BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — Newark Valley’s Marissa Silba and Kayla Malarkey will be trying their hand at two of the more challenging events at the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships here this weekend.
Silba, a senior, will compete in the 2,000-meter steeplechase on Saturday morning. For junior Malarkey, her meet begins at 12:30 p.m. Friday with the first event of the pentathlon.
Malarkey will run the 100 hurdles, her best event, to start the meet. At 3:15 p.m., she will head to the high jump pit. She wraps up the day at 5:30 p.m. with he shot put. The final two events will be held Saturday with the long jump at 11 a.m. and the 800 at 1:10 p.m.
For Silba, a distance runner in the fall and spring, the steeplechase is a nice break from the NASCAR-like monotony of going around in a circle for several laps.
“I was kind of bored running the 3,000 and the 15, like all the really long events,” Silba said. “Steeplechase is still kind of long, but it’s more entertaining. There’s more things to focus on, rather than just running in a circle continuously with nothing.”
Silba came into the steeplechase at the state qualifier with a seed time of 7:29.84 and won the event in 7:26.44. She is seeded 15th in Division II and 29th overall.
Malarkey scored 1,864 points to win the IAC championship, then racked up 2,216 to win the Section IV Division II title at the state qualifier. She is seeded 11th in Division II and 21st overall.
Neither athlete is seeded to reach the podium, but both will bring her “do my best” attitude. If nothing else, they will have fun at the meet.
“We want to have a good time,” said NV girls coach Eric D’Arcy. “They’ve worked hard all year long. They’ve done a lot of the right things.”
Silba started running steeplechase as a sophomore, but didn’t run it very often. As a junior, she competed in more events. This week, to prepare for state, she has been working on her biggest challenge, the pit jumps.
“It used to be the hurdles every single lap without stepping on them, but I’ve gotten a little better with the hurdles because they (coaches) put us in the 400 hurdles to help with it, so now it’s just trying not to fall in the pit. I usually don’t fall, but it’s really tricky.”
Malarkey brings experience in the hurdles and shot put, which is part of the reason she’s a good candidate for the pentathlon. She has also done some jumping this spring. She’s thrilled to be going to states, but .admits the 800 is her weakest event. However, it’s also the final event, so any energy she has left she can expend running.
“I was a hurdler and a shot putter, and my coaches thought it was good idea, so I just went with it,” Malarkey said. “It’s crazy because the first meet I went to was IACs and I won, and I was like, what? It’s kind of a shock. It doesn’t even feel real yet, but I’m really excited.”
Silba may have the best chance of reaching the podium at states, but it would take a strong effort. She’s seeded 15th in Division II and 29th overall with time of 7:26. The top seed is Roosevelt’s Sarah Trainor from Division I — she broke the state and national records (6:29.08) just over a month ago. No. 1 in D-2 is Brooke Rauber of Tully (6:47.4).
This is Malarkey’s third pentathlon, where the top seed is Zaria Fuller of D-1 Uniondale (3313 points) and the top seed in D-2 is Jayna Galley of Holland (3132).
The state track meet is being held Friday and Saturday at Middletown High School.
IN PHOTO: Newark Valley’s Kayla Malarkey (L) and Marissa Silba. … PHOTO BY TIM TAYLOR.
Print Friendly Version