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Upon entering 976 Elmwood Ave., an array of pizzas is laid out on the stone countertop, waiting to be devoured by hungry customers. The scents of pepperoni, sausage and Italian food fill the air, and mouths start to salivate.
 

Welcome to the newest location of Zetti’s Pizza & Pasta at the corner of Bidwell Parkway and Elmwood Avenue.


“I like the fact that they put all their pizzas out so you can see them,” Edward Tierney said. “It’s like a candy shop.”


Zetti’s is different from other Buffalo pizzerias, as it specializes in New York-style pizza. That pizza is usually thin, wide and “foldable,” with a puffy outer crust tapering down to a thin, crispy middle.


Tierney, 47, lives on Bidwell Parkway, right across from Zetti’s, and has now visited the new location three times since it opened just under two weeks ago.


Aside from the scent and display of pizzas, the dining area of the restaurant holds 13 wooden tables of various sizes. The cream and purple walls and lighting are modern, bright and open. Large windows in the front of the building offer diners a view of Elmwood Avenue.


“I think they did a good job of utilizing the space,” Tierney said.


Customers will find a variety of options on the menu, which offers more than just pizza and pasta.


A slice of cheese pizza is $1.80, and since the slices are New York-style, a slice is the size of two slices at other pizzerias in the area.


Zetti’s also has several gourmet pizza options, including a Penne alla Vodka pizza, which includes penne pasta, vodka sauce and mozzarella cheese.


In addition to pizza, there are hero sandwiches, calzones and entrees.


While the menu includes traditional Italian dishes, other unique options are also available, including pasta a coure, which includes shrimp, chicken and artichoke hearts sauteed in a white wine lemon butter sauce over pasta.


Zetti’s isn’t the first pizzeria to open in this location. Just Pizza was housed there before it moved to the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Summer Street. Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria was also located in the building, which was built in 1895.


“It’s good to have it in the Elmwood area,” Bill Nimelman said.


Nimelman, 50, also lives on Bidwell Parkway across from the restaurant.


This is Zetti’s third location in the Buffalo area. They have restaurants across from both SUNY University at Buffalo campus locations, including one at 3500 Main St. in Amherst. The other location, at 4621 Maple Road, opened in November 2009.


Hours for the Elmwood location aren’t solidified yet, but an employee said the restaurant is likely to be open until midnight on weeknights and 2 a.m. on weekends. Customers can eat in, take out, or call for delivery.


My first track & field article
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National Championship in reach
Track and Field

MELISSA KANIA
Associate Sports Editor

Three Buffalo State student-athletes were invited to this weekend’s NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships in recognition of their accomplishments this year.

Erica Johnson, Latoya Edwards and Jessica Walker will take part in the competition at Depauw University.

Johnson will compete in the 55-meter dash and currently holds the fourth fastest seed time run this season. Edwards, who is seeded 12th in the event, will also compete in the 55-meter. Walker will compete in the triple jump, in which she is currently seeded 10th.

“I’m so excited. I know it’s going to be a lot of pressure because all of the girls I am jumping against are all neck and neck. It can go either way,” said Walker who garnered Athlete of the Week status for the second straight week. “I’m just going to focus my best and have fun with it. I’m just so happy that I made it.”

The top eight finishers in each event will earn All-America honors, a title that Edwards also achieved last year.

Edwards received top honors and was named the SUNYAC Women’s Runner of the Meet on March 2, after she posted strong individual performances in the 55, 200 and 400-meter dash at the SUNYAC Championships.

The senior sprinter finished second-place in the 55-meter, with an NCAA provisional time of 7.22 seconds, while also taking second in the 200 with a time of 25.65 seconds, and fourth in the 400 after crossing the finish line in 1:00.59.

The women’s track and field team won the SUNYAC Championships for the second straight year, edging out SUNY Geneseo by two points.

“Whenever you’re defending a championship, you kind of expect everybody to be coming for you and to try to beat you,” said head track coach Eugene Lewis. “To be able to withstand that, to basically accomplish that goal again was very exciting.”

In addition, Lewis was recognized as SUNYAC Women’s Coach of the Year after he guided the Bengals to their second-straight conference title.

Five other Bengals athletes were named to the first-team All-SUNYAC after winning individual race titles. Neshay Maxwell, Taniqua Hollingsworth and Justin Allen were named to the team.

Several new school records were set during the meet. Johnson won the 55-meter and set new school and SUNYAC records with a qualifying time of 7.11 seconds, while Maxwell set a new record time of 8.50 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles. Walker also set a school record in the triple jump (11.61m).

“Our girls, we just really work hard,” Walker said. “We find a place to focus and throughout the meet we always make sure if we’re not warming up or preparing for our events that we go out and cheer (our teammates) on as much as we can just to create team unity and everybody loves to be cheered on to get that extra push.”

Allen, a freshman, was the lone individual champion on the men’s side, garnering a first place finish in the 200 (22.40 seconds.)

The men’s team earned third place in the SUNYAC Championships.

“Our coach told us that was the best performance by both women’s and men’s side, so that was good to hear from our coach,” said Ray Peoples, a junior sprinter. “We’ve been known just for our sprinters, but recently it’s been our jumpers and long distant runners and other field events that have come through in the clutch for us, specifically for the girls’ squad in winning back-to-back conference championships.”

Coach Lewis said all three girls competing this weekend have put in a lot of hard work, and each expect to do well at the meet.

“What I like about the three is they’re all ranked pretty high nationally, so they are in a very good position to become All-Americans,” Lewis said. “With a little luck, a national championship could definitely be in the discussion.”

The preliminaries of the 55-meter will take place on Friday at 5:35 p.m. with the finals scheduled for Saturday at 3:25 p.m. The triple jump is slated for Saturday at 9:45 a.m.


• Melissa Kania can be reached by e-mail at kania.record@live.com.