SARATOGA SPRINGS - After winning their third straight Section II Class C title last season, the Fonda-Fultonville boys cross-country team will seek a fourth straight crown Friday at the Section II Championships at Saratoga Spa State Park.
The Braves have gone unblemished through the season winning team titles at the Blackbird, Fort Plain, Colonial Crossover, E.J. Herrmann, Grout, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Greenwich invitationals. FFCS also won the team title at the Colonial Council Championships.
The Greenwich Invitational, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Invitational and Colonial Council Championships all took place on the same course as today's sectional meet.
"We hope to have all of the kids run their best times of the year and hopefully that will place us near the top," Fonda-Fultonville coach Mark Therrien said. "The storm has thrown us a little curve ball this week as far as training but the fact that our kids are pretty familiar with the course should make it easy for the kids to adapt."
Running for the FFCS boys today will be seniors Matt Hoffman, Tyler Angioli, Jimmy Westman, Omijah Piening and Jacob Shave. Also competing for the Braves will be juniors Cameron Gilligan and Dalton Hunter, sophomore Dylan DeSorbo, and freshman Damion Freeman and Cole Wozniak.
The FFCS girls also figure to be a factor as freshman Jamie Kasza will be seeking her second straight trip to the state meet.
- What: Section II?cross country championships
- When: Friday
- Where: Saratoga Spa State Park,?Saratoga Springs
- Schedule: Class B girls (11 a.m.), Class C girls (11:30 a.m.), Class D girls (noon), Class A girls (12:30 p.m.),?Class B boys (1 p.m.), Class C boys (1:30 p.m.), Class D boys (2 p.m.), Class A boys (2:30 p.m.)
Junior Kim Geniti will take aim at her fourth straight trip to states.
Junior Samantha Phelps also qualified for states last season, while junior Carly Littlejohn and seventh-grader Kacie Hunter also will compete for the Lady Braves.
Joining Fonda-Fultonville in the Class B race will be Broadalbin-Perth and Canajoharie-Fort Plain.
"Class C is pretty competitive," Canajoharie-Fort Plain coach Charlie Karker said.
Lucas Steenberg, Zephran Vosburgh, Andy Hanifin, Travis Herringshaw, Austin VanAvery, Gene Ryan, Jordan Ahrens, Josh Cechnicki, Alex Decker and Evan Searles will compete for the C-FP boys.
Ahrens is coming off a win at last Saturday's Tartan Invitational and a third-place effort at the Western Athletic Conference Championships.
"Jordan Ahrens has been running well lately," Karker said. "Hopefully, he can finish in the top 10."
Alexis Kane, Abby Boyer, Catie Corrigan and Quinn Li O'Shea will compete for the Canajoharie-Fort Plain girls
After competing in Class B last season, Broadalbin-Perth drops to Class C this season.
"Being back in Class C gives us hope, but we know it will take an outstanding effort from all of our athletes in order to return to states," Broadalbin-Perth coach Jeff Richards said.
Greg Bogdan, Patrick Brown, Henry Caughey, Matthew Dyer, Alex Hitrick, Hunter Martin, Jacob Mosher and Nicolai Murphy will compete for the B-P boys.
"On the boys' side, Fonda will be tough to beat," Richards said. "Their pack is very strong and [Matt] Hoffman is running tremendous."
Running for the B-P girls will be Renee Bellinger, Christa Decker, Coreena Monroe, Sarah Naple, Alex Opalka, Victoria Opalka, Mackenzie Ottati and Montana Smith.
"On the girls' side Schuylerville, Fonda, and Maple Hill all look very strong," Richards said. "I still believe we can make it a four-way race, but we will need to run much better than we have all season. If both our boys' and girls' teams can finally start to believe in themselves and each other, we should contend. It's up to them."
Gloversville, Johnstown and Amsterdam will compete in Class B against a stout field that includes perennial powers Queensbury and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake.
Also in the field are the nationally-ranked Holy Names girls and Bishop Gibbons, which swept the boys and girls team titles at the Big 10 Championships.
The Gloversville boys are looking for a solid finish, led by John Knox and Alex Gifford.
Jack Hayes, Phil Meher, Hunter Marshall, Matt Rivera and Justin Unislawski also will compete for the Huskies.
"We are looking to have our best race of the season," Gloversville coach Bob Fisher said. "Everyone is healthy and ready. We run in the very competitive Class B division and are looking to be in the top five or six teams."
The Gloversville girls team will have Brittany Craven, Morgan Rienhardt, Haley Schuyler, Emily Ambrosino, Sarah Ambosino, Alicia Anich, Cassandra Ryan, Kate Senzio, Tierney VanDuesen and Darrianna Port in competition.
"The girls team is very young, but very competitive," Fisher said. "The girls will have a very good day if they finish in the top five or six teams."
Daeshan Buseck, Eric Brower, Sam Brunetto, Tyler Askew, Cameron Roten, Aaron Alvarez, Jared Smith and Seth Clark will be in competition for the Johnstown boys.
"Our boys team has made a lot of growth this season," Johnstown coach Allissa LaPort said. "We are looking to improve in times and places from last year."
For the Johnstown girls, Emily Fettinger, Skylar Swatt, Quincey Brabant, Alyssa Henry and Cheyenne DaCorsi will compete.
"We are excited that we will be competing with a full girls team this year at sectionals," LaPort said. "We aren't strong in numbers but we are looking forward to placing."
The Amsterdam boys will have seniors Nick Raponi, Matt Raponi, Josh Turo and Patrick Purtell in competition, as well as sophomores Brett Flint, Teddy Picciocca, Jose Perez and Pablo Almodovar.
Rounding of the Rams' lineup will be freshman Jonathan Knack.
"The Amsterdam boys are poised to finish the season on a positive note with strong showings at sectionals," Amsterdam boys coach Kevin Wilary said. "Led by seniors Nick and Matt Raponi, the Amsterdam boys goals is to finish in the top half of their race."
The Amsterdam girls cross country team will most likely be without No. 1 runner Megan Ottati, a senior, but the Lady Rams remain hopeful of a solid finish.
"Section II Class B girls is very competitive. Four teams are either ranked nationally [Academy of Holy Names] or statewide [Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Queensbury, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons]," Amsterdam girls coach Stu Palczak said. "We have been state-ranked, so we will not be intimidated. We feel will confident that our team can place in the top five. Our girls are ready to peak at the right time."
Competing for Amsterdam will be seniors Deb Johnson and Kelly Paris, juniors Illenis Quinones and Caitlyn Adamchick, freshman Chantel Dopp, and seventh-grader Brenda Santana.
This season, Mayfield senior Tom McClellan has posted wins at the Blackbird, Fort Plain, Johnstown, Galway and Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake invitationals.
McClellan also won the boys' title at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 23.
McClellan will seek his third straight trip to the state meet today.
Also competing for Mayfield will be seniors Ryan Bumpus, Josh Murphy, Tom Steele and Lucas Mormando, and juniors Mitchell Akowicz, Sam Kilpatrick, Luke Cole, Cody Horowitz and Jake Smith. Sophomores Brent Gray and Josh Gallup also will compete for the Panthers.
"The guys team has been finishing in the middle of the pack a lot," Mayfield coach Greg Ernst said. "However, if the top five can all race their best on Friday, we should be able to get a few of the teams we've been close to all year."
Like McClellan, seniors Lidija Nikollaj and Sarah Montgomery have qualified for states the last two years.
Senior Allie Miller and sophomore Kelsey Wasson also will compete for Mayfield.
"Lidija Nikollaj, Sarah Montgomery and Tom McClellan qualified for the state meet in 2010 and 2011, so they know what it takes to be competitive in sectionals," Ernst said. "It's not an easy task, only five move on to states, but all three have a realistic shot again this year."
The meet will begin with the girls taking to the course, starting with the Class B race at 11 a.m. The Class C girls are scheduled to run at 11:30 a.m., followed by Class D (noon) and Class A (12:30 p.m.).
The boys races will begin at 1 p.m. with Class B, following by Class C (1:30 p.m.), Class D (2 p.m.) and Class A (2:30 p.m.)