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NYS TRACK & FIELD: PALLADINO RETURNS TO STATES, ADDS SECOND EVENT (2024-06-06)

By TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
CICERO, N.Y. — Owego sophomore Stella Palladino makes her return to the NYSPHSAA Track & Field Championships at Cicero-North Syracuse this weekend.

She will compete in the 100-meter dash again and will add a second event this time, the 200.

Palladino is looking forward to being back at states.

“I think that it's a good experience, not only just to go and be around such good competition, but I went last year and that was more just being able to be there,” she said. “I think this year, going again, I can compete against people and I'm trying to improve on how I did last year. I think I'm more of a competitor this year.”

The 2023 experience will help her prepare for 2024.

“I think knowing where I am compared to other people and like warming up, knowing when to go in, because it's much busier, it's much different, she said. “Knowing when to warm up, knowing when to get over all that stuff. I've done that last year so I'll be more comfortable this year.”

At the state qualifier, Palladino not only won the Division II title in both events, but took the overall victories as well, besting Binghamton standout Amiah Brissett, the D-1 champ.

Palladino ran a 13 in the 100 prelim and :26:61 in the 200 prelim. She was fourth in the 200 prelims where the top six spots were separated by .17 seconds and she was fourth.

At states, the 100 preliminaries begin at 2 p.m. and the 200 trials are at 3:55 p.m. Palladino believes those are good time frames for her.

“I think it's probably better that it's in the afternoon since all of my races so far this year have been in the afternoon, so it’ll be more normal than if I was running in the morning,” she said.

Palladino clocked personal bests at the state qualifier, 12.75 seconds in the 100 and 25.94 seconds in the 200. Topping those marks at states is a realistic expectation.

“I think I could set a personal record with the competition next to me,” she said. “Probably not podium, that would be great, but I think just improving on my time and just running a good race with people pushing me next to me.”

Coach Scott Senko is looking for improvement from his star sprinter.

“Being her second year, I really want to see her improve her position from last year. She finished 31st last year,” he said. “I'd like to see her get in the top 20 in the hundred. I'd really like to see her make finals in the 200. I think she's got a shot at making the finals in the 200 this year.

“I haven't seen all of the entries yet, but I've seen a few of the winners from across the state. There are some fast girls out there. There's some girls running sub-12 in the 100. Like I said, I think she stands a better chance in the 200 this year. I think she's closer to the top of that list.”

Hopefully, running the 100 first will help Palladino shake any race day jitters she might have.

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