“Run Olivia run!” were words were heard often along the rural course at Bobs Tree’s in Galway on Wednesday afternoon during the Amsterdam Lady Rams cross country meet with Schuylerville. The freshman hoped to improve her time heading into next Mondays’ Foothills Council championships. Lazarou and her teammates had to contend with a talented Schuylerville team that won the crossover meet 20-35.
“Schuylerville went out hard right away,” said AHS coach Stu Palczak. “They kept it up throughout the race.”
As the teams completed the first round through the 2.8 mile course, Schuylerville’s Ashley Watson kept a steady pace in front of Lazarou and the rest of the field. Lazarou remained within striking distance of Watson giving the Lady Rams hope of a first place finisher. As other runners came through the first loop, Schuylerville’s runners were ahead of AHS. The Lady Rams had to catch up to win.
Heading for the finish, Watson was in front with Lazarou close behind. Watson crossed the line first with a time of 17 minutes and 49 seconds. Lazarou (18:05) was first across for the Lady Rams.
“Our first goal for her was to break 19 minutes and she did that,” said Coach Palczak. “I was impressed with her from Saturday.”
Lazarou set a new school record with a time of 18 minutes and 37.16 seconds in the Burnt Hills Invitational this past Saturday. She eclipsed the mark of 18:41 set by Evelyn Marrero in 2006.
“I would like her to finish in the top five at the Foothills championships,” said Coach Palczak. “She should challenge for first place.”
The Lady Rams faced a serious challenge on the course as the Schuylerville pack emerged from the woods in front of the AHS pack. Julia Freemire (19:21), Suzie Hanehan (20:05), and Caitlin Scavone (20:12) were next to cross the line for Schuylerville ahead of the Lady Rams next finisher Chantel Dopp (21:16).
“We faced harder competition today,” said AHS senior Alyssa Turo. “They started out faster. I was just running to try and catch someone.”
Schuyllerville’s Rainey Cerqua finished seventh at 21:46 followed by Turo (22:16) and Amsterdam”s Natalie Fernandez (22:35) and Mariah Rackowski (22:41). Schuylerville’s Teghan Murrey (22:52), and Amsterdam’s Emma Gomez ( 23:08) completed the field.
“We need to get better as a team,” said Turo. “We need to work on hills more and on speed.”
The Lady Rams will meet the likes of Schuylerville and new division rivals Broadalbin- Perth and Gloversville in the Foothills Council championships at Saratoga State Park on Monday afternoon. The varsity girls and boys will both be in action.
“For Foothills I would like to see us finish in the top half and as a team finish strong,” said Coach Palczak. “I’d like us to finish in the top three, top four.”
The girls race will feature some of the top teams and top runners in Section 2. Lazarou will be joined by the likes of Watson and Gloversville’s Alex Bielli, and Briittany Craven as front runners, as well as Broadalbin Perth’s pack of seniors Coreena Monroe, Victoria and Alexandria Opalka and Sarah Naple. The first race is scheduled to begin at 3pm.
(Photos by Scott Mulford)