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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 17, 2005

State cross-country results

By Tim Matteson

It was a good day for local runners at the New York State Championship Meet on Saturday at Queensbury.

Section II, which hosted the tournament had some of the best teams and runners.

Saturday’s first race proved to be the best.

Guilderland junior Brian Rhodes-Devey won the Class AA state title; edging out rival Steve Murdock of Saratoga by three-tenths of a seconds.

Rhodes-Devey ran 15:25.7.

"I couldn’t be happier," Rhodes-Devey said. "I never felt so good. I felt I made my coach proud and my family and teammates proud."

Rhodes-Devey’s teammate, Seth Dubois, a senior, finished ninth with a time of 15:39.7.

"It was a great day for Brian and Seth," Guilderland Coach Bob Oates said. "Seth was only 12 seconds behind. It’s great to have two in the top 10. Brian was unbelievable. It was a real gutsy effort.

"After Seth crossed the line in ninth," Oates said. "I went to the area where the runners were; about three minutes later and Seth said, ‘I’m not even tired, Coach.’ He’s not untapped and he was as good as anybody else that day."

Travis DeRusso of Berne-Knox-Westerlo finished 10th in the Class C race on Saturday. He ran a time of 16:35.6 to be the third finisher from Section II, behind Jeremy McAllister and John Moore of Fonda-Fultonville.

Dan Prahl of Potsdam won the race in 15:42.4, but Fonda, which beat BKW in the Class C Section II race, was the top team at the state meet.

Jared Finke of BKW finished 52nd with a time of 17:45.4.

Macky Lloyd of Voorheesville finished 93rd with a time of 18:57.9.

The Section II champion Voorheesville girls’ team finished sixth overall at the state meet on Saturday. The Lady Blackbirds had a score of 167. Bronxville of Section I won the team title with 29 points.

Hilary Edmunds paced the Voorheesville finishers with a 34th-place finish at 20:29.2.

Ellen Muster of Marion won the Class C race with a time of 18:49.5.

Edmunds’s teammates Chantel Little and Alison Vogelien finished 59th and 60th respectively.

Kali Votraw finished 89th; Zoe Edmunds finished 90th; Jessica Brown finished 92nd; and Elizabeth Dawson finished 110th.

BKW’s Ada Lauterbach, the Section II champion, finished 53rd overall at the state race.

Swimming sectionals

By Tim Matteson

Saturday was a busy day for Katie Linehan.

The Guilderland High School senior was involved in four races at the Section II swim meet at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, though she won an award before the meet even began.

Linehan was given the Section II Scholar-Athlete Award and then went out and qualified for the state meet in two individual races — she also swam in two relays — representing the Guilderville swim team.

Linehan qualified for the state meet in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle races. She has qualified in the 50 for the past two years. She qualified Saturday for the 100 for the first time.

"I feel relief mostly," Linehan said after swimming the 100-yard race. "I did everything I wanted to do this season."

It has been a long season for Linehan and her teammates from the combined Guilderland and Voorheesville team.

Their popular assistant coach, Ed Sayer, died last month at the age of 22 after a long battle with cystic fibrosis. Since his death, the swimmers have worn his name on shirts and written on their arms and legs.

With Linehan and the other seniors’ leadership, the Guilderville swimmers were able to overcome the tragedy and put together a good season. Twenty-three out of 33 team members qualified for the sectional meet. Five advanced to Saturday’s finals.

Joining Linehan at states next week will be diver Toni Marie Whitbeck. Whitbeck was one of five Guilderville divers to qualify for sectionals, but the only one to advace to Saturday’s final.

"It wasn’t my best meet," Whitbeck said. "I didn’t know I made it until the last dive."

Whitbeck, a junior, led a contingent of younger swimmers in the finals.

"We did really well," said Guilderville Coach Walt Lane. "We had a lot of young girls that got into the finals."


Linehan was the only senior to reach the finals.

Linehan finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle race. She won the event last year but she was still pleased after the race.

"I actually had a better time," she said. "I had a 24.89, which was faster than last year."

Linehan’s 24.89 was good enough to set a school record for the event.

The Guilderland senior then competed in a fast final in the 100-yard freestyle. She swam to a time of 55 seconds, besting her preliminary time of 55.31 and surpassing the 55.30 she needed to qualify for states.

"I couldn’t figure out the scoring system," Linehan said of the scoreboard at the Robison Pool. "I figured out that I was third, but I didn’t get my time. I didn’t know it until my dad told me. I was psyched."

Linehan finished behind MaryAnn Gaffuri of Albany High School who won with a time of 54.56 and Joanna Ferreri of Niskayuna, who finished with a time of 54.94.

"I knew I was up with them," Linehan said. "It was a relief to go so fast. Hopefully, I can do even better at states."

It will be the third trip for Linehan at states, but the first time she will compete in two events.

"Now I’m happy that I’ve made the 100," Linehan said. "I’ve always just missed it."

"It’s a very tough double," Lane said. "She trained hard for it."

Linehan plans on continuing to swim in college. She has looked at a few schools, including the State University of New York College at Geneseo and the University at Rochester. Linehan wants to study to become an orthodontist.

Diving in

Whitbeck had a little more drama on her way to qualifying for states.

She needed a good third and final dive just to give herself a shot at making it to next weekends’ meet at Erie County Community College near Buffalo.

"My first dive was not what I wanted it to be," Whitbeck said. "The next two were better. During the season, at one diving meet I had a 383 and I wanted to do it again. All my dives that day were the best that day.

"Today, I barely made it," Whitbeck added.

Whitbeck scored a 380.7 to just squeak into qualifying position by seventh-tenths of a point.

It was the second straight year she has had a close call at sectionals.

"Last year, I only missed it by point-nine," Whitbeck said. "I wanted to go this year. I worked hard to get myself in position."
"She worked really hard to improve," Lane said. "There are a couple of dives where we added the degree of difficulty. That made a difference this year. She worked very hard and was focused."

It was an emotional experience for Whitbeck as she wasn’t sure she qualified until the judges’ scores came back about 10 minutes after the diving competition. She was the last of 11 divers to qualify for the state meet.

"This year, this section is the best in the state," Whitbeck said. "You compete against the best and, whatever you want to do, you have to try and beat them."

While Linehan has high expectations for the state meet, Whitbeck, a junior, is hoping to gain some experience in her first trip to compettion.

"This year I want to have fun and try my best," she said.

Making a splash

A number of young Guilderville swimmers made a mark on the Section II meet as well.

Junior Stephenie Bintz just missed qualifying for the state meet in the 100-yard backstroke. She finished ninth with a time of 1:02.93 The state qualifying time in the event is 1:02.50.

Bintz qualified for states last year as a sophomore.

"I think she’ll be there next year," Lane said. "She worked really hard this year. You’re going to see her at states next year."

Bintz joined Linehan and ninth-grader Erin Dewey and sophomore Tori Stuto to swim in the 200-yard medley relay. The Guilderville team finished eighth overall.

Dewey swam in the 200-yard individual medley. She had a time of 2:22.43 to finish 14th.

Eighth-grader Brittney Ginsburg finished 15th in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 5:47.18.

Ginsburg teamed up with senior Bridget Schultz, sophomore Moriah Knight, and Stuto to swim in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The relay team finished 12th in 1:50.71.

Stevie Church, a sophomore, finished 13th in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:16.11.

The final race of the day was a bright one for Guilderville. The 400-yard freestyle relay team of junior Tara Dougherty, Bintz, Dewey, and Linehan finished sixth. They had a time of 3:57.45.

Lane said it will be tough to lose a senior leader like Linehan.

"She is a great leader," Lane said. "We had six captains that did a wonderful job. Katie led by example. All the younger swimmers looked up to her, which is very, very good. We are going to miss her leadership next year."

But returners will take over the leadership duties.

"Next year, we’ll have some leaders that will be pretty strong," Lane said. "Stephenie Bintz can fit into that role. Erin Dewey is only a sophomore; she is one of the outstanding swimmers on the team. We’ll have super-caliber kids next year."

Rhodes-Devey wins states

By Tim Matteson

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland has its first cross-country state title after a remarkable turnaround by Brian Rhodes-Devey.

He finished a disappointing fifth at the Section II Class AA race on Nov. 4, Rhodes-Devey put forth a final push Saturday to win the state meet in Queensbury.

Rhodes-Devey ran down his rival, Steve Murdock of Saratoga, and broke the tape just three-tenths of a second before Murdock to take home the crown — the first ever for a Guilderland cross-country runner.

"It was unbelieveable," Guilderland Coach Bob Oates said. "Brian said he saw Steve turn the corner and look back. He wanted to proctect his lead and that opened the door for Brian. That finish was as exciting as it gets."

Rhodes-Devey won the 3.5-mile race in 15:25.7 to Murdock’s 15:26.

"He hit the mile at 4:40 and I hit it at about 4:42," Rhodes-Devey said. "I was right behind him. Steve and I separated from the field but we had a pretty close gap."

Rhodes-Devey was behind Murdock until he saw his chance with about 200 meters to go in the race.

"He was 25 yards ahead," Rhodes-Devey said. "And he looked back; Steve never looks back. I started to think that I could get him and I turned it on. I concentrated all the power I had.

"I didn’t think I could get him," Rhodes-Devey added. "Until I pushed up next to him and passed him by two steps."

"I was filming runners so we had their numbers in case of a protest," Oates said. "So I couldn’t tell depth-wise; at that point, I thought he was two-and-a-half to three seconds back...At 20 yards, they were even. And, at about 10 feet, Brian pulled ahead.

"He’s a 1:52 half-miler," Oates said. "He holds the section record. But speed is only so good after three miles."

"I knew it was in there," Rhodes-Devey said. "I just had to tap the resource."


The race was quite a turnaround from the sectional meet the week before. Rhodes-Devey had won the Section II title last year as a sophomore.

"Yeah, Friday was an off race," he said. "You win some, you lose some."

Losing that race might have influenced the outcome of the state race on Saturday.

"Even though I ran real bad and that sucks," he said, "it kind of took the pressure off. It kind of shifted the spotlight and I was more re-focused. Coming into the race, I expected to be near the top."

Rhodes-Devey wasn’t sure of the problem that took place at sectionals. He seemed to run out of gas near the end of the race.

"Before sectionals, we had hard workouts, strong workouts," he said. "I don’t know what went wrong. Coach Oates didn’t know what went wrong. We came into this week, thinking: What can we change" Did I need an attitude change or a workout change" Coach Oates did an excellent job with me and the team."

The Dutchmen as a team had finished fourth overall at sectionals, falling behind Saratoga, Shenendehowa, and Shaker, though they had thought they could compete for the sectional title.

"We lost to Shaker by 11 points," Rhodes-Devey said. "I’m kicking myself. I felt like it was my fault. We ran pretty good. Luckily the team is a great bunch of guys. They didn’t blame me and supported me."

"Network of support"

Rhodes-Devey is honored to be the first Guilderland cross-country runner to win the state title, even though the Dutchmen program has a strong history.

"The alums are always giving me a lot of support," Rhodes-Devey said. "They are always wishing me luck. It’s a network of support. There’s a great history with some great runners. Never in a million years, I would be like them. It’s nice to be the first one and, for future Guilderland runners, it gives them something to look forward too."

"The program can be strong," Oates said. "Especially with the lastest group of freshmen and sophomores. They are just in awe looking around and talking about it. Someone from Guilderland can rise to that level. They could rise to that level at states and Federation. The younger kids see that they can rise to that level and win a state meet."

Next up for Rhodes-Devey is the Federation race in Wappingers Falls, which includes the public-school and adds the private school runners. He will be competing with his Guilderland teammates in that race.

Then Rhodes-Devey, joined by teammate Seth Dubois, will run in the Foot Locker Northeast Regional in Van Cortlandt Park in New York City. If he finishes in the top 10 there, he could advance to the nationals in San Diego.

"I want to qualify for nationals," Rhodes-Devey said. "That’s been my goal all season. I need to be in the top 10 to qualify. I’ve been working for that. I’m happy I put myself in a spot to reach that goal. We’ve been building toward this, building up for the big race."

"Brian and Seth will be in the championship race," Oates said. "We’ll have five other runners in the class races. Brian and Seth both could finish in the top 10 and go to San Diego."

Rhodes-Devey said he was a little nervous before the sectional race. He felt maybe the pressure of being the defending sectional champion got to him.

"Coach said to me before the race that you are the defending sectional champion," Rhodes-Devey said. "That kind of freaked me out before the sectional race. I guess I’ll have to do that next year with states."

But if the state race is any indication, Rhodes-Devey should be able to handle the pressure.

"Brian is the toughest runner I’ve ever coached," Oates said. "I’ve had other coaches tell me that he’s the toughest runner they’ve ever seen. He came from behind and did the job."

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