Pritchard, Patrei covering all the bases for AHS

After running her race at a recent Amsterdam High School varsity track and field meet, Giuliana Pritchard had to run across town. First, she was competing in the final heat of the 100 meter dash, in which she finished fourth, and then immediately following the race, Pritchard had to leave to play basketball for the Amsterdam X-Plosion 17-Under girls AAU team that was entered in a local tournament. But, that’s not all. Pritchard is actually playing three sports this spring, adding junior varsity softball to her schedule. And Pritchard is not alone, in fact both she and fellow freshman Emma Patrei are both playing for the AHS junior varsity softball team and running for the Amsterdam Lady Rams varsity track team.

“We’ve been compromising it,” said Pritchard on the experience. “We’ve been going half practice to one and than the other. The coaches let us know about any changes so they can make arrangements. It’s working out.”

Pritchard, only a freshman, played softball on the Amsterdam girls modified team last season and recently completed her second season on the Amsterdam High School girls varsity basketball team this past Winter. Now, she’s adding track and field to her growing resume of sports teams’ that she’s been a member of while at AHS, one that began with her swimming for the Lady Rams varsity swim team last year as an eighth grader.

“Basketball is my favorite sport but I enjoy all of them,” Pritchard said after her AAU basketball team, the Amsterdam X-Plosion won the girls 17-Under division at the ‘Madness on the Mohawk’ tournament in which Pitchard was presented the team MVP award by X-Plosion and AHS varsity head coach Eric Duemler. “The coaches are supportive and think it’s a good experience for me.”

Pritchard finished fourth in the girls 100 meter dash at this years’ Kiwanis Bi County meet at Broadalbin-Perth High School, her first race, and recently finished third in the same event at an AHS home meet against Johnstown to score a point for the Lady Rams team. Pritchard also ran a personal best 29.6 seconds in the 200 meter run in the same meet to finish third and score another point for AHS. Pritchard’s teammate in both softball and track and field, Emma Patrei has also been scoring for the Lady Rams with top three finishes in both the 800 meter run and the 4×800 meter relay.

“We’re pretty fortunate to have them both on the team,” Amsterdam girls track and field head coach Stu Palczak said. “The coaches have been flexible with the practices, and the girls and coaches are doing a super job.”

Palczak said that Pritchard will be entered in the 100 meter and 200 meter sprint events. Currently her 14.10 finish in the 100 meter, and 29.6 in the 200 meter are her personal bests. Patrei will be entered in the mid distance events including the 800 meter run where at a recent Foothills Council against Broadalbin-Perth she finished second with a time 2 minutes and 37.6 seconds and ran the anchor leg of the AHS girls winning 4×800 relay team. Patrei also finished second in the 800 meter run in a recent meet against Johnstown, and teamed up with Edena Sanchez, Emma Gomez and Alyssa Turo to win the 4×800 meter relay with a team time of 10 minutes and 49.90 seconds.

“I ran indoor track this year and had fun,” said Patrei who in the Fall plays for the AHS girls varsity soccer team. “I really liked it and decided to run outdoor track.”

Patrei’s role on the AHS junior varsity softball team often puts her at the center of the action. She’s a pitcher, and when not in the circle Patrei starts at another key position for the Lady Rams infield, at shortstop.

“The coaches are good at making the practices even for us,” Patrei said. “They compromise.”

Sometimes that means compromising on the same day which was the case this past Tuesday, where Patrei ran in the Lady Rams track teams’ first event against Scotia-Glenville, the 4×800 meter relay and then left for nearby Shuttleworth Park to play Lady Rams softball against Glens Falls.

“This week Emma ran at a track meet and helped the relay team take second place, and then pitched a game for us and won it,” Amsterdam junior varsity softball coach Colleen Resila said. “Both Emma and Giuliana are handling it great. They’re very good athletes and have good attitudes. They do a great job on the bases.”

Patrei played shortstop on Thursday afternoon against Scotia-Glenville and made an acrobatic catch in the top of the seventh inning to help preserve a 5-4 win for the jayvee Lady Rams.

“Emma has great range as a shortstop,” said Coach Resila. “She’s also our lead-off hitter.”

A few spots down in the batting order, Pritchard has also been having a good season for the junior varsity squad. This past week she has hit two home runs and a triple helping lead the AHS offense to a pair of wins.

“Giuliana is one of the better first baseman I’ve seen in a while,” said Resila of the jayvee squads cleanup hitter. “They both have great personalities.”

As the Spring high school sports season progresses, both girls will be helping their teams compete for league, and Section 2 titles. To date, the Amsterdam girls track and field team is undefeated in the Foothills Council at 4-0 and will try for the Foothills Council South division title Tuesday against Gloversville. The junior varsity softball team is also contending for the leagues best record.

Late one afternoon after an Amsterdam track and field meet, Giuliana Pritchard asked Coach Palczak if she could come to practice early the next day to work with the assistant coaches on her 200 meter run before boarding a bus to leave for an AHS softball game. Palczak agreed and Pritchard was off and running again.

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.