AHS boys cross country effort comes up short against Johnstown

Amsterdam freshman Trevor Dzikowicz won his third consecutive Foothills Council dual meet race highlighting a strong effort by the Amsterdam boys varsity cross-country team, but the Rams finished on the short end of a 35-26 decision to the Johnstown Sir Bills on Tuesday afternoon at Johnstown High School.

“I thought it was close,” Amsterdam coach Kevin Wilary said. “Trevor (Dzikowicz) went out and continued to run great. Dan (Bublak) and Chan J (Ramos) had their best races of the year. Marcos (Santiago) had a great run on Saturday, and he always gives his best effort.”

Tuesday’s meet was unique as the Rams were running with not only Johnstown, but also Gloversville and Scotia-Glenville, who contested their Foothills Council dual meet at Johnstown High School. Amsterdam only scored against Johnstown, and Dzikowicz appreciated the chance to run against some of the top competitors from the Foothills Council.

“It was fun running against more competition,” Dzikowicz said. “It helps me work harder to get where I need to be.”

Dzikowicz had plenty of competition most notably from Gloversville’s Skyler Reed who challenged Dziowicz for the lead through the first lap of the 3.1 mile course. But, as the runners came out of the woods and headed for home, Dzikowicz had built a substantial lead and crossed the finish line well ahead of the field with a time of 18 minutes and 35 seconds.

“It was a fast course,” Dzikowicz said. “The hills were steep and that hurt the pace a little bit.”

Johnstown’s Gabe Cole (19:00) was second followed by Amsterdam’s Dan Bublak (19:32), but the next three runners were Sir Bills. Mike Simone (19:48), Mark Cwiakala (19:51), and Zach Ropeter (20:27) all crossed the line ahead of Amsterdam’s Chaun J Ramos (20:30) and Marcos Santiago (20:35). At that point the score was a tight 17-19 Johnstown advantage. Dom Disc (20:57), and Nolan Hayes (21:55) rounded out the top ten and sealed the win for the Sir Bills. Nick Rodecker and Tim Kruger also completed the course for the Rams. Amsterdam’s top modified boys finisher was Joseph Santiago.

The first place finish was the third straight against Foothills Council South Division opponents for Dzikowicz, who previously placed second to Scotia-Glenville’s Nate Tabbert in the Rams first dual meet of the year at Indian Meadows Park in Glenville. Dzikowicz anticipated seeing Tabbert among the leaders on Tuesday, but the only runner to stay with him was Reed.

“I was expecting him (Tabbert) to keep up but I guess Scotia-Glenville had different plans,” Dzikowicz said. “I feel that I can do better when I have others to push me.”

The Scotia-Glenville boys stayed together as a pack for much of the race, and finished together with six of them rushing to the finish simultaneously. Dzikowicz and the Rams will have a chance to run against the Scotia- Glenville squad again over the next two weeks as they face the Tartans in the Foothills Council championships at Saratoga Springs State Park on October 23. The Rams will prepare for that race with a run in the Manhattan Invitational on Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park.

“It’s broken up into different races with some in varsity, and there’s a freshman race,” Coach Wilary said. “Trevor (Dzikowicz) will run in the freshman race. It will be fun seeing what they do there. It will be exciting to see how our Amsterdam girls do.”

Following the Foothills Council championships, Amsterdam will run in the Schodack Island Invitational on October 28th which has been moved to their home course at Bob’s Trees in Galway for the 2017 event. The Rams will then conclude the 2017 high school cross country campaign with a run in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Section 2 Cross Country Championships on November 3 at Saratoga Springs State Park.


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.