Coach's Corner - Cross Country - Conference Results
The Paul Smith’s College cross country team returned from Presque Isle Maine early Sunday morning following a great deal of success at the Sunrise Conference Championships. In the women’s race, Jessie Gardner (SR: Hudson, NY/Hudson HS) took the lead within the first mile, and her only challenge was from freshman team-mate, Ashley Rokjer (FR: Cropseyville, NY/Berlin HS). Gardner won this year’s event in 21:51; and was later recognized as the Sunrise Conference Women’s champion. This was quite a relief, after finishing second or third for her first three years. Rokjer finished second, and received a plaque from the conference as Rookie of the Year for her 22:11 ~ second place finish. The University of Maine – Presque Isle (UMPI) packed in the next four runners, which led to their one point victory over the Paul Smith’s College women. Jessica Champagne (FR: Sheldon, Vt/BFA – Fairfax HS) placed seventh in 24:26 to make the All-Conference Team. Ashley Comeau (JR: Kingston, MA/Silver Lake Regional HS) finished right behind in 8th place in a time of 24:37, while Barbara Sanchez (FR: Milton, VT/Milton HS) finished in 11th in a time of 25:52.
This is by far the strongest women’s team we have had since the program’s re-birth in 2003, as the women’s team really has begun to show some strength top to bottom for the first time ever. Although last year’s team finished second in the conference as well, they didn’t challenge the UMPI team for the championship, whereas this year’s team was within striking distance. In fact, following the race, the UMPI coach congratulated me for our victory, yet I was quite certain UMPI had won the race by one point. Fortunately for him, my scoring was correct, as UMPI won with 28 points, and we were close behind with 29. The upper classmen on the UMPI women’s team really paved the way to their second consecutive Championship, as they couldn't hold the pace of our top two runners, but they ran as a nice pack to finish 3 - 6, and their fifth place runner came in 10th.
Following the women’s race, the Paul Smith’s College men’s team were able to win their fourth consecutive Sunrise Conference Championship. With all five PSC runners finishing in the top 11, the Bobcats won with 36 points, followed by UMPI with 51 points. Kyle Dash (FR: Java Village/Pioneer HS) paced the Bobcats with a third place finish in 29:32, followed by Matt Piper (SO: Morrisville, VT/People’s Academy) in 30:25 for 5th place. Jacob Dillon (JR: Jordan, NY/Jordan – Elbridge HS) placed seventh in a time of 31:27, while Pat DeTraglia (FR: Pittsford, NY/Pittsford – Mendon HS) placed 10th in 32:15. Ryan Turner (FR: Herkimer NY/Herkimer HS) rounded out the top five scorers for Paul Smith’s with a time of 32:31 to finish in 11th place.
Jacob Dillon, Matt Piper, and Kyle Dash were all named to the All Conference Team for their top seven finishes on Saturday.
Many of the Paul Smith’s College runners received their Player of the Week certificates on Saturday, including Jessica Champagne, Ashley Rokjer, Kyle Dash, Matt Piper and two-time Player of the Week, Jessie Gardner.