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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, May 12, 2011

BKW: small school, bigger track-and-field hopes

By Jordan J. Michael

BERNE –– Students at larger schools may not know where Berne-Knox-Westerlo is geographically, but BKW is carrying a steady pace and about to make a pass.

The Bulldogs, from Class C, competed against mostly Class AA and A schools on Saturday at the Colonie Relay Carnival. This was the fourth time this season that BKW’s track and field team took on larger schools, having done so at Bethlehem, Albany Academy, and Schenectady.

“We’ve been doing this for years to challenge the kids,” said Fred Marcil, who is once again a coach for BKW track-and-field after coaching the team from 1982 to 1995. “They get great experiences out of it.”

Both the girls’ and boys’ teams finished 10th out of a field of 16. The Bulldogs got top six finishes in the steeplechase, 4 x 800-meter relay, sprint medley relay, high jump, pole vault, and shot put.

“We go large with every chance we get,” said the girls’ coach, Bill Dergosits, who used to compete against BKW when he went to school at Mohonasen. “It’s a challenge and our athletes realize they can contend with anyone.”

Sophomore Courtney Tedeschi won the 2000 steeplechase with a time of 7:13, fifteen seconds ahead of second place. She won the same race at Bethlehem on April 16 and finished second in the mile run at Schenectady on May 3.

“These bigger meets give you more confidence,” said Tedeschi, who ran the sprint medley relay at Colonie with Tiara Conklin, Sabrina Squires, and Abby Swint. The team broke a school record. “There’s always someone in front, pushing you,” said Tedeschi.

No one was in front of Tedeschi on Saturday as she led the steeplechase all the way through. She was happy with the race, but said she beat the same girls at Bethlehem, despite “face planting into the water.”

Tedeschi said that her whole life revolves around running. However, she overworked herself during cross-country last fall, passing out during a race at the state competition. Now, Tedeschi tries hard to relax, while staying focused at the same time.

“I have this journal, and all my negative thoughts get written down and forgotten,” Tedeschi said. “Running is fun for me and it came so easily. This sounds crazy, but I love the pain. I get high from it.”

Senior Brandon Kallner, Connor Devine, Sean Reynolds, and Tyson Davidson came in second in the sprint medley relay at Colonie with a time of 3:47.3. Kallner was also part of the high-jump relay that placed in third, and the 4 x 800-meter relay that came in sixth.

Kallner has had quite the season –– winning the pentathlon at Fonda, the 110-meter hurdles and long jump at Albany Academy, the long jump at Schenectady, and placing third in the 200-meter at Schenectady. Kallner said he “swept everything” at all the Western Athletic Conference dual meets, too.

“He’s one of the best athletes in our history,” said Marcil of Kallner.

This week, Kallner listed his personal bests in: 110-meter hurdles, 15.5; long jump, 20 feet, 4 inches; high jump, 6 feet; and pentathlon, 3,064 points. He competes in other track and field events as well.

“I like the adrenaline you get from these larger meets,” said Kallner, who would like to compete in college. “I like to run and jump. It’s just what I do.”

Marcil told The Enterprise that BKW is on par with the bigger schools. “Good kids and good coaching,” he said.

Dergosits and Marcil get assistance from Maria Tedeschi, Bill Tindale, and Rich Holoday. “Each coach has a different specialty,” Dergosits said. “We use our Spartan knowledge.”

“All of us work very hard,” Courtney Tedeschi said. “Everyone is supportive. Our team is one of the best.”

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