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THE SPORTS REPORT: WAVERLY'S BECHY, JOHNSON SHARE ALL-REGION BOYS 'ATHLETE OF THE SPRING;' TWO FROM TIOGA COUNTY ALSO MAKE THE LIST (2023-07-08)

The Sports Reports
Waverly senior Kayleb Bechy and junior Ralph Johnson both broke school records, earned individual state medals at the New York State Track & Field Championships, and also ran on the record-breaking 400-meter relay that won a state silver medal. They share The Sports Reports Boys All-Region “Athlete of the Spring” honors.

Bechy, who did not run track until last year, made his second trip to States, this time bringing home a fifth-place medal in the 100-yard dash. Bechy also placed first at the Section IV State Qualifier.

Bechy broke the school record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.79, while Johnson posted a time of 10.85 in the 100, and actually edged Bechy to win the IAC Championships in the 100.

Johnson, who had not run a full track season 8th-grade due to injuries, set the school record in the 200-meter dash at 21.95 seconds. He finished second at the State Qualifier.

Bechy and Johnson ran on the 400 relay with senior Jerrell Sackett and junior Micah Chandler. The foursome broke the school record in its second outing of the season, clocking in at 43.4 seconds at the Molly Dry Invite on April 13.

Later in the season, the foursome broke the IAC record on Day 1 of the league meet, clocking in at 42.86 seconds. The next day, they lowered the record to 42.76 seconds.

At the Section IV State Qualifier, the Waverly quartet clocked in at 42.3 seconds to win Section IV gold, to break the previous Section IV record of 42.31 seconds. They went on to win the silver medal at the State meet, lowering their Section IV record to 42.03 seconds.

(The Sports Reports covers 24 school districts in four counties, and Corning.)

The 2022-23 All-Region Boys Athletes of the Spring

Kayleb Bechy, senior, Waverly — track & field:
See above.

Ralph Johnson, junior, Waverly — track & field
: See above.

Lucas Horton, senior, Athens — baseball: Horton hit .456 (31 hits in 68 ABs) with five doubles, one triple, two home runs, 13 RBI, 31 runs scored, and was 21-for-21 in stolen base attempts. He also walked 15 times for a .554 on-base percentage, had a .647 slugging percentage, and a 1.201 OPS.

While his offensive numbers are impressive, Horton made his bones on the pitching mound. He posted a 7-1 record, with one save, and a 2.37 ERA. He fanned 63 and walked 15, while allowing 28 hits in 44 1/3 innings. Opponents hit .174 against him

Blake Morningstar, senior, Wyalusing — baseball:
Morningstar posted a 9-2 record with a 0.80 ERA. He struck out 112 against just 12 walks in 61 innings on the mound. He allowed just seven earned runs all season, with four of those coming in his final appearance in the PIAA state playoffs.

Jacob Banks, senior, Candor — golf:
Banks headlined a talented team which included three players who averaged 9-hole rounds of 38.5 or better.

Banks averaged 37.36 strokes per round, shooting in the 40s just one time and had a low round of 34. He was the IAC medalist and qualified for the state championships for a second consecutive year.

Noah Ruffer, senior, Horseheads — track and field:
Ruffer was a state medalist in the decathlon, finishing third in the event at the New York State Championships. He was a sectional champion in the event and then the third-place finisher at states.

Chris Grimaldi, senior, Corning, — lacrosse:
Grimaldi had 50 goals and 12 assists on the year, after recording 65 goals as a junior. Will play at Division I UMass next year. Had six goals, including the game-winner in overtime against Spencerport.

Cameron Brought, senior, Wellsboro — baseball: 
Brought hit an NTL-leading .485, with 14 walks and a .578 on-base percentage, 33 base hits, including seven doubles, three triples, and three homers, to go along with 31 RBI, and 22 runs scored. On the mound, Brought was a reliable closer, posting a 2-1 record with two saves. He fanned 43 in 28 innings.

Kristian Mizdail, junior, Williamson — track & field: In addition to earning a State title as part of Williamson’s 4-by-800 relay, Mizdail won the NTL 1,600-meter run, was 4th at Districts and 9th at States. He won the NTL gold in the 3,200-meter run, was third at Districts ad ninth at States.

Weston Bellows, senior, Canton — baseball:
Bellows hit .478 on the year with 10 doubles, 28 RBI, and 22 runs scored to lead Canton to a league title. He also struck out 41 in 36 1/3-innings of action on the mound.

Kyle Kapichok, senior, Canton — track & field: Kapichok took the next step this year, earning the district title in the discus, and taking eighth at states to reach the podium. He also set the school record — twice — during the season.

Jackson Cook, senior, Horseheads — baseball:
Cook hit .340 on the year with seven doubles and 20 steals, along with 20 stolen bases. Bigger than that was his elite play behind the plate for the Blue Raiders. His defense was huge all year, including a big play throwing out a runner at third base to stop a run in a sectional semifinal game that was scoreless until extra innings.

Tevin McLaren, senior, Corning — track and field:
McLaren helped the Hawks 3,200-meter relay earn a state medal with a fifth-place finish at States. His anchor leg for the Hawks was a 1:54.32, the best in the area this year by a lot, and the second best in Section 4 this season. McLaren also had the second best 1600 time in the area this year (4:21.17) and third best 3200 time (9:27.52).
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