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Sports Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 9, 2009
Grand expectations for Bulldog track and field
By Jordan J. Michael
BERNE Running, sprinting, jumping, and throwing have never been a problem for Berne-Knox-Westerlo track and field.
Both the girls’ and boys’ teams came in second at the Western Athletic Conference championships in 2008 and the boys were the Class CC sectional runner-up to Voorheesville.
“We had a very successful team last year, but Voorheesville had the senior core behind them,” said boys’ Head Coach Scott Hannay. “Now, we have the senior core and plenty of state-meet aspirations.”
The boys’ team is well prepared for a sectional championship run this season with 12 returning seniors in the lineup. “This group has been building for several years,” Hannay said. “Eight of the 12 seniors have been competing with each other since seventh grade. This should be a historic year for them.”
The Lady Bulldogs will miss standout distance runner Ada Lauterbach, but have plenty of returning talent. Her points will be replaced by a combination of quality distance runners.
“Our numbers may be a little lower than normal but we didn’t lose too much,” said girls’ Head Coach Bill Dergosits. “We still have a strong group and a nice batch of freshman runners.”
Hannay and Dergosits spent last season as new head coaches for BKW, but no one considered them rookies to the track-and-field game. Both were assistants to the team in years’ past.
“Taking this position last year was a big deal because track is so important to this community,” said Hannay. “There is a ton of paperwork and taking care of 36 boys is like spinning plates. You have to get all these kids headed in the same direction. It’s like pushing a train, but it’s worth it.”
“I’ve coached swimming at Mohonasen and soccer here at Berne, but I’ve never had this many athletes,” Dergosits said. “It’s challenging and fun at the same time. Things are constantly changing.”
Joining the 12 seniors is a group of 12 freshmen. A smaller core of sophomores and juniors round out the roster for the team. “We have a very balanced mix of talent and the boys should be seeded well,” said Hannay.
The Bulldog distance runners are fresh off a cross-country sectional championship from the fall of 2008. Seniors David Haverly and Jeff Moller are healthy and looking strong during workouts. Freshmen Sean Reynolds and Connor Devine are back after a full season of varsity competition last year.
“Haverly is poised for his best times in the 1600-meter and steeplechase and Moller is our two-mile specialist,” Hannay said. “Devine won the 800-meter race at the WAC championships last year and Reynolds’s improvement has been very steady.”
BKW welcomes new athletes Talyor DellaRocco and Derek Struck to the distance events.
Senior Greg Hannay, Coach Hannay’s son, will lead the throwing group as the returning sectional discus champion. Hannay will continue to add to his school records in discus and shot put. Ted Wiederhold, Matt Von Haugg, Eric Scanlon, and Nick McSpedon are the other Bulldog hurlers.
The depth of sprinters will allow the team flexibility for strong relay teams. The 4 x 400-meter and the 4 x 100-meter groups will excel in Section II, the coach says. Curtis Clark and Tim David will run the 100-meter, 200-meter, and relays. Jordan Gonyea and Brandon Kallner will be competing in shorter sprints.
“We don’t have that super-fast guy in sprints like some other programs do,” said Hannay. “We have five or six guys that are pretty fast on the track. We’ll have some significant relay power.”
Greg Hannay and James Schager will take care of the 110-meter hurdles for the Bulldogs. “Schager excels at the 400-meter hurdles and will be among the fastest in the WAC,” added Coach Hannay.
Senior Josh Glick is the returning sectional pole-vault title holder and will look to challenge his school record of 13 feet, 8 inches this year. “Glick should prove to be a dominant vaulter in Section II,” Hannay said. “He’ll be teaching Ben Becker and Matt Casullo, who have the benefit of learning from one of the best.”
Zach Krimsky, David, and Brandon Kallner will participate in the triple jump, long jump, and high jump. Geoff Bentley, Gonyea, and Kevin Mason will also compete in horizontal jumps.
Seniors Eric Binder and Matt Hoffman; junior Ted Oravec; and freshmen Jack Boone, Logan Flavell, Mike Gross, Elijah Murphy, and David Williman join the varsity squad this year.
“The new athletes will look to find their best events as the season progresses,” said Hannay. A track team needs energy to be successful, the coach said. “I’ll do my best to feed them that.”
A core of juniors and seniors will try to lead the Lady Bulldogs to another undefeated dual meet season in 2009. Several athletes will take up the challenge to set new schools records.
“We have a lot of individual goals, but, as a team, we want to have a good showing in the WAC,” said Dergosits. “We’re focusing on teams that are at the same level as us.”
BKW’s tradition of strong middle- and long-distance running will continue with Christina Bartonicek, Martha Mackey, and Courtney Tedeschi who returns as an eighth-grader for her second year on varsity.
“The group of distance runners will carry the depth of this team,” Dergosits said. “The team’s versatility is endless because of the youth; they’re willing to try anything.”
Tiara Conklin, Ciarra Harrington, Marisa Henekin, Britney Largne, Victoria McCormick, Anna Whitney, and Abby Swint will compete in short spirits and relays, as well as long jump, triple jump, and high jump.
Kristine Skinner and Haley Matott will hold down the hurdling events for the Lady Bulldogs. Senior Alyssa Wetterau will dedicate herself to high jump, pole vault, and sprint relays.
Junior Faith Carney will be seeking records in the discus and will carry all other throwing duties for BKW.
“We have a pretty young team so it might take some time for the athletes to find themselves,” said Dergosits. “But, I saw the hard work and confidence in pre-season training.”
Angela Cunningham, Cora Fuller, Sabrina Graham, Alex Luciano, Rebekah Richardson, Faith Sisson, Julia Turner, and Victoria Villenueve will test themselves as new additions to the varsity line up.
“I’m super excited for the girls and the Bulldog program as a whole,” Dergosits concluded. “The willingness and ability of these athletes makes it easy to coach.”