October 27, 2011 —
SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — High school sports create many lifelong memories. This past week authored the latest series of salient memories for a number of area individual athletes and the teams they represent. Cross-country runners entered the spotlight at the Division IV and V championships held in Liberty and Eldred respectively.
At Liberty, Sullivan West’s Dani Myers (19:36) won her third consecutive Division IV title, leading the Lady Westies to their seventh division title, taking advantage of Tri-Valley’s relocation to Division V. The Lady Bulldogs narrowly edged out James I. O’Neill 26-29. (In cross-country, the team with the lowest combined score from its first five runners is the victor.) Eighth grade phenom Courtney Meyerer (19:48) finished second, just a week after leading her fellow harriers to a team win at the 12th Annual Ben Boice Invitational in Millbrook against a daunting field of schools including Onteora, FDR, Spackenkill, Red Hook, Highland, Marlboro and others. Kelsey Dutton (20:03) took fourth in the division race, and with Corinne Van Wagner (21:38) and Rosa Martinez (21:55) finishing ahead of O’Neill’s fifth runner, the title was secured.
In the boys race, O’Neill sophomore Zach Snel (16:33) outdistanced Sullivan West’s Reed Scott to help the Raiders to the team title. Scott’s meteoric rise continued. In 2009, he was ninth in 18:44. Last year, he finished fourth in 17:22, a prelim to this year’s second place in 16:40. Scott is looking to secure a place in the state meet this year for the first time. Myers and Dutton are state meet veterans. Myers won a medal last year as she finished 20th.
Coming up this week is the OCIAA league meet at Bear Mountain, a tune up for the sectionals on November 4, which serves as a state qualifier. Tri-Valley took its winning ways to the Division V circuit, as the boys and girls won again as they had in Division IV. This was the T-V girls’ 12th straight division championship. They were led by Autumn Bender’s first-place finish in 22:31 on the 3.1-mile course. Eldred’s Christine Donnelly (23:21) was second. T-V’s Olivia Rehm (23:48) was third and Danielle Graham (24:11) was fifth. T-V outscored Eldred 22-43.
In the boys race, it was Eldred’s Hunter Proscia (18:32) in first, with T-V’s Jim Bernstein (18:37) and Omar Lopez (19:01) in second and third. Eldred’s Alex Campanella (19:31) was fourth. The quartet of fine runners looks to return to states. This year’s meet will be held at Vernon-Verona Sherill Central School on November 12. Eldred runs in Class D and Tri-Valley competes in Class C.