The Amsterdam varsity girls and boys cross-country teams earned seventh place finishes in the school’s first Foothills Council championships on Monday afternoon at Saratoga State Park. Both varsity races were won by the host school Queensbury. The AHS varsity boys scored a total of 191 points, while the varsity girls team scored 159 points. The highlight for the varsity squads was freshman Olivia Lazarou’s fifth place finish in the girls race with a time of 18 minutes and 53.52 seconds.
“Basically, I had to start out running hard and finish hard, “ said Lazarou who contended with other top front-runners for the second time in two weeks at Saratoga..”I had to push it for meets coming up. The coaches mostly wanted me to work on my start outs and trying to keep up and catch the person ahead of me, and work on getting faster.”
There were not many girls faster than Lazarou though. Gloversville’s Alexis Bielli won the varsity girls race with a time of 17:56.11. Queensbury’s Sherri Metcalf (18:30.28) was second, Schuylerville’s Ashley Watson (18:38.49) was third, and Queensbury’s Alexis Bartlett (18:43.52) finished ahead of Lazarou.
“One goal was for her to finish where she did,” said AHS girls coach Stu Palczak. “She started out going strong and finished strong.”
After Lazarou, the Lady Rams finished as a pack. Senior Alyssa Turo (23:07.17) was the next across the finish line followed by Emma Gomez (23:23.76), Chanetel Dopp (23:40.48), and Natalie Fernandez (23:55.88), good for places 40 through 43. Mikayla Pine (26:05.57) finished 54th to round out the scoring for AHS. The Lady Rams completed the course with an average time of 22:36.17.
“We’ve been a little banged up lately and have had our ups and downs this season,” said Coach Palczak. “Some of the girls haven’t been feeling well and haven’t been practicing. I’m not real surprised on where we finished. We have to be healthy. The girls have to have the mindset of finishing the season strong.”
Lazarou’s top five run also earned her an award for being among the top ten freshman finishers. AHS boys freshman Ryan Kamanu picked up the same honor for the Running Rams. Kamanu’s time of 18:56.29 was good for 48th place and put him among the top underclassmen.
Junior Jon Knack (18:18.79) was the first AHS varsity boys runner to cross followed closely by junior William Weinheimer (18:19.14). Senior Teddy Piccoicca (18:21.83) finished 38th, Alex Stewart (18:52.54) was 45th, followed by Kamanu. Edgar Maldonado (20:31.97) took 57th and Reyers Brusoe (23:55.43) in 64th completed the field for AHS. The Rams average time to complete the course was 18:33.72 which was an improvement from the Burnt Hills Invitational, and a fact that did not go unnoticed by their coach.
“This was the same course we ran for the Burnt Hills Invitational,” said AHS boys coach Kevin Wilary. “One thing I was impressed with was that last week they didn’t have their best run, but today they considerably beat their times by an average of forty seconds. Today they were better as a team. We need to stay competitive and continue to make our times better.”
Amsterdam competed in the modified and junior varsity girls races as well. Both the modified teams had runners finish in the top ten. Seventh grader Kayla Sandrup (13:26.38) finished seventh in the girls race and classmate Cory Motyl (12:15.39) came in at ninth place in the boys race.
Overall the modified girls finished sixth with 145 points and an average time of 15:09.17. Naomi Weiss (15:05.28) finished 35th followed by Skylar Grybos (15:19.43), Natalia Quinones (15:39.71), Kayli Hoefs (16:15.02), Kate Phetteplace (16:30.49), Dalia Quinones (16:32.30), Jade Pimental (17:09.41), Ameah Sidbury (17:24.29), and Sheridan Gowen (18:03.23).
The modified boys finished seventh with 163 points. Cuba Fernandez (13:39.04) came in at 30th place followed by Brandon Ribot (14:25.23), Daniel Bubniak (15:58.85), and Angel Zapata (20:15.52).
Rachel Bromberg was the lone competitor for AHS in the junior varsity girls race finishing the course with a time of 34:06.42 good for 44th place.
Amsterdam will compete in the Section 2 Class A championship also held at Saratoga State Park on October 31st. The championships will be an all day event featuring many of the best teams in New York State.