All in the family: Madany sisters score state championships to lead Mount Anthony at Division I meet


BURLINGTON - And now, the legacy carries on.

During Saturday's Vermont Division I track and field championships, senior Firdous Madany became the second Madany in three years to win the shot put title, with her throw of 34 feet, 10 inches highlighting a day in which the Mount Anthony Union High School girls track team took home three state titles

Firdous picked up the torch that her older sister, Baheeyah, carried in 2012 by beating out last year's champion, Cassidy Webster of North Country, and Emylie Rosse of South Burlington.

"It feels freakin' right," Madany said with an enthusiastic tone. "It's ours. I want someone from our family to take it next year."

Someone might want to tell Firdous, though, that that next year her younger sister will be busy defending her own title.

While Firdous Madany led the Patriots in the field events, junior Raheemah Madany helped lead the girls on the track as she ran a leg on the MAU 4x100 team that redeemed its poor finish last year to win the title this season, running the relay in 50.26 seconds, to give the Patriots the short relay sweep after the team of Raheemah, Leniesha Williams, Chelsea Corrow and Taylor Gruber also won the 4x200 in the indoor season.

"[This spring's race] feels a lot better, because last year with me messing up the relay, it feels so much better to get first," Gruber said. "We redeemed ourselves, and we are all just really happy."

That 4x100 team also placed three runners in the top six of the 100, as Williams retained her crown from 2013 by running a 12.54, just edging out Madany who finished in second. Behind them was Gruber, who finished in sixth.

"I wanted it, I wanted it, too," Raheemah Madany said of the competition for the 100. "We both wanted it. But she finally picked it up and got it. We were neck-and-neck. It was good to get second, because I didn't want to finish third."

The three state titles helped MAU girls to 66 points at the meet, good for third behind winners Essex (142 points) and Champlain Valley. For the boys, south Burlington edged Mount Mansfield 125 to 122 by winning the last event of the day - the 4x400 - with Burlington finishing third. MAU finished eighth with 17 points.

"Overall, neither one of us are disappointed in anyone," MAU co-coach Kathleen Newton said. "They all did their best and really tried their hardest. That bus ride is long and getting up early, it does take something out of you. I think they really did a good job."

And while most of the plaudits will go to athletes from the northern Vermont schools, CVU's Autumn Eastman completed the unheard of 800, 1,500 and 3,000 sweep while Mount Mansfield's Alec Eschholz broke MAU grad Jon Polen's 110-hurdles record while also winning the 300 hurdles, long jump and high jump, the small band of MAU athletes were pleased with their performances at Burlington High School.

"I told [my teammates[ at the start of the day, don't worry about the competition," said senior Andrew Brandmeyer, who had the highest finish for a Patriot boy by taking second in the 400 while also helping the 4x400 team to a third-place finish. "It's our senior year, we are tired of being runner-up, just go out and give it your all. We might not have won [the 4x400], but we gave it our best, tried our hardest and gave it everything we had left."

Brandmeyer, who ran the 4x400 along with seniors Andy Seward, Ben Seward and Brad Myers, got a bird's eye view of the mayhem in the 4x400 that saw Burlington drop the baton in the first hand-off while leading. Entering the final event, Burlington, South Burlington and MMU were separated by just one point. When Burlington fell off, MAU held the lead through the second hand-off, but then a late surge by SB allowed them to take off with the event. Burlington's anchor leg then threw the baton, disqualifying the Seahorses.

"I think they realized our weakness in our four runners and they used their strongest 800 runner to catch up to us and get the lead," Brandmeyer said.

Andy Seward, who added a fifth-place finish in the 800 and a sixth-place finish on the 4x800 team, elaborated on Brandmeyer's point.

"They used someone that could pace themselves the whole race then pick it up at the end," Seward said. "Because of that, they got a big lead in the last leg and we couldn't catch up."

In the girls' 4x100, it was MAU that ran away from the pack as the team grabbed redemption after a poor finish in the race the year before. The Patriots finished 0.7 seconds ahead of CVU for the win.

"It feels really good to get [the win]," Raheemah Madany said. "Even though we didn't run our best time, we still won and did pretty well."

"We just work really hard and stay focused," Corrow added. "I feel like, as a team, us four work really well together."

Williams also cemented her place as the queen of the sprints, adding her second 100 title to a trophy cabinet that includes the 55-meter crown from this year's indoor season.

Williams also added third-place finishes in the 200 and the long jump.

"This [100 title] was a lot better. Last year was a killer because it was hot and I was upset about the 4x100," Williams said. "But this year it was better, we did a lot better."

"[Williams] still has New Englands, and she is excited about that, but what a way to go out," Newton said. "She is a girl that has run for four years. We are really proud of her."

In the shot, Firdous Madany said that it all came down to focus.

"[I did] a really long warm-up, I think like an hour-and-a-half, then sprints at the end," Madany said. "And I was very, very focused. I like being focused, it shows."

Other notable finishes included Sierra Dickie finishing fourth in the 400, Taylor Haynes finishing her career with a fifth-place finish in the shot, Firdous Madany and Brittany Brochu going 5-6 in the discus, the 4x400 team of Dickie, Asuka Kosaki, Corrow and Abbie Crosier finishing fifth and the girls 4x800 team of Kinsey Boudreau, Crosier, Abby Malmborg and Kosaki finishing fifth.

For the boys, the previous runners mentioned were the only ones to hit the podium, but several athletes just missed out on placing. Senior Nathaniel Durfee finishing eighth in the 110 hurdles and the triple jump. Ben Winslow finished seventh in the long jump while Ben Seward was ninth, Ben Hulett was seventh in the shot put and the boys 4x100 team of Winslow, Tanner Jelley, Alan Bernard and Owen Page finished eighth.

MAU's season will go one more week, as a small group of Patriots will compete at the New England Championships, held this year at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.


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