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BETHLEHEM: Track team happy to be outside

After dumping rain and snow on Delmar the previous weekend, Mother Nature decided to give the town a present Saturday.

Sunny, warm weather greeted the 23 girls track and field teams that participated in the second annual Bethlehem Invitational.

I'm extremely grateful, especially considering that during last year's meet, it was pouring rain and 38 degrees, said Bethlehem coach Tom Hurley Sr.

The host team had a strong performance, placing sixth with 42 points. Colonie took the team title with 129 points, well ahead of runner-up Holy Names.

Competing for the meet title was secondary to just competing for Bethlehem, though. Like the rest of the region, the Lady Eagles had been stuck inside through much of the first three weeks of the season.

"There haven't been many league meets because of the weather," said Hurley. "We've only had two meets this year."

Bethlehem had several top-six individual performances, led by Jessica Venezia's second-place finish in the triple jump with a distance of 34 feet. Venezia was also fourth in the long jump with a leap of 15 feet, 11.5 inches.

Kristin Kenney also came up big for Bethlehem with a second-place performance in the 3,000-meter race in a time of 10:39.13.

"She's looking a lot better right now," Hurley said of Kenney, who is rebounding from injury-plagued cross country and indoor track seasons.

Lauren Lochinski-Mills and Kristin Peck contributed third-place performances for Bethlehem. Lochinski-Mills was third in the 100-meter dash finals with a time of 13.20 seconds, while Peck placed third in the invitational 1,000-meter race with a time of 3:04.57.

Sara Turner finished fourth in the high jump by clearing 5 feet, and Colleen Hart took fourth place in the shot put with a throw of 32 feet, 9.25 inches. Melina Vamvas was sixth in the discus with a throw of 90 feet, 5 inches.

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