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Collective joy

Tri-Valley’s Caroline Bertholf leads a one, two, three sweep of the 2000 steeplechase with her wining time of 8:13.1.

By Richard A. Ross
May 12, 2011

GRAHAMSVILLE, NY — In his latest book entitled, “Our Choice: A Chance to Solve The Global Climate Crisis,” Al Gore reflects on an ancient proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Collaborating to achieve a common objective makes great sense in a world where complex problems require the participation of many, not a few, if they are to be solved. Sports are a microcosm of the human experience and, as such, teamwork is a quintessential element thereof. That said, although track and field is a team endeavor, the scoring at meets is heavily weighted by individual performances, with the exception of relay races that involve a quartet of runners.

But each year at the Tri-Valley Relays, collective efforts take on an added allure as the jumping and throwing events feature pairs of athletes whose combined distances are used for scoring. The meet still features a few individual endeavors, such as the 100, the steeplechase, the pentathlon and the 1500/1600 runs. But everything else reinforces Gore’s reference about going far as a product of going together.

To that end, several combined efforts are worthy of mention in the meet won by Ellenville’s boys and Rondout Valley’s girls. Locally, Tri-Valley’s girls were second out of 14 teams, while Liberty was sixth. In the boys’ realm, Tri-Valley finished fourth overall. Eldred was sixth. Sullivan West was not on hand for this meet, nor were the boys from Monticello.

Among the first-place collective girl finishes for Tri-Valley were: the freshman/sophomore sprint medley relay (4:40.8), f/s 400 relay (55.3), 1200 intermediate hurdle relay (3:51.2), varsity shot put relay (65-3 ¾), f/s shot put relay (58-8 ½), javelin relay (169-2) and the hammer relay (145-9). Liberty’s girls, famous for their fiery speed, prevailed in the varsity 800 relay (1:51) and the varsity 400 relay (51.4). Individual efforts by Liberty’s Jessica Dunnigan in the 100 (12.5) and Tri-Valley’s Caroline Bertholf in the 2000 steeplechase (8:13.1) figured into the day’s outcome as well. Dunnigan was named the meet’s Outstanding Female Track Athlete for her role in the winning 400 and 800 relays. Tri-Valley’s Heidi Furman was named the meet’s Outstanding Female Field Athlete for her role in the winning shot put and javelin relays. She helped her team win a silver medal in the hammer throw relay, an event T-V also took first in.