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December 09, 2016
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Winning ways

Liberty’s Andy Hazelnis completes the anchor leg of the Indians’ victorious varsity 400 relay (46.0) at the Tri-Valley Relays.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Much has been written about winning, a goal that for some borders on obsession. But, contrary to the oft-quoted words of the late Vince Lombardi, winning is far from the only thing. That said, it certainly does feel good to win, especially when you’ve worked long and had struggles along the way.

For the Sullivan West Bulldogs baseball team, putting together a string of three consecutive victories to offset a winless season start was uplifting. Victories over Chester and Chapel Field were nice, but a come-from-behind 8-7 win over Monticello was sweeter than sweet. Patrick Pierce hit a bases-clearing triple and then scored on an errant throw to third as the Bulldogs pulled ahead in the fourth inning after trailing 5-1. Junior hurlers Sawyer Erlwein and Karl Knecht combined for the win.

Monticello’s boys and girls track teams bested Port Jervis to remain unbeaten in their league. The Montie boys can lock up a third consecutive Division III title with a win over Liberty on May 9. Should the Lady Monties win there too, it will bring the first girls division title in more than 20 years.

At the Tri-Valley Relays held at the Iatauro Sports Complex on May 5, the Tri-Valley girls track team continued their barnstorm spring avalanche of success with a second-place finish overall and first among the small schools present. The Lady Bears were gold medalists in the following: F/S Sprint Medley Relay (4:36.7); 6400 relay (24:34.6) featuring Brooke Gillette, Olivia Rehm, Danielle Graham and Sabrena Smith; F/S Discus relay (162-3); hammer relay (237-8) with Dominque Darby and Heidi Furman; varsity shot put relay (68-5 ½) with Darby and Mareena DiMilia; 2000 steeplechase (7:58.9) won by Autumn Bender; 300 shuttle hurdles (51.8) with DiMilia, Vicky Tingley and Ali Reynolds; distance medley relay (14:14.6) run by Bender, Alex Brooks, Sabrena Smith and Rehm; javelin relay (185-9); and the 1200 intermediate hurdle relay (3:42.5) behind the combined effort of Katlynn Greffath, Sabrina Smith and Reynolds.

As for the Tri-Valley boys squad, a third-place finish overall and second among small schools marked yet another stellar outing. The boys finished first among Division II schools at the Tri-Valley Invitational and fourth overall at the Monticello Games. The Bears were gold medalists in the following: F/S sprint medley relay (3:54.4) run by Aidan Woolsey, Tyler Greffrath, Josh Winters and Justin Weintraub; and the hammer relay (269.4) with Brendan Tierney and Raphael Ramirez. Eldred’s Hunter Proscia won the 2000 steeplechase in 6:25.3. Craig Burns won the 100 in 11.3; Sullivan West took gold in the high jump relay as Mitch Paciga and Matt Cardona combined for a height of 11-6. Rachel Deppa won the non-scored 1500 racewalk (8:09.4). Liberty claimed the gold medal in the boys 1200 intermediate hurdle relay (3:00.5) as Erick Cuellar, Andy Hazelnis and Kane Sauchuk combined for the speedy win. The Indians also garnered gold in the varsity 400 relay (46.0) as Cuellar, Nick Campos, Kenny Jaycox and Hazelnis marshaled the victory. Liberty’s girls varsity 400 relay (52.7) was also victorious as Amanda Bertholf, Nikole Snyder, Rebeccah Harman and Lara Jane Heslop flew down the track with the baton in hand. In boys golf, Sullivan West completed the season sweep of Tri-Valley with a 234-245 win. Drew Billard led the way with a three-over-par 39 on the front nine at Tarry Brae. The Bulldogs hold a two-match lead over Tri-Valley and Eldred and are in position to win their ninth consecutive Division IV title. Fallsburg’s Richie Elliott shot a one under par 35 at Tarry Brae in a losing effort to Tri-Valley just a day later. Elliott is the reigning OCIAA boys golf champion and a winner in every sense of the word.

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