Weekly Feature



2017-11-09 / Sports

West girls cross-country wins fourth sectional title


West Seneca West’s girls cross-country team cruised past second-place Clarence in Friday’s Class A race to win the program’s fourth Section VI championship — and first since 2008 — during this year’s competition at the Bemus Point Golf Course. Members of the team include, from left: sophomores Sarah Mruk and Madison Mariani, eighth-grader Chloe Wegelin, junior co-captains Anna Rybczynski and Emma Larkman, and juniors Madison Vanderlip and Allison Stainsby. West Seneca West’s girls cross-country team cruised past second-place Clarence in Friday’s Class A race to win the program’s fourth Section VI championship — and first since 2008 — during this year’s competition at the Bemus Point Golf Course. Members of the team include, from left: sophomores Sarah Mruk and Madison Mariani, eighth-grader Chloe Wegelin, junior co-captains Anna Rybczynski and Emma Larkman, and juniors Madison Vanderlip and Allison Stainsby. After two years of heartache, West Seneca West’s girls cross-country team was able to leave Friday’s annual Section VI Championships on cloud nine after claiming the fourth sectional title in program history by cruising past second place Clarence, 38-63.

West, which last won a sectional title in 2008, saw six of its seven girls improve on their times at the Bemus Point Golf Course, compared with when they ran at the same course in the 10th Red Dragon Invitational on Sept. 9. Junior Anna Rybczynski was the only runner among West’s top seven who didn’t post an improved time from the start of the season but still paced the Lady Indians’ efforts with her second-place finish. Rybczynski, who would have qualified for her third consecutive state championship if West wasn’t going as a team, crossed the line in 19 minutes, 40.49 seconds.

Junior Emma Larkman (19:58.83), sophomore Sarah Mruk (20:10.33), junior Allison Stainsby (20:33.62) and eighth-grader Chloe Wegelin (20:42.26) rounded out the Lady Indians’ scoring efforts with their fourth-, sixth-, 12th- and 14th-place finishes, respectively. Sophomore Madison Mariani (19th, 20:58.90) and junior Madison Vanderlip (23rd, 21:18.03) also improved their times while rounding out the Lady Indians’ contingent of finishers.

“Though the pain associated with our last two consecutive second-place team finishes will not be forgotten, it was a driving force behind the effort our girls gave this past Friday,” coach Emilio Mancino said. “Earning this type of championship can be very challenging, so we are happy for our student athletes who are advancing to represent our school community this Saturday at the state championships at Wayne High School.”

West’s boys team also saw several of its team members — senior Thomas Woods (41st, 18:29.69), freshman Christian Ruiz (46th, 18:42.38) and freshman Brady Harris (64th, 19:25.20) — all fare better this time at the Bemus Point course than they did in September. Junior Tyler Bishop was actually the Indians’ top finisher, though, placing 18th in 17:22.36.

Senior co-captain Joseph Brown (36th, 18:15.39) rounded out the scoring contingent for West, which placed eighth in the team standings.

Junior Dylan Gee (75th, 20:10.78) and senior co-captain John Archilla (76th, 20:16.23) also crossed the finish line for West.

“Many of our boys gave the best efforts they could this past Friday, and we look forward to building upon the successes of this past season in the future,” Mancino said.

West will hold its annual season celebration at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, at Lucarelli’s Banquet Center in Lackawanna. To reserve a spot, contact Mancino at 677-3801 ext. 4347.

West Seneca East, meanwhile, will also be represented at the state meet after senior Josh Glaub finished third in the boys’ Class B race with his time of 16:23.95, which clinched the second of five individual spots allotted for the top finishers not a part of the winning team.

Junior Joshua Lisiecki (48th, 18:28.38), sophomore Vinny Pagliaccio (49th, 18:29.09) and Jake Grzebinski (51st, 18:30.10) also finished in a fairly tight cluster for the Trojans, while freshman Sean McCartan (74th 19:13.86) rounded out East’s scoring contingent. Freshmen David Thiel-Colvin (101st, 19:50.73) and Jeffrey Klein (104th, 19:58.93) also completed the race for the boys’ team.

East’s girls squad was led by sophomore Emma Grzebinski, who placed 22nd in the Class B race with her time of 20:52.79. Also scoring for the Lady Trojans were junior Kaylee McNichol (53rd, 22:37.02), junior Rachel Castello (63rd, 23:04.18), freshman Kennedy Pilat (66th, 23:09.31) and freshman Ally Conti (94th, 24:29.32). Juniors Emma Fredenburg (98th, 24:41.92) and Kaitlyn Lisiecki (111th, 26:19.07) rounded out the Lady Trojans’ contingent.

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