletes Compete in Track Championships

Three of the four Newburgh Free Academy girls who competed in Saturday’s New York State High School Indoor Track and Field Championships; Saleen Matta, Gianna Frontera and Erica Russell.

ITHACA - Gianna Frontera had a precise game plan for her 3000 meter performance at the State Meet. Unfortunately, for the Newburgh Free Academy senior distance runner, it failed to go as calculated at Saturday’s New York State Public High School Indoor Track and Field Championships, held at Cornell University’s Barton Hall.

Frontera, seeded 8th in the event, had a solid shot at a top six medal finish. Coming off of a convincing State Qualifier performance at Gillis Field House in West Point two weeks ago, Frontera, headed to North Carolina State in the fall on a full athletic scholarship, entered Saturday’s race with confidence. For the first couple of laps around the 200 meter track, things looked promising.

"I wanted to get out with the leaders and hang on with the pace as much as I could, but just wasn’t feeling well," said Frontera, who earned Section IX Female Sportmanship honors at the Meet’s Opening Ceremony. "I tried to catch up, but just couldn’t because I had fallen so far behind the lead pack."

Finishing in 12th with a time of 10:24.29, Frontera was disappointed. However, she will have another shot at a similar distance, when she runs the two mile (3200 meters) at the Armory on Saturday, March 15, at the New Balance Nationals Indoor, held at the Armory in New York City. It’s a meet that can’t arrive soon enough.

"At Nationals, I’m going to make sure I’m prepared," affirmed Frontera. "I really want to be set to go for that race; my North Carolina Coch, as well as some of my college teammates are supposed to be there, so that should really motivate me."

Also competing in Saturday’s Meet for the Lady Goldbacks were three other seniors: Aliyah Matta (55 hurdles), Saleen Matta (long jump) and Erica Russell (high jump.)

On the boys’ side, one Goldback qualified for the Meet: Ahkiel Savage, a senior, who ran the 300 meters. Finishing eighth in 35.60 seconds, Savage ran a solid race, just two places shy of earning a medal.

As the better weather approaches, so too does the outdoor track season. Commencing training this month, the Goldbacks are hoping to sport two solid rosters and qualify even more athletes for those State Championships, slated for early June.

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