By Chad Russell, Cross Country Coach
Late last week, the cross country team competed at Sectionals, held at Bemus Point Golf Course.
The guys team ran strong at sectionals, finishing 8th out of the 25 schools participating in B-sized schools. Considering we are the smallest out of the 25 schools competing in that division, this is quite an accomplishment. The team looks excitedly to next year as only one out of the top 10 boys is a senior. It was that senior Nick Abdo that led the way for the boys. He ran very strong with one of his best performances of the season. He was followed by sophomores Brett Russell and Zack Peterman. Freshman Mikey Evans and sophomore Nathan Myers finished the team scoring. 8th grader Austin Yetter and another sophomore Elliot Emley were very close to the top 5 pack.
This team has won more team trophies this year than in all of the other nine years that cross country has been back to Springville combined. It is clear that the team will enjoy a few years of continued success with the youth that this team has.
The Lady Griffs raced after the boys. On this day, the team was led by Elle Russell. She ran one of the most courageous and heart breaking races of the season, as well as of her career. Elle ran close to her fastest 5K of her career on a very slippery and muddy course. For her to qualify for her 3rd consecutive appearance at the State Invitational, she needed to finish 5th overall as in individual in this race. With 100 meters to go in the race, she was passing the 4th and 5th place girls with quite a bit of speed. Shortly after passing the girls with 50 meters, left her body gave way. The body can only be pushed so far and her body lost consciousness for a second or two and she fell down. After regaining awareness and getting back up, she placed 6th individually, one spot out of making the state meet. The team was in a difficult division this year and her efforts would have made it to states in the larger and the smaller sized schools.
The girls have been plagued by injuries for most of the season for a number of key athletes. Sonya Krezmien, Morgan Lukert and Jaime Dickinson all ran injured and finished the race on determination and courage. Gwen Fruehauf, Evelyn Smith and Grace Wotjkowiak raced very well at the meet. Corrin Sacilowski was too injured to race. The girls team had great moments individually throughout the year as well as a team. The girls had two girls ranked in the top 50 in the state, as a team they were ranked 8th out of the 35 large school in WNY early in the year while they were healthy. Very impressive due to the fact Springville was the smallest out of the 35 schools.
The team says thank you and goodbye to seniors Nick Abdo, Elle Russell, Morgan Lukert, Grace Wotjkowiak and Corrin Sacilowski. They have fought and won with the team and will be missed.