Birds looking to get on track

VOORHEESVILLE — The Voorheesville track-and-field teams are not just strong in numbers this season. They also have a lot of experience as they head into the spring season.
"The numbers are good," said Voorheesville Coach Steve Relyea. "This year, the right people are out. We have some of the past leaders of the team. They are settled into position and can get the job done. Compared to other teams, we are still small. But we have the right talent."

Voorheesville has not been able to show that talent on the track yet this season. Due to rainy and snowy weather, the Blackbirds have had to spend a lot of time practicing inside.
"It’s been hard to get out training," Relyea said. "Thursday, I hope I’m pleasantly surprised. We’re going into it pretty much blind."

The Blackbirds will have a Colonial Council dual meet with Mechanicville at Lansingburgh on Thursday.

Both the boys’ and girls’ teams will be led by several members of successful cross-country teams.
"We’ll be solid in the distances," Relyea said. "We’ll be good in the 800 and up to the 3,000 and 3,200 [meters]."


Macky Lloyd, Ryan Allison, Ian Powell, Conor Cashan, and Nathan Bub all had successful cross-country seasons in the fall, and ran at the Junior Olympic national competition last summer.

Voorheesville will also get points from some other spots on the field.
"The relays will help us out," Relyea said. "We’ll also be strong in the field events, jumps and the pole vault."

Matt Miller will compete in the high jump for Voorheesville this spring. Josh Glover and Anthony Loccisano will be strong in the field events, Relyea said.
"I can put them in to pole vault, triple jump, and long and high jump," the coach said.

Dan Whiteley will run in the 400-meter and 800-meter races this spring.
"We’re looking at him to have a good year," Relyea said.

Pat Jones will bring his talent off the football field and onto the track this spring. He will be a sprinter for the Blackbirds and will run 100-, 200-, and 400-meter, races.

Pat Mackey will run the hurdles at both the 110-meter and 400-meter distances.

There will be new throwers this season. Alex Sotola and Sean Fitzmaurice are newcomers to the team and will throw the discus and shot put.
"They can come through with some good throws," Relyea said. "I would like to see Sam Pelham into that group. But it’s still too early to see."

Relyea is excited to see the newcomers to the boy’s team.
"We have junior and seniors that have never come out before," the coach said. "They are showing promise. We’ll see how that pans out."


The Blackbirds hope crosscountry success will transfer to the track this spring. The Lady Blackbirds will be led by the Edmunds sisters, Hilary and her younger sibling, Zoe.

Chantel Little will also be a key contributor in long-distance races for the Birds this season. Grace Giampaglia, Alison Vogelien, Lizzie Dawson, and Kali Votraw will also run long distances on the track.
"They are solid and should help us with the distances," Relyea said. "They will help us everywhere from 200 and up. Alison is also an outstanding high jumper."

Michelyn Little had an outstanding cross-country season and has come on strong, Relyea said.

Seneca Gray will be good at the hurdles this season.
"She is an outstanding hurdler," Relyea said. "We are looking for great things from her."

Carrie Gorka, Jen Belgiovine, and Mollee Barone will sprint for the Blackbirds this season.
"They will be middle distance, 400 and 800," Relyea said.

The Blackbirds have 40 girls on the team this spring.
"It’s the most we’ve had," Relyea said. "But it was a very talented 40. They did well last year. We have the talent to be among the upper teams in the league. I’m looking forward to it."

High hopes

Relyea has very big expectations for the team this year. Last year, the Blackbirds competed as a Class B team. This year, due to a slight decrease in school enrollment, the Birds will be a Class CC team.
"It will be interesting to see with the changes," Relyea said. "Especially on the girls’ side. It’s going to be tougher. Greenwich is in there. It’s going to be tougher at the sectional level. The boys were second in Class B last year. We don’t have to go up against Fonda, which is a very strong B team."

Relyea has been the catalyst in rebuilding the track-and-field program at Voorheesville. Interest had waned in the years before he took over. The addition of a new track around the football field helped as well.
"This group has gotten stronger," Relyea said. "This is my fifth year here. And it’s gotten a lot better since I first started. A lot of the young kids are juniors and seniors. They’ve proved to be a good consistent team.
"They are a lot stronger and more experienced," Relyea added. "They’ve been hanging out for four and five years. We were hurt a little bit by graduation. But this year, we have a lot of numbers. The kids are seeing that, if you put the time in, you are going to have good results."

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