Like father, like son

One record in particular at Dunkirk High School has stood for 44 years.

Bob Barlette’s 100-meter record time of 10.5 has yet been touched, though someone on this year’s squad has flirted with breaking the 44-year-old mark.

That someone is his son, Nick, whose best time this year has been 10.8.

The youngest Barlette has one – possibly two – chances to break that record this weekend, starting today at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Track and Field Championships at Cicero.

“That’s been one of Nick’s goals,” Bob Barlette said of breaking the record. “It’s there to be broken. It would be great if he could. It would be the proudest moment a kid can experience. Forty-four years and your son breaks it, it would be a proud moment. It will be broken at some time. It would be nice to see him do it. He has come very close.”

Barlette’s preliminary race will take place today, and should he advance, the championship heat will take place Saturday.

Nick Barlette, a senior, is also the first Dunkirk sprinter to compete in the 100 at the state meet since 1970 when his father ran the race and took second place. Even more ironic, today will be 44 years to the day that the elder Barlette competed in the event.

“He is a kid who works steadily,” Dunkirk coach Kurt Warmbrodt said of Nick, who will be attending Edinboro next year. “He has never given up. He comes to practice every day and is ready to give it his all. He has run indoor track for me since seventh grade and has been in outdoor track for seven years. He and I have been together quite a few seasons.”

“We haven’t missed a meet since he was in middle school,” Bob Barlette said. “It meant a lot to us. It brings you closer together as a family. You get to know most of the parents over the years and it’s like a close-knit family. We are going to miss that, but then the next door opens up and Nick will be running track and playing football in college. It’s not going to stop for us.”

Bob Barlette went to states in 1968 as a sophomore, but did not compete in junior season due to a muscle tear. He returned to the track as a senior and went to states in both the 100 and 200. He then went on to the University at Buffalo for football. However, after the school dropped the football program after his freshman year, Barlette transferred to Syracuse where he played football and ran track.

“His father is constantly offering advice,” Warmbrodt said. “He was trained in a D-1 school. He is very knowledgeable and helpful.”

Barlette will also be competing in the 4×100 relay with fellow senior Rashad Graham and juniors Miguel Alicea and Jose Morales.

“I’m very happy to be taking two seniors and two sophomores,” Warmbrodt said. “That will certainly put the itch in two sophomores to get back to the state meet. Once you taste it, you want to go back as often as possible.”

Also going to states will be Fredonia’s Devin Kowalewski, who qualified for in the 100 hurdles after she finished second last week in a time of 16.04 seconds.