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Featured AHS and BPHS cross country runners

“A quiet leader”

The Amsterdam Lady Rams cross country team has seen many talented runners graduate over the past six years such as Danielle Schroeder, Rebecca Johnson, and Delilah Quinones. But, one constant throughout those years has been Chantel Dopp, who has been part of the program’s success in the former Big 10 conference and its transition to the Foothills Council.

“One accomplishment for us that I will remember is winning the Big 10 titles,” Dopp said. “But, in general every time we finish and do well.”

Dopp was part of a 2013 AHS team that won the Big 10 title, the team’s last before leaving for the Foothills Council. Dopp, along with Delilah Quinones and Caitlyn Adamchick made a formidable team that helped AHS to the top in the former Big 10. Today she teams with sophomore Olivia Lazarou as one of Amsterdam’s top runners.

“Running with Delilah, she would always push me to do better,” Dopp said. “Just being a part of the team and running together is something I will miss.”

When the next season dawns, the fact that Dopp won’t be in an AHS uniform hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“She’s a quiet leader,” Amsterdam coach Stu Palczak said. “She really works hard and is a supportive teammate. She’s a good kid and we will really miss her. I can’t imagine what it will be like without her here next year.”

“An over- achiever”

Cadey Nolan has been a part of the Broadalbin-Perth girls varsity cross country team for three years and has known joy of victory and the agony of defeat. She was part of a 2013 BPHS team that won at sectionals and made it to states. That team featured four members who graduated last season; Coreena Monroe, Sarah Naple, Alexandria Opalka and Victoria Opalka, and part of team that fell short of their goal in returning to states in 2014. But, that only makes her more determined than ever to get her team back to states.

“Cadey is an over-achiever and someone who puts everything into it,” BPHS coach Jeff Richards. “Even when she’s hurting she finds a way to keep herself going. She makes the younger ones go. During a race she’ll find one and push her. She’s a leader.”

Nolan sited a pair of moments that will always stand out for her. One obvious and one that certainly the team will remember.

“Winning sectionals in my first year I will always remember,” Nolan said. “And the deal we made with Coach Richards that if we win, he would do a back flip.”

Following Nolan in the race was Amsterdam’s only senior on the girls team, Chantel Dopp, who has been part of the Lady Rams varsity team since the seventh grade.

“A good track sprinter…distance runner”

“He was our number one runner today and a minute faster that last week,” Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary said of Gabe Fernandez who has been to nationals as part of Amsterdam track and field relay teams. Fernandez was just behind teammate Ryan Kamanu in last weeks meet against Gloversville, but today was the top runner for AHS.

“He was more focused in today’s race,” Wilary said. “He ran like he can. Gabe’s a good track sprinter, and he’s a good distance runner.”

“A leader in every sense of the word”

Alex Hitrick has been a part of the Broadalbin-Perth cross country program for the last five years and has been a constant force behind its improvement. The win on Tuesday definitely held meaning for Hitrick.

“This win is very important,” Hitrick said. “Since I’ve been a part of the varsity team we haven’t had many wins except for maybe when a team was incomplete. This was our first time having won at a dual meet.”

Hitrick has in the past often been the top runner for BPHS. However, this summer he got the team together to train and mentored the younger runners. That commitment paid off in Tuesday’s result when sophomore Lance Jennings crossed the line first with a time of 16:39, followed by Hitrick with a time of 16:41.

“I wanted to bring Lance Jennings with me,” Hitrick said. “When we trained during the summer I said to him that if he could stay with me then, that he could stay with me today. It made a difference for us today. It felt good inside to let him know how good a runner he is.”

Hitrick’s efforts have certainly caught the attention of head coach Jeff Richards.

“He’s worked so hard,” Richards said. “He gets the kids to do more than I could, calling the kids together during the summer to train. He’s a leader in every sense of the word.”

Hitrick was followed in the race by another senior; Amsterdam’s Gabe Fernandez who finished with a time of 16:54 which was a big improvement from last weeks race against Gloversville.

“A hard worker”

“Jon’s been here since the seventh grade,” Coach Wilary said. “He’s a hard worker who gives it his all, all the time. He’s been our top runner the last couple of years and just keeps working his way up.”

Knack’s memories of his time on varsity were centered around teamwork.

“Just being a part of the varsity team and always doing our best,” Knack said. “Making it to sectionals has always been a goal. Helping us better our standards.”

 

About Scott Mulford

Scott Mulford has been covering local sports for over 20 years. He previously wrote for the Amsterdam Star and The Free Press of the Mohawk Valley.

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