Kelly, Lewis Turn In Memorable Finish At Red Dragon Invitational
BEMUS POINT — Local high school runners descended on Long Point State Park for the Red Dragon Invitational on Saturday morning, and the predominant color displayed by a few of the teams was orange.
As they have before, area student-athletes came together to support a cause — this time that of pediatric blood disorders and more specifically Frewsburg sophomore Nolan LeBaron.
Runners from Silver Creek/Forestville, Clymer/Sherman/Panama and Jamestown joined LeBaron’s teammates at Frewsburg wearing orange wristbands.
“I think the cross country community is amazing. It is a very family-like feel. What’s cool is that we all root for each other,” Frewsburg head coach Sandy Ruhlman said. “Just to see so many teams wear the wristband or just give donations for Nolan … he was a really key part of our team so there was a hole left when he got sick. It’s really amazing to see the community support.”
The son of Falconer track and field coach Mike LeBaron and Frewsburg teacher Andrea LeBaron, Nolan was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia — a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow — in early August and has been battling the disease the past two months.
The 16-year-old was given promising news last Friday when a bone marrow biopsy and white blood cell count showed his cancer to be in remission.
Nolan’s Race, the organization created by friends and family to raise money and show support for the LeBarons, hosted a 5K on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Falconer Central School track.
Nolan’s Race is also accepting donations through PayPal and Venmo.
“Cross country teams and their families have reached out and asked what they can do,” Ruhlman said. “It’s just really heart warming and spirit lifting.”
Randolph’s Roan Kelly and Southwestern’s Nate Lewis turned in a memorable finish in the boys varsity race Saturday. The two ran with each other through the woods along Chautauqua Lake and when they crossed the line, Kelly was just seven hundredths of a second ahead of his Trojans counterpart with a winning time of 16:22.23.
“It’s better competition and an atmosphere that makes you go faster,” Kelly said of the invitational experience. “I’m going to see Nate on Tuesday, too, so that’s going to be another race to push myself.”
Lewis led Southwestern to a first-place team finish with 59 points. Other scoring Trojans included: fourth-place Trey Faulk, fifth-place Donavin Brown, 22nd-place Lukas Svenson and 30th-place Jacob Johnson.
“We’re just kind of seeing where we fit in right now. We’re getting some times on the board,” Southwestern coach Dan Lewis said. “Hopefully, we’re going to work to improve throughout the season. … I’m definitely pleased after today.”
LeBaron’s Frewsburg teammates finished second with 77 points. Scoring Bears included: eighth-place Cody Kent, 10th-place Juvenal Diaz, 11th-place Micah Barber, 12th-place Xander Pitts and 44th-place Jacob Sears.
“What I’m most proud of is that they put in a lot of time over the summer. This is something we’ve been talking about and building toward for a couple of years. They’ve really invested their time. The cool thing is that we just have so much fun,” Ruhlman said. “Our team works really well together. They are encouraging and they are all about the team finish. They are going to take turns beating each other.”
Jamestown was third with 89 points.
“Being from a relatively small area, the kids know each other and we see each other year after year,” Ruhlman said of battling Southwestern and Jamestown. “To be competing with each other and trying to close the gaps or even beat them at times, it gives us motivation.”
Southwestern’s Emma Lewis won the girls race in 19:19.49. Williamsville North’s Brier Amerlinck was second and Pioneer’s Brooklyn Lazarz finished third.
“I was really impressed. … I think she ran great,” Southwestern head coach Pedro Melendez said of Lewis. “(Invitationals) give the kids a chance to perform better than the league meets. … It gives them a chance against tougher competition.”
Allegany-Limestone’s Angelina Napoleon, last year’s Class C state champion, did not run.
Clymer/Sherman/Panama won the girls race with 40 points. Scoring runners for the Wolfpack included: seventh-place Tess Flikkema, eighth-place Hannah Schauman, 15th-place Solki Martin-Lacayo, 16th-place Caitlyn Kriner and 17th-place Brooke Warner.
“Our main goal is to be a family and succeed,” co-captain Tayden Persons said.
“We take it one meet at a time,” Schauman, a co-captain, added. “When we succeed at invitationals it just pumps us up as a team. It’s good momentum for us.”
Williamsville North was second with 57 points followed by Maple Grove in third with 78 points. Scoring for the Red Dragons were: 10th-place Allison Bohall, 22nd-place Lily Bohall, 24th-place Lizzie Lai, 26th-place Presley Haines and 37th-place Ellie Brunenavs.
“We’ve really been encouraging the girls in practice to stick together, train and push each other,” C/S/P head coach Ray Shrout said. “If you pull up on a teammate, encourage them to go along with you. … At one point, with less than a mile left, Tess Flikkema turned around and hollered at Hannah Schauman to come run with her. … That’s just going to make our team stronger throughout the season.”
“I think this is just going to give our girls a lot of confidence for the rest of the season,” C/S/P assistant coach Pam Warner said. ” … We take it race by race, but we do still have those ultimate goals.”
1. Southwestern, 59; 2. Frewsburg, 77; 3. Jamestown, 89; 4. Maple Grove, 120; 5. Nichols, 145; 6. Gowanda, 148; 7. Clymer/Sherman/Panama, 223; 8. Falconer/Cassadaga Valley, 236; 9. Olean, 245; 10. Williamsville North, 271; 11. Randolph, 278; 12. Silver Creek/Forestville, 320; 13. Pioneer, 343; 14. Franklinville/Ellicottville, 349
1. Roan Kelly (R); 2. Nate Lewis (So); 3. Ethan Verbosky (MG); 4. Trey Faulk (So); 5. Donavin Brown (So); 6. Alex Redeye (A-L); 7. Maxwell Knight (J); 8. Cody Kent (Fre); 9. Ryan Janese (N); 10. Juvenal Diaz (Fre); 11. Micah Barber (Fre); 12. Xander Pitts (Fre); 13. Owen Caswell (J); 14. Lucas Dunnewold (C/S/P); 15. Grant Cornell (F/E); 16. Sean Verbosky (MG); 17. Eli Kiddy (N); 18. Lucas Peterson-Volz (O); 19. Jase Smith (F/CV); 20. Adrian Bohdanowycz (O); 21. Stephen Hallberg (J); 22. Lukas Svenson (So); 23. Lucas Arnone (J); 24. Ben Cornell (MG); 25. Chase Bolen (G); 26. Parker Cantie (I); 27. Joseph Mistretta (E); 28. Jayson Twoguns (G); 29. Drew Shull (G); 30. Jacob Johnson (So). T–16:22.23
1. Clymer/Sherman/Panama, 40; 2. Williamsville North, 57; 3. Maple Grove, 78; 4. Jamestown, 118; 5. Southwestern, 140; 6. Nichols, 157; 7. Eisenhower, 167; 8. Gowanda, 185; 9. Falconer/Cassadaga Valley, 250
1. Emma Lewis (So); 2. Brier Amerlinck (WN); 3. Brooklyn Lazarz (P); 4. Lilianna Peters (A-L); 5. Ryanna Brady (S); 6. Ashlyn Collins (A-L); 7. Tess Flikkema (C/S/P); 8. Hannah Schauman (C/S/P); 9. Belle Johnson (J); 10. Allison Bohall (MG); 11. Melia Kupchanko (WN); 12. Kelsey Amerlinck (WN); 13. Sarah Cedro (I); 14. Emily Huckell (N); 15. Solki Martin-Lacayo (C/S/P); 16. Caitlyn Kriner (C/S/P); 17. Brooke Warner (C/S/P); 18. Autumn Pupo (G); 19. Gracyn Rowland (R); 20. Acadia Peirick (P); 21. Lilly Coulter (A-L); 22. Lily Bohall (MG); 23. Tayden Persons (C/S/P); 24. Lizzie Lai (MG); 25. Kierra Wismar (E); 26. Presley Haines (MG); 27. Gaby Brown (WN); 28. Haley Odell (C/S/P); 29. Libby Drum (C-R); 30. Soha Shah (WN). T–19:19.49