Ruiz, Brown earn ‘Runner of the Year’ honors

OBSERVER File Photo Fredonia’s Emily Brown was named the CCAA’s ‘Runner of the Year’ for large school girls runners. Dunkirk’s Anthony Ruiz earned the same honor for large school boys runners in the CCAA.

OBSERVER Staff Report

After another cross country season was put in the books, the Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association announced the 2018 All Stars for large schools and small schools. Dunkirk and Fredonia each had a runner take home the title of “Runner of the Year,” as Dunkirk’s Anthony Ruiz and Fredonia’s Emily Brown claimed the honor.

Ruiz, a senior, was regularly among the area’s top runners on the season. The Dunkirk standout finished first at the Lake Erie State Park course against Fredonia, Silver Creek and Catt./Little Valley; Collins Conservation Club course against Gowanda, Franklinville and Frewsburg; over Southwestern in Lakewood and over Jamestown and Olean in Jamestown.

Brown, one of Fredonia’s two runners to make the trip to the state meet, finished second among all female runners at the Sectional Championship meet at Bemus Point. Brown earned a medal at the state meet for a top 20 finish, her first medal after making the trip to the state meet last year, as well. Brown also finished second at the McQuaid Invitational, as well as earning first place finishes at Lake Erie State Park, Jamestown and Frewsburg.

Fredonia’s other state finalist, Diego Rey, highlighted the First Team All Stars, among boys runners from large schools. Rey, like Brown, also earned a medal for a top 20 finish at the state championship meet. Rey also was selected to compete in the New York State Federation race, but the meet was canceled due to poor weather conditions.

Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s Rayven Sample, Collin Barmore and Bryce Baglia also made the First Team All Stars. Chris Annear of Fredonia, along with Maddox Browning and Christian Cook of Gowanda, made the Second Team All Stars. Connor Hudson and Joey Pillitteri of Falconer/Cassadaga Valley also made the Second Team. Honorable Mention included Kevin Redfield of Fredonia, Nelson Rosario and Ethan Yannie of Dunkirk, Aaron Colantino of Gowanda, and a trio of Falconer/Cassadaga Valley runners — David Allen, John Brockelbank and Wyatt Harrington.

Dunkirk’s state finalist, Jericha Petrella, highlighted the First Team girls from large schools. Petrella was joined by Dunkirk teammate Sierra Jacques on the First Team, along with Fredonia’s Savannah Lashbrook. On the Second Team were Fredonia’s Ashlynn Ambrose and Anna Buchanan, as well as a trio of Falconer/Cassadaga Valley girls — Kaitlin Brentley, Tabitha Clark and Mikaela LeBaron. Earning Honorable Mention was Gowanda’s Kayla Forthman, Kristine Twoguns and Emagin Warrior, as well as Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s Macey Arnone and Marie Lemay.

Among small school runners, Maple Grove’s Peter Auer and Ava Crist each earned Runner of the Year honors. Riley Auer, Frank Colburn and Darius Jones all made the First Team for Maple Grove, while Nick Brunenavs and Drew Kelleman made the Second Team and Tyler McPhearson earned Honorable Mention.

Silver Creek’s Riley Wilson and Gabe Rhodes each earned Honorable Mention among small school boys.

The Class C2 sectional champion Silver Creek girls had a pair of First Team selections in Ellie Decker and Juliana Flick. Decker, who had second place finishes at the McQuaid Invitational, the Sunset Stampede and the Southern Tier Invitational, along with wins at the West Seneca Invitational, the Alden Bulldog Stampede and league wins at Silver Creek and Randolph, qualified for the state meet as only a sophomore. Both Decker and Flick are likely to return next season for Silver Creek. Melanie Wilson and Daisy League of Silver Creek both earned Honorable Mention.