Ryan Kamanu once again looked like he was running the final leg of a relay race for the Amsterdam track and field team as he sprinted for the finish line during the Amsterdam boys cross country race on Tuesday at Gloversville High School. There was no one around him, not even the wind as competition on a calm, bright sunny day. Kamanu finished first with a time of 17 minutes, and 38 seconds, and got plenty of support from his teammates who took seven of the next eight spots as the Amsterdam boys varsity team earned its first win of the 2016 Foothills Council season. Amsterdam defeated Gloversville 19 to 48.
“He always takes it out hard,” Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary said of Kamanu, who led the race from start to finish. “Last year he would tire at the end, but this year, through training he did himself, he’s keeping it together. Ryan has made himself into an above average cross country runner. He’s getting pretty good. How he finished shows his grittiness and toughness.”
Kamanu was twenty seconds ahead of Gloversville’s Skylar Reed (17:58) who came in second, but the Rams took the next seven spots with Daniel Bublak (18:50) in third followed in order by Trevor Dzikowicz (19:22), Antonio Natole (19:58), John Companion (20:39), Cuba Fernandez (20:57), Chris Pikul (21:06), and Marcos Santiago (22:15).
“I was really impressed,” Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary said. “When we were at Queensbury this past Saturday it was tough. At this dual meet the team stepped up and I saw the improvement. Today Ryan was pushed to run a really nice race. I was impressed with the overall effort.”
Among the young runners of the AHS varsity team making a strong impression was Trevor Dzikowicz, who as only an eighth grader, is already in his second year on the Amsterdam varsity team. Dzikowicz scored in his second straight Foothills Council dual meet this season.
“He keeps getting better and better with every event,” said coach Willary in regards to Dzikowicz.
Dzikowicz, Kamanu and their teammates had to navigate a Gloversville course that featured different types of terrain as well as a few hills. In past years the runners were sent into the woods for the course, but Tuesday’s run took them around the school and athletic fields.
“It was a good course,” Kamanu said. “What I didn’t like was how much pavement there was, and there were some places that were not well marked.”
Gloversville took the next four spots after Santiago with Riley Lake (22:42) rounding out the top ten finishers. Lake was followed in order by Zack Rocas (23:00), John Witzkey (25:58), and Austin Oare (26:09).
Amsterdam’s final four runners were Marco Rivera (26:41), Nick Rodecker (28:20), Jon Santiago (29:31), and Lucas Tepan (32:02). Rounding out the field for Gloversville were Devon Pickney (26:43), and John Crabbe (32:22).
The Amsterdam boys picked up their first dual meet win of the 2016 Foothills Council season. After the race, Kamanu reflected on the reasons for his teams success.
“What coach has been telling us since the season began,” Kamanu said. “Start working as a team, keep moving up, and cheering on your teammates, supporting each other. That brought us together. We played it smart today.”
Amsterdam will next put that teamwork in action against the Broadalbin-Perth Patriots on Tuesday at the Saratoga Biathlon Club. Start time for the meet is 4:30pm.