Newfane runners sweep N-O league titles again
CARLTON – The Newfane boys and girls continued their reign as cross country powerhouses in the Niagara-Orleans League, with both dominating today’s league races at Lakeside Beach State Park.
Both teams posted some of the lowest scores in recent memory at the league race, with the girls at 20 points and the boys at 21.
The Newfane boys won their third straight league title. They had the top two finishers with Nathan Moran in first at 17:34, followed by teammate Nick Baes in 2nd at 17:46. Newfane’s other top five includes Alan Lingle in 5th, and twin brothers Conner Cuzzacrea in 6th and Andrew Cuzzacrea in 7th.
“We try to keep it fun and exciting,” said Mike Heitzenrater, Newfane’s coach. “Cross country runners don’t get a lot of publicity. We try to foster a family atmosphere.”
He praised Moran for his work ethic and for his goal to peak later in the season. Newfane has many fast runners and they push each other, Heitzenrater said.
“We had a great pack in the boys race,” he said.
Barker was second in the team standings with 75 points. They were led by Peter DiLorenzo’s 4th place finish in 17:50.9. Barker had other all-league performers with Nicholas Guevara on the second team with a 14th place finish (18:50). Mason Allee-Castro was 18th (19:05) and Dawson Donovan was 20th (19:15) to earn honorable mention for the league.
Akron was third in the team standings with 99 points. They were led by Zachary Sanford in 11th place (18:37) and Will Chubb in 19th (19:10). Sanford was second team all-league and Chubb was an honorable mention.
Roy-Hart was 2 points behind Akron and finished fourth in the league with 101 points. Ozzy Moore led the team with a 3rd place finish at 17:50. Teammate Jay Heideman was a second team, all-league in 13th place (18:48), and Will Rickard earned an honorable mention at 15th (18:56).
Wilson came in fifth as a team with 111 points. Jon Moote led Wilson with a 9th place finish (18:26), followed by Allan Schultz at 17th (19:04). Moote was second team, all-league and Schultz earned an honorable mention.
Albion earned its first win of the season with a sixth-place finish at 153 points. Reuben Rivers led the team at 16th(18:59), which is good for an honorable mention.
Medina was seventh at 163 points and was led by Arian Cayea, whose 21st finish at 19:15 earned him an honorable mention for the league.
Newfane girls win 5th straight league title
The Newfane girls have now won the N-O League every year since 2015. The team took 5 of the top 8 spots today.
However, Akron sophomore won the race in a time of 19:36. Wagner was sixth in the league a year ago. She missed qualifying for the state meet by one spot. That disappointment at Sectionals motivated her to train harder, said her coach, Nancy Bennett.
“She wants it so much,” Bennett said about Wagner’s drive to win.
The Akron runner in the past year has added weight training and spinning classes, while staying busy on her family’s beef farm.
Newfane’s top 5 runners today included eighth-grader Kylie Bowman in second at 20:01, Catalina Ersing in third at 20:23, Vanessa Burkhard in sixth at 20:40, Lydia Chunco in seventh at 21:09, and Shelby Nerber in eighth at 21:43.
Akron was second as a team with 57 points. Besides the first place finish by Wagner, the team had a 10th place finish by Kaila Szczygielski (21:55), 14th by Kayla Murray (22:41) – good for second team, all-league.
Barker was third with 74 points. Barker had two runners on the all-league second team – Lydia Samson in 12th (22:26) and Haleigh Mason in 13th (22:34).
Medina was fourth as a team with 111 points. The Mustangs were led by Sabrina Quiros in 17th place (23:10), which earned her an honorable mention for the league.
Wilson was fifth with 115 points. The team had two runners earn honorable mentions: Cassidy Wagner in 18th (23:27) and Kylee Healy in 21st (23:31).
Albion and Roy-Hart both didn’t have full teams with at least five runners.
Anna Rickard led Roy-Hart with a 4th place finish (20:28) and Alanna Holman led Albion with a 5th place (20:37). Rickard and Holman were both first team, all-league.