Kayla Greco | Democrat
Sullivan West junior Kelsey Dutton crosses the finish line with a sense of accomplishment her second-place finish helped Sullivan West sweep the first three places and propel the girls' cross country team to its first-ever victory over Tri-Valley in Grahamsville.
Story by Kayla Greco
GRAHAMSVILLE October 4, 2013 The Sullivan West girls’ cross country made history Tuesday. For the first time since the school formed in 1999, they defeated longtime rival Tri-Valley in Grahamsville, ekeing out a 29-30 victory. Sullivan West also defeated Kingston 26-30 as did Tri-Valley, 15-50.
Sullivan West surged to the upset by finishing first, second and third. Courtney Meyerer led the way with a time of 22.32 followed by Kelsey Dutton (22.49) and Corrine VanWagner (23:10). Tri-Valley used its depth to sweep the next seven finishes, but it was not enough to overcome the margin Sullivan West built up by taking the top three spots.
For first-year Sullivan West coach Joe Seidl, it was bit of deja vu. When he was the Sullivan West girls’ track coach in 2008, his team snapped Tri-Valley’s 23-year, 129 meet home winning streak.
“Honestly, when I took over the program at SW this season my initial goal was to just start building a program,” said Seidl, who noted the last time Sullivan West defeated Tri-Valley anywhere was 2005. “I certainly have high expectations for my runners, but I did not expect to be able to compete with TV for at least a year.
“The girls are very happy and I am very proud of their efforts, but we have a long way to go before we can compete at the sectional level both in cross country and track. I strongly believe that we have the talent and dedication to accomplish a great deal over the next couple of years. The girls ran this race with courage and determination and that is what led to this unexpected victory.”
As for Tri-Valley, they will use the defeat as motivation for sectionals.
“We just have to build up as a team and we can win section 9,” said Tri-Valley’s Sabrina Smith after the meet.
This is Tri Valley’s first year without legendary head coaches Joe and Missy Iatauro. The Iatauros coached the girls’ and boys’ varsity cross country teams for more than three decades before retiring in June.
Chuck Rehm and Tyler Eckhoff have taken over the program and while Smith says she misses the Iatuaros, she enjoys the different workouts and atmosphere Rehm and Eckhoff have introduced.
In the boys’ meet, junior Ian Kurzrock placed first in a time of 18.48 to lead Tri-Valley over Sullivan West 22-33 and Kingston 26-31. Perennial state Class D champs Mount Academy defeated Tri-Valley, 20-43. Mount runners finished second, third, fouth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth.
This is Kurzrock’s third year on varsity and his first without the Iatauros.
“It’s a new perspective and a new way of learning,” said Kurzrock. “It was tough at first but everyone is adjusting very well now.”
Tri-Valley athletic director Derek Adams feels that Rehm and Eckhoff are doing a great job with both teams this year.
“After having two people who were here for decades, you have to make sure the transition is smooth and they’re looking great this year.”
Tri-Valley 26, Kingston 31
Tri-Valley 22, Sullivan West 33
Mount Academy 20, Tri-Valley 43
Mount Academy 15, Sullivan West 50
Mount Academy 15, Kingston 50
Kingston def. Sullivan West
Sullivan West 29, Tri-Valley 30
Sullivan West 26, Kingston 30
Tri-Valley 15, Kingston 50
1. Ian Kurzrock (TV) 18:48; 9. Hank Boyes (TV) 19:23; 10. Ethan Seidl (SW) 19:30; 14. Brendon Hasbrouck (TV) 20:05; 15. Aidan Woolsey (TV) 20:06.
1. Courtney Meyerer (SW) 22.32; 2. Kelsey Dutton (SW) 22:49; 3. Corrine VanWagner (SW) 23:10; 4. Sabrena Smith (TV); 5. Danielle Graham (TV); 6. Autumn Bender (TV); 7. Brooke Gillette (TV); 8. Brittany Pennell (TV); 9. Lauren Murphy (TV); 10. Ali Reynolds (TV)