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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 12, 2009

Local cross-country teams run wild at sectionals

By Jordan J. Michael

SARATOGA –– The Section II cross-country championships are held at Saratoga State Park every single year. Local runners know the course intimately and excel because of it.

The Voorheesville girls’ team repeated as Class C champions with 42 points, and the Berne-Knox-Westerlo boys won the Class D title with 65 points after winning Class C a year ago. However, the Voorheesville boys missed the Class C crown by one point for the second straight season.

Blackbird senior Conor Cashin took the individual title for the second year running with a time of 15:48.44, forty seconds ahead of the competition. That wasn’t enough to award the team first place in Class C.

“I stuck to a good pace today and found a comfortable place,” said Cashin after his race. “I started breaking away after the first mile. I do all the little things and train hard. You have to want it.”

“I got my team to run fast and they can’t run any faster,” Head Coach Phil Carducci said of the Voorheesville boys’ 44-to-45 loss to Fonda. “We lost to them two separate times this year, both by 20 points. We had a better shot with a full team, but it didn’t happen. I’m just happy for Cashin; he’s a dedicated runner. It was an easy race for him this year and he earned it.”

Cashin will be going to the state meet with Taylor Treadgold, who finished in sixth place with a time of 16:47.33. Joe Becker came in 10th, Dylan Parry in 11th, and Tucker Bourque finished in 17th place.

“Completing a cross-country race is a huge relief because it’s a painful thing,” Treadgold said. “You just want to stop, but at the same time you want to push yourself more.”

The Lady Birds ran the final race of the day, and sophomore Michelyn Little came in third with a time of 19:33.01. Junior Jolie Siegel had a time of 20:05.92 to place fifth and Sawyer Cresap finshed in ninth place. Karen Obertubbesing, Casey Morrison, and Zoe Edmunds all placed in the top 20 for Voorheesville.

“Defending your title is always nice and all these girls were prepared,” said Head Coach Steve Relyea. “The team is very deep, but I think the sophomores really led the way today and all season. They run as a pack together.”

The Lady Birds sat in their team tent all day in the cold waiting to race. Obertubbesing told The Enterprise before the race that waiting around all day isn’t as bad as people may think.

“We have music and books to pass the time, but it’s mentally tiring to see all the other runners go by,” Obertubbesing said. “We just want to get out there and go. But, we don’t have to worry about cold muscles because warm-ups take care of that. Earlier, we were in the woods cheering on the boys’ team.”

“We were all really excited to win and it felt similar to last year,” said Little. “Every meet during the season leads up to this moment. It was fun and I love being around these girls.”

Everyone’s a winner

The BKW boys moved down to Class D after competing in Class C last year, based on the school’s enrollment. The team won its sixth sectional title in the past nine seasons on Friday and its twice in a row. The Bulldogs finished with 65 overall points, 14 ahead of second place Berlin.

“It’s very satisfying to consistently be a winning team,” said Head Coach Bill Tindale. “We’ve been passing the concept of hard work down to the younger kids for a while now and we’ve seen positive results. This program has a great attitude towards running.”

Coach Tindale awarded the efforts of Taylor DellaRocco and Jon Delong for keeping with the pace and practically winning the race for the Bulldogs. Sophomore Connor Devine took the fourth-place spot with a time of 16:29.34, and Sean Reynolds was close behind in sixth with 16:47.36. Derek Struck posted a time of 17:08.74 for 13th.

“We always show other teams that we can win even though they think we’re rebuilding,” said Devine. “We have such a small school, but such a good cross-country team. Coach Tindale knows what he’s talking about.”

BKW has 11 sophomores on the team, so the winning ways will most likely continue. Now, all the runners have to worry about is what parts of the Saratoga course are the best.

“We like to catch everyone at the end where the woods are,” DellaRocco said. “And that second hill, it doesn’t seem like a hill, it seems flat. It’s a pretty smooth course. We’ve had a lot of luck here.”

The Lady Bulldogs fell victim to a shutout by Greenwich in the Class D race. The Witches took the top five places and scored 15 points. BKW had 93 points to place third overall and freshman Courtney Tedeschi was the first non-Greenwich runner to cross the line in sixth with a time of 19:04.68.

“Greenwich has a great program and they’re really hard to beat,” said Tindale. “I’m not sure if the girls had their best race, but they finished where we thought they would.”

Seventh-grader Allie Tedeschi will join sister Courtney at states after finishing in 11th place. Freshman Angela Cunningham posted a 22:39.73, good enough for 20th.

“I’m ready to go after Greenwich at states because I’m ranked right with them,” Courtney Tedeschi said.

In the girls’ Class AA race, Guilderland Head Coach Dave Kosier was pleased with the teams’ third place finish behind the powers of Saratoga and Shenendehowa. The Blue Streaks and the Plainsmen split the top 15 spots and Michelle Fish was the first to cross the line for the Lady Dutch in 16th with a time of 18:38.76.

“It was really the best-case scenario that we could have had,” said Kosier. Guilderland edged out Columbia, a team that had given the Dutch fits all year. “It came down to our depth. We had a lot of personal bests today. We came to fight,” said Kosier.

Erin Mossop and Jenna Robinson finished 18th and 19th and Meghan Collins came in 31st.

“I really enjoy being around this team because they make my job fun,” Kosier said. “These girls are easy to coach and they have a positive attitude. They’re willing to give new things a try.”

The Guilderland boys’ team finished in the middle of the Class AA pack with an overall score of 165. Sophomore Austin Miller was the first Dutch runner across the finish line in 23rd with a time of 16:17.64.

Head Coach Jason Burlingame, who is a former cross-country runner for the Dutchmen, said that 2009 was a “good rebuilding year” for the team. “We’re up against some phenomenal teams,” he said. “It’s tough to place high in this section.”

Andrew Coy, Andrew Klug, Sean Doyle, and Taylor Muztafago all finished within 13 places of each other.

“All of these guys had personal bests today, but they are a little disappointed,” said Burlingame. “We started the race super slow.”

Senior Muztafago wanted to give people an idea of how much an athlete can eat the night before a big race. “I had six plates of chicken and rice, some bread, salad, pie, and some apple cobbler,” he said. “Can’t be running on an empty stomach, man.”

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