Bird, Burke Lead Cross-Country Sweep of Port Chester

Sophomore Ryan Bird and junior Libby Burke finished first in their respective races to lead the RHS varsity teams to a sweep over neighboring Port Chester High School on September 24.  

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Published October 3, 2012 8:59 PM
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Sophomore Ryan Bird and junior Libby Burke finished first in their respective races to lead the RHS varsity teams to a sweep over neighboring Port Chester High School on September 24.

 

 

sports-x-xountry-dsc01705By Lauren Dempsey

 

Sophomore Ryan Bird and junior Libby Burke finished first in their respective races to lead the RHS varsity teams to a sweep over neighboring Port Chester High School on September 24.

 

During the cross-country team’s home opener at Nugent Stadium, the Garnets put on a strong performance despite the loss of some strong runners such as Taylor Love and Ellie Freidman to graduation last spring. With more than 40 runners on the boys’ and girls’ teams this year, they have a solid core of returnees complemented by a large contingent of up-and-comers.

 

Captains for this year’s boys’ team are Joe Viger, Jason Chen, and Matt Maloney; captains for the girls’ team are Amber Altamura and Liza Morell. Maloney said, “We have a lot of talent on our team and should do very well in our upcoming season. We have a pretty good shot at winning the county meet.” Altamura added, “The team has been working really hard this season. We have all been putting in lots of time and effort into each practice and encouraging each other to improve daily. You get out of it what you put into it, and I think the team will go very far.”

 

Rye won the varsity boys’ meet and now has a record of 4-1. Bird completed the challenging course in an outstanding early season time of 15 minutes 18 seconds, while teammate Jack Ryan finished in 15:24, placing significantly ahead their next challengers. Teammates Alex Neave (15:52), Jack Smith (15:57), Joey Viger (16:03), and Jack Durkee (16:20) all finished in the top ten to score points for the Garnets.sports-x-country-dsc01806

 

In the girls’ varsity meet, the Garnets took seven of the top ten positions, including placing first, second, and third. Burke completed the course in a time of 19 minutes, 12 seconds. With a strong kick at the end, Morell (19:26) narrowly edged freshman Jacklynn McGowan (19:26.5) for second place. Sophomore Katie Brand (20:51), freshman Haley Ackert (22:44), freshman Jenny Wang (21:45), and Altamura (23:24) also scored for the Garnets. The girls’ team record is now 3-2.

 

Both the boys’ and girls’ teams are deep this year, with enough runners to compete not only on the varsity level, but also on JV and freshmen teams. Fiona Maloney, competing in her first meet ever, won the freshman girls’ race, while Theo Bresolin won the freshman boys’ race.

 

“It’s still pretty early in the season and we only had two races, but I have a very good feeling about the next few weeks,” Morell said. “We had roughly five girls on the team last year and now we have about 14, so it’s nice knowing that we’ll definitely have enough girls to score. It’s also nice having a broad range of boys and girls from every grade running on the team, because some of the fastest varsity runners are only sophomores or freshmen and I know I am looking forward to seeing how much they improve in their next few seasons of high school.”

 

The Garnets opened the season with a strong showing against tough competition at a five-team meet at Byram Hills High School.  Coach Craig Sandhaus, the longtime varsity boys’ coach said, “We have a young team with a tremendous amount of potential. We are looking forward to a very rewarding season.”

 

“It is so exciting to see how the popularity of cross-country has grown here in Rye,” said Coach John Griffin of the girls’ team. “Having over 20 freshman boys and eight freshman girls will really help our team over the next few years.”

 

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