By Thomas Edson and Marissia Potamianos
Staff Writer and Editor of Production
The Jamesville-DeWitt Girls Indoor Track team is running past their competition, and one member of the team is now preparing for the New York State Championship Meet.
“Our team was a lot smaller and younger this year than in past years. We made it work though, and focused on improving and winning as much as we could,” said junior captain and thrower Jessica Pace. Senior captain and long distance runner Rachel Fairbanks agreed with Pace, and added that it was nice to come back this year and win sectionals after losing by one point in sectionals last year. “As a team, we wanted to win sectionals. That was a big goal,” said senior captain and long distance runner Samantha Jaffe. The team not only accomplished this goal, but did it in dominant fashion, taking first place by 88 points.
With this year’s smaller and younger team, some underclassmen had to step up. Freshman Alex Payne was more than ready. During the season, Payne broke school records in the 300 meter run and the 55 meter hurdles. “I was shocked because I was a freshman, and didn’t think I could break a record as a freshman,” said Payne.
Payne will be representing the girls team at the New York State Indoor Track Championships at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on March 7th.
The Jamesville-DeWitt Boys Indoor Track team is also competing at a very high level this year, and also won their league meet at SRC Arena on Wednesday, Feb 11.
In the beginning, the team was unsure of their abilities, because of their youth and inexperience. “I was shocked with how we were able to perform as a team by the end of the season,” said senior captain and long distance runner Austin Philleo. “It was very eye opening because we found many strengths and were able to work on our weaknesses,” added junior captain, sprinter, and hurdler Quentin Curry.
Despite the inexperience, the team still had some major goals at the beginning of the season. “We wanted success,” said Philleo. Sophomore long distance runner Patrick Dye also added that the team wanted to try and win sectionals. Individuals also had goals for themselves to accomplish this season. “I personally wanted to get 10 minutes for my two-mile run, and I was able to do that,” said Dye. Dye not only achieved his goal, but set the record for the best two-mile time by a sophomore in New York State with a time of 9 minutes and 37 seconds. “I was pretty surprised because I was just trying to break 1o minutes and it just happened,” said Dye. Curry personally wanted to be able to make large contributions to the team to help them win sectionals. He was also able to achieve that goal.
Senior Will Cote will be representing the boys team at the State Chamionship meet on March 7th at Cornell University.
The Jamesville-DeWitt and Christian Brothers Academy Boys Swimming and Diving team finished the regular season with 12 wins and 2 losses and finished third out of 25 teams in the Section III State Qualifier at SUNY Cortland. The team fell short of beating Watertown and Liverpool, who were also the two teams that they lost to in the regular season.
The beginning of the season started off slow. “The meets lacked enthusiasm and people didn’t take it very seriously,” said freshman Spencer Schultz. Although swimming may seem like an individual sport, it is a team sport. “We needed contributions from everyone and thats where we fell short,” added sophomore Luca Bebla. One of the teams biggest goal was to beat Liverpool during their dual meet, which they didn’t accomplish. It was a hard meet because Liverpool was “unstoppable” due to their depth. The J-D/CBA team just couldn’t match up to their depth and their experience.
Another team goal was to send as many people to sectionals as they possible could. This year, the J-D/CBA team sent more than half of the team to the sectional meet which was held in Liverpool. Overall, the team came in third behind Liverpool and Watertown, which is also what happened two days later at the Section III State Qualifier meet. “Next year I think we will have a much better chance of beating them (Liverpool and Watertown), because a couple of their best swimmers will be leaving,” says Bebla.
The team is now preparing for the New York State Swimming and Diving Meet. The J-D/CBA team will be sending CBA senior Cory Knapp, J-D junior Casey Sawyer, senior Kevin Potocki, and sophomore Jeff Gabriel along with divers Matt Wanamaker from CBA and J-D senior Alex Dieroff . The New York State Meet will be held on February 27th and 28th at Ithaca College.