Running to victory

Fredonia’s Brown wins Class C girls X-country title; five locals make states

From left, Fredonia’s Diego Rey, Emily Brown and Josh Johnson show off the awards they won at the Section 6 cross country championships

OBSERVER Staff Report

BEMUS POINT — Fredonia’s Emily Brown, Josh Johnson and Diego Rey, along with Silver Creek’s Jaylah Cossin and Gowanda’s Lyle Warrior, qualified for the statewide cross country meet during Friday’s Section 6 championship race at Bemus Point Golf Course.

Brown came away with a first-place victory in the girls’ Class C race. With a time of 19:45.44, Brown beat the competition by just four-tenths of a second for the win.

“Emily raced an incredible race. She stayed focused and mentally tough the entire race. It was an exciting race to watch, there was a pack of girls for the first mile then the top three girls pulled away,” Fredonia coach Carol Zirkle said. “This group of three girls kept switching the order throughout the next mile and a half. Kim (from Newfane) and Emily (Brown) were neck and neck the last three quarters of a mile.

“Emily’s determination to race to the finish was obvious to all who watched,” she continued. “Emily is the hardest working athlete I have ever coached. She gives her all every single practice. She has to be forced to take it easy to allow her body to recover. She researches all aspects of running and all runners in the area. She was very disappointed with how her season ended last year and has worked for an entire year to earn another trip to states.”Overall, the Fredonia girls finished in third place with Hannah Gullo (ninth, 20:47), Savannah Lashbrook (11th, 20:51), Ashlyn Ambrose (27th, 22:15), Ashley Holt (40th, 22:58) Rory Merwin (45th, 23:11) and Claire Stokes (60th, 24:05) as the top runners.

“The girls all raced their best times of the season. Every girl showed improvement from last week,” Zirkle said.

The Fredonia boys team finished fifth overall, and third in Class C, at sectionals. Johnson (16:54) and Rey (17:01) led the way in fourth and sixth places, respectively.

Following the duo was, Peter Calanni (46th, 18:43), Alec Schrader (47th, 18:44), Chris Annear (55th, 19:03), Kevin Redfield (63rd, 19:19) and Grayson Pratt in 66th place with a time of 19:33.

“Going into this race we knew that it was a very competitive field,” Zirkle said. “Josh (Johnson) found that extra push in the last 800 meters to finish in the top-five to guarantee a trip to states. Diego had to come from behind to out lean the seventh-place runner to earn the final spot. The finish had to go to video to determine which runner finished in the final States spot. Chris Annear also showed a lot of improvement from last week.”

Gowanda’s Warrior took fifth place in the Class C race to qualify for the statewide meet, set for Nov. 11 at Wayne High School east of Rochester. Warrior’s time was 17:01.

Cossin led Silver Creek’s girls team, which finished second out of five Class D squads, with a seventh-place finish in 19:52. She was followed by Ellen Decker (11th place, 20:54), Daisy League (13th, 21:18), Julia Kennedy (17th, 22:08), Juliana Flick (19th, 22:18), Lily League (22nd, 22:44) and Grace Restivo (30th, 23:21).

The Black Knights boys’ team wound up sixth out of eight Class D squads with qualifying scores. Riley Wilson was the top Silver Creek runner, finishing in 20th place with a time of 18:41. His teammates included John McDaneld (28th place, 19:04), Abe Rhodes (31st, 19:32), Sean Marchant (37th, 20:19), Ryan Rocque (40th, 21:28) and Alex Bogosian (44th, 21:57).

“I have several kids who ran personal records (Friday) — Abe Rhodes, Sean Marchant, Ryan Rocque, Ellen Decker and Daisy League,” Black Knights coach Mike Janisch said.

For Dunkirk, Anthony Ruiz was the top Marauder on the day, finishing in 13th place with a time of 17:28. Nelson Rosario followed in 82nd in a time of 19:22. Ethan Yannie (103rd, 19:56), Efrain Santiago (108th, 20:07.53) and Jared Glowniak (109th, 20:07.93) rounded out the Marauders’ top five runners .

“It was a tough race for the boys. Only Dunkirk and Olean are the two schools that move up into class B from the CCAA league, so we race schools we don’t usually see and that made for some fierce competition,” Dunkirk coach Adam Woelfle said. “I’m very proud of these boys and the season they put together. Nate is the only senior, so knowing those five have another year to go to push each other, I have good hopes for the future.”

For the Lady Marauders, Julia Fred finished in 54th at 22:39, while Yuribeth Castro came in 102nd place with a time of 25:05.

“I’m very proud of these two girls,” Woelfle stated. “… Julia is a senior and continued to improve all year despite some lingering injuries. I’m very proud of the season she put together and she hopes to run in the future as she goes off to college. Yuribeth is only a sophomore and continues to improve and bring a positive attitude to the whole team.”