By Kyle Lewis, Joe Manaseri & Richard Furst
The Lady Gladiators opened their cross country season at Wave Mania with a collection of mutual team goals. All of the summer training, the long runs, the countless miles on the trail were going to pay off; and that they did. The 3.09 mile course serves to be a grueling task for most, but the junior varsity girls were up for the challenge. Sophomore, Kirsten McKenna led the way for the Lady Gladiators with a time of 23:05, earning herself a medal. Juniors, Stephanie Dahowski (25:48), Rachel Conklin (27:44), Madison Hilliard (30:36) had personal triumphs, completing the course at least two minutes faster than in previous years.
After McKenna’s finish, the varsity girls realized the tone that was set for the rest of the team. Freshman Kayla Schramm was up against some stiff competition and knew the state was watching after her Federation finish last season as an eighth grader. Schramm got out fast and never looked back as she finished 4th overall with a time of 19:01. Senior captain Madison Montgomery ran brilliantly as she inspired her teammates with her 20:39 finish, placing 13th overall. Dana Poppe (21:37), Jade Kimmel (22:16) and Sara Tippin (23:30) are the varsity team’s rising stars as they are all sophomores this year. Complementing the sophomores are the fast improving juniors, Marissa Lombardi (23:47) and Angie Santiago (23:52). The overall team scores don’t truly represent the heart and potential for this courageous group of young women.
Capping off the day was the 1.5 mile freshman race. Ysa Paneto, sister of varsity standout senior Nick Paneto, will be a force in no time. She ran a smart but fast race, placing 4th with a time of 9:59.9. Soon after, an inspired Ofir Fogelman finished in 7th with a time of 10:21.8. Growing talents, Emily Peden (10:53.8) and Anna Duffy (11:01.7) finished 18th and 19th in the standings. All of the Goshen freshmen received medals for their top finishes. It was a proud moment for the newcomers of the program.
For the boys team, many have written this season off as a “rebuilding” year after losing the unstoppable duo of Higgins and Greco to graduation. Little do they know, a group of strong-willed, dedicated athletes have been working hard in the off-season to try and fill those shoes. In the varsity II race at Wave Mania, three Goshen boys proved that they are more than worthy of completing that task. Senior captain Nicolas Paneto led the varsity squad, placing third amongst an extremely competitive field. Through 1200m, Paneto was on the shoulder of the two frontrunners. As the race continued, the top two runners surged, creating some distance between Paneto and the rest of the field. Paneto held his own, finishing in an impressive 16:26. Next to cross the finish line for the Gladiators was junior Stephen Perrillo-Sullivan. Perrillo finished in 5th place, running 16:35. In 12th place running 17:06 was fellow junior Andrew Johnson, who ran 95 seconds faster than his time a year ago. Also making some major improvement was Aidan Hackman, who ran 17:58. Rounding out the Goshen scoring top five was Chris Perez Garcia, who finished in 18:29. Blake Albanese (18:36) and Ryan Pinto (20:08) also ran markedly faster times than last year for the varsity squad. The varsity boys tied for third in team standings, with only three points separating them from first place. Their impressive debut ranks the Goshen boys 9th in New York State amongst Class B schools.
Not to be outdone, the freshmen boys concluded Wave Mania with some excellent racing. Led by standout Greg Hannibal, the freshmen boys finished second as a team. Hannibal ran out front from the beginning, dominating the 1.5 mile course. He won the race in a blazing 7:50.4. Finishing in 7th place, was Andrew Rampulla, running 8:17.4. Jackson Diglio placed 16th with a time of 8:34.8, Daniel Serkes ran 9:12.7, and rounding out the top five scorers was Alex Mistretta, running 9:17.4. Also competing in the freshmen race were Arun Foster (9:20.5), Camden Reed (11:00.3) Kapil Foster (11:12.1), Matthew Barbrack (12:10.9), and Jack Grant (12:13.0).
This coming weekend, the Gladiators will travel to Bear Mountain to compete at the Suffern Invitational. For results, photos, and full coverage, be sure to follow the team’s Twitter accounts: @GoshenXCTF and @LadyGladsXCTF.