Wet Course Expected Friday

Sectionals Set For Bemus Point GC

Randolph’s Ronan McDonald, right, and Maple Grove’s Peter Auer battled throughout last week’s CCAA Championships at Bemus Point Golf Club. P-J file photos

For the fourth time in the past two years, more than 50 cross country teams will make the trip to Bemus Point Golf Club today for the 2018 Section VI Championships.

Luckily the host Maple Grove Red Dragons have the benefit of experience when it comes to welcoming so many runners from across Western New York.

“This is our fourth time doing a meet this large with two Red Dragon (Invitationals) with 50-plus teams, and 70-plus teams for sectionals last year,” Maple Grove head coach Steve Matteson said. “Honestly the most stressful part is making sure that you have the course ready for everybody and everything is fair for everyone that comes. We want to make sure that everyone has a fair run and no one has an advantage.”

At this stage of the year at the rain-resistant course in Bemus Point, that means making sure that runners will all enjoy a path that is free from debris.

While the 3.1-mile layout has a reputation as being unusually water-resistant, this past week of rain could provide muddy conditions.

“The golf course is definitely being tested this week,” Matteson said. “It is a little slick out there around the curves. It is a little slick and muddy but I still feel that out of every other place in Section VI this is still the best place to run. Unfortunately we’ve gotten a little rain and it is still going to be a little muddy.”

The Red Dragons will enter as the defending Class D champions in both the boys and girls races, while sophomore Ava Crist will enter Friday on the heels of her Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association victory with a time of 18:42.42.

“Every runner has their own game plan going in to the race and Ava, at counties, executed everything how she wanted to do it,” Matteson said. “It became one of the best races for her and one of the best times held at that course.”

Randolph’s Ronan McDonald came away with the boys title after his time of 16:47.49.

“Ronan made a move with about a mile to go,” Matteson said. “It was between Ronan and Peter Auer (Maple Grove). They were both in the lead and Ronan picked it up and but a little bit of distance between them.”

The first race of the day will be the girls Class D heat at 11 a.m., with Class A, B, and C following at 35-minute intervals.

The boys Class D heat will be run at 1:20 p.m., followed by Class A, B and C at 30-minute intervals with awards ceremonies to follow.

Clymer/Sherman/Panama’s Kylee Odell will enter the day as the state’s No. 6-ranked runner in Class D, while Crist is No. 7 and Maple Grove’s Christina Peppy is No. 8 according to tullyrunners.com.

Abby Brunenavs of Maple Grove is No. 24 and Acacia Barber of Frewsburg is No. 26.

Emily Brown of Fredonia is the top-ranked local runner in Class C at No. 13, while Southwestern’s Hannah Sullivan is No. 26.

McDonald will enter as the No. 10 runner in Class D, just ahead of No. 11 Auer. Dylan Davis of Frewsburg is No. 22 and Frank Colburn of Maple Grove is No. 31.

Dagon Bryant is the No. 22 runner in Class C, while Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s Bryce Baglia is No. 25, Fredonia’s Diego Rey No. 27, Southwestern’s Eddie Scroxton No. 31 and Falconer/Cassadaga Valley’s Collin Barmore No. 43.

Anthony Ruiz of Dunkirk is the No. 64 runner in Class B.

Should Maple Grove have the opportunity to repeat as both boys and girls team champions, the Red Dragons will be able to enjoy another trip to this year’s state meet at Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island.