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3 PEAT FOR GROTON GIRLS (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...
November 2, 2001
 The Groton Girls won their 3rd straight Section 4 Class D title at Chenango Valley State Park. In the process, they just missed beating Class A Ithaca in a Merge by only 2 points. Ithaca is currently ranked 8th in New York State in Class A.
 Coach Scott Weeks' stated that, "Relative to last year's team performances, we ran better here than we did last week at the IAC Championships. That, in itself is encouraging as we move on toward the State Meet. I feel that Erin Yaichuk had another good performance especially since she had no one to run with in the middle. Lynne Vincent has been VERY consistent in her improvements over the past 3 weeks and her times are continually faster than last year. O'Konsky, Scogin, Mackenzie, & vanAlmelo had solid performances, but I don't feel that it is either what they are capable of nor was it one of their season bests."
 The Groton girls scored 24 points in this State Qualifying effort. However, that is a bit misleading since Elmira Notre Dame Stand Out Molly Huddle took the top spot. Without Huddle in the mix, the Groton Girls would have scored an even more impressive 19 points with 6 girls placing in the top 10 spots.

                  Time    Place
                 =======  =====
Erin Yaichuk     19:44.5   2nd
Lynne Vincent    20:08.5   3rd
Katie OıKonsky   20:38.6   6th
Annie Scogin     20:40.8   7th
Becky Mackenzie  20:41.8   8th
Alida vanAlmelo  21:11.5   11th
Kari Gallow      23:46.2   20th 


Groton Girls Dominate IAC Field (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...
October 27, 2001 (at Marathon)

 Under intermittently snowy, cold, and windy conditions, the Groton Girls' Cross Country Team, for the third year in a row, showed their dominance over the Interscholastic Athletic Conference. These girls scored 24 points in this Overall League Championship. Still absent from the scoring team was Becky Mackenzie. "At this point, we're picking our battles with Becky" said Coach Weeks.
 When asked about how he felt about the team's performance as a whole, Weeks felt that, "the girls looked the best I've seen them all year. We took a commanding control over the race. The girls knew there were some key individuals they needed to run against. As a team we set some goals and executed a plan to reach them. Our pack time continues to hover around a minute. With Erin Yaichuk (currently leading the team) continuing to improve, that means the team moves up as well. Lynne and Katie ran a tough 3rd/4th and that will help us as the season continues. Our 'ultra veteran' Annie Scogin ran her best ever performance on this course and that's very exciting. Alida vanAlmelo continues to be a VERY solid 5th runner for us, and with her returning next year, that's very encouraging. Mary Prince and Amanda Esparza were our 6th and 7th runners in the absence of Becky and Kari Gallow (stomach illness.....flu). They also had their best performances of the year. Bottom line......Under less than favorable conditions, all of the girls ran much faster than their solid performances at the Marathon Invitational where they defeated Class A State Ranked Elmira South Side. I am very excited about our upcoming post season Championships. I know that the girls are as well."
 Regarding some specifics over Becky Mackenzie's calf injury and her chances of competing Coach Weeks gave the following information: Mackenzie had a calf injury that left her calf muscle a bit weak causing a slight limp. Becky has no pain at this point (hasn't for about 2 weeks), and seems not to have a problem running fast. She did a nice workout last week; the limp almost disappears when she runs fast. "The biggest thing I'm worried about is that she might injure something else with that slight limp" stated Weeks. "Thatıs why we're being extra careful. Becky will have no problem running the State Qualifiers and any other meet we compete in after that. After taking her to see Jack Daniels, Ph.D. and a team of Biomechanists at Cortland State, I've set up a cross training routine which has her running, water running, biking, and doing calf raises. She's excited to get back in the mix with this group."
 On the boys side, Groton placed 6th out of the 13 teams. Ben Hebdon was back on the scene following a 'fluke' back injury. "I was very impressed with Benıs performance considering he had taken 2 1/2 weeks off of running" stated Weeks. "He showed some real guts."  Ben was experiencing no back pain following his race. "After he gets in some good training this week, he'll be ready to run some solid performances at the State Qualifiers and the State Meet" stated Coach Weeks.
 The other Groton Boys also had some solid individual performances. Coach Weeks had this to say about the team, "Matt Hebdon is coming on and that's very exciting. Andy Carey continues to run solid performances as does Kyle Gallow. Although all of the guys improved over the Marathon Invitational, Keith Roneker had the largest improvement with almost a minute. Our 6th guy, Dustin, also had his best performance of the season. There's no doubt in my mind that we will be a solid team at the State Qualifiers on Thursday. I think we might surprise some people."


Athlete         Time  Place
==============  ===== =====
Molly Huddle    18:16   1 (Elmira ND) Course Record
Erin Yaichuk    20:07   2
Lynne Vincent   20:23   3
Katie O'Konsky  20:23   4
Annie Scogin    21:09   7
Alida vanAlmelo 21:19   8 
Mary Prince     25:53   58
Amanda Esparza  26:28   64
Becky Mackenzie DNS
Kari Gallow     DNS

Ben Hebdon      17:43   6
Matt Hebdon     18:14   13
Andy Carey      18:56   18
Kyle Gallow     20:18   53
Keith Roneker   20:33   56
Dustin Novitzki 21:56   71


Whitney Point Invitational (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
October 16, 2001

 On a VERY windy Tuesday afternoon/ evening, the Groton Girls had a nice performance at the Whitney Point Invitational as they easily won the Small School title.  Despite resting Becky Mackenzie (#1/ #2) and Annie Scogin (#4/ #5), the girls scored 70 points to Class C Windsor's 108 points.  When asked of his reasoning for resting two of his best runners, Weeks said, "Mackenzie has had some problems with her calf, and although she is not currently having a problem with it, I felt that it was a simply safer to keep her out.  Scogin has been racing since late August so she and I agreed that this would be a good time to lay off racing.  Scogin always comes on in the post season Championships; her best performance last year was at the Footlocker Regionals."  Annie added that, "I've been very happy with my team's progress and accomplishments this season.  My team and I will be ready to race when it counts."
 There's no doubt that this girls' team, now ranked #1 in the most recent New York State polls, has some big goals for this Cross Country season.  Although each member was asked to comment on their Championship Season Goals, NONE of them seemed willing to share their thoughts.  With smiles, they just looked at each other as if they all knew what the others were thinking.  "Youıd think it was top secret" said Coach Weeks who admits to not even knowing the team's plans and goals.  "I just assume that with four seniors in the top seven, they're going to run their hearts out in an attempt to leave their mark."
 The Boys' Squad was still missing top runner Ben Hebdon.  "We had some good performances from a couple of the guys" said Weeks.  Weeks' analysis was that, "Without Ben in there, we've been able to put some pressure on the other guys to pick up some of the slack.  In my judgment, it has worked out well since most of the guys have had some solid improvements."  It is hoped that Hebdon can join his team by early next week.  Coach Weeks stated that, "I've said it before, but I'll say it again, Ben is talented runner. He bounces back from things like this quickly, and with a couple of days of pain-free running, he'll be right back where he left off."  Hebdon has been doing much of his training in the pool.

Molly Huddle      18:25   1st  (Elmira Notre Dame)
Erin Yaichuk      19:23   2nd
Lynne Vincent     19:50   4th
Katie O'Konsky    20:18   6th
Alida vanAlmelo   20:41   14th
Kari Gallow       22:22   44th
Mary Prince       25:22   104th

Matt Hebdon       18:06   18th
Andy Carey        19:10   53rd
Kyle Gallow       20:03   83rd
Keith Roneker     20:52   99th
Dustin Novitzki   21:34   111th

Groton Ranked #1 (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
October 14, 2001

According to the most recent polls, the Groton Girls have earned their way to the top of the ranks in New York's Class D competition. "We must have really made an impression at the Marathon Invitational" stated Coach Weeks. This is truly and honor for the Groton Girls who have, according to Weeks, been striving for such an honor for a couple of years. "We will now need to prove that we deserve that ranking in the weeks to come" stated Weeks. "We have the talent, the dedication, the work ethic, and the heart to be State Champions" said Weeks. "It'll depend on how much these girls want it at the State Meet."

Marathon Invitational (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
October 13, 2001

 Once again, the Groton Squad had an impressive day of Cross Country as the girls ran to a Marathon Invitational Championship. The boys' team was missing top runner Ben Hebdon. He has been suffering from a slightly swollen disc in his lower back. When interviewed, Hebdon said, "I plan to be back running in a short time. Until then, I'm supporting my team as they continue to improve." Coach Scott Weeks felt that Ben will not have a problem in the Championship portion of the season. "Ben is a tough runner, and he'll back to challenge for a League and Sectional title."
 The girls' team had Class A Elmira Southside to contend with in the Girls' Seeded Race. "It was a much closer race than I thought it would be" confessed Coach Weeks. "This Southside team has really come on since the beginning of the year. Their pack time was quite impressive and certainly a strength they will have in contending with Ithaca for the Section 4 Class A title" said Weeks. The Groton Girls also had their own impressive pack time of just over a minute. In comparison to the other Class D teams in the State, Groton's Pack time will be to their benefit as they contend for a State Class D title. 
 Coach Weeks felt that the Groton Squad had a "really good day." "The Girls have had a goal since the beginning of the season to win the Marathon Invitational. They ran hard and did just that. Although I don't think this was our best performance of the year, I think we had a really good day."
 Weeks was asked about how he felt each of the girls ran. "I feel that Erin ran very well. She went right out after it early as did the whole team. Becky was only two days back from resting a calf injury and ran well considering her circumstances. Lynne Vincent set some goals early in the race, and I was impressed at how aggressive she was at accomplishing those goals. Annie Scogin and Katie O'konsky ran real hard, but had an off day. Still, they did what they needed to do to accomplish their team goal. Alida vanAlmelo was very aggressive early and I believe that led to her absolutely spectacular performance" (more than 2 minutes faster than last year).

IAC Division III Championships
October 9, 2001

The Groton Girls ran away with the IAC Division III Championship on Tuesday. The top 5 girls finishing all within 1 second showed not only their team strength, but also their team bond and discipline in the sport. "I wanted the girls to win as easy as they could" stated their Coach Scott Weeks. "We will be attending the Marathon Invitational on Saturday" Weeks said. "It is a meet weıve been keying up for, and we really want to run well there."

Baldwinsville  Invitational : (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
October 6, 2001
  The Groton Girls and Boys Teams had some great efforts at the Baldwinsville Invitational this past weekend. The boys' team performance was expressed best by Ben Hebdon when he said, "My team is coming around!" After an outstanding performance by Hebdon himself, Coach Weeks felt that it was impressive that Ben's emphasis was on his team's best performance of the season. "I feel that this shows what a great leader and individual Ben is" expressed Coach Weeks. 
  The girls were missing Becky Mackenzie due to some calf 'achiness'. "I just felt that it would be best to sit Becky out for a meet and have her take a couple of days off of running just to be on the safe side" Weeks said. Groton still had one of their best, if not their best performance of the season. Groton held on to the top 5 spots in the race through the half mile mark. "I wanted them to take control of the race right from the gun" Weeks said. Groton did just that and made a statement with their efforts as Erin Yaichuk went on to win the race and Lynne Vincent taking a commanding Second overall. Coach Weeks feel that "These girls are bonding like a true team with common goals. I can only imagine what they will likely accomplish by season's end." 


McQuaid  Invitational : (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
Genesee Valley State Park -  September 29, 2001
 The Groton Boys split into 3 different races at this year's McQuaid Invitational. Coach Weeks felt that the team would be more successful and come away with more from this year's McQuaid experience if the team was split. Weeks had this to say about Groton's top runner, "I felt that Ben had a good shot in the Boys' Seeded Small School Race. He had a solid performance running 10 seconds faster than last season on a new course that even the McQuaid Staff felt was slower than last year." When asked about the other boys on the team, Weeks felt that they all had great races. As evidence, he stated that, "most of the veterans ran faster than last year and the overall team pack time was the smallest it's been all season on a regulation course."

 The Groton Girls showed that they will be a force in the Small School competitions in New York State. With 4 girls under 20 minutes and 2 under 19, this should be a nice statement as to what this team will be capable of in the near future. Coach Weeks stated that, "these girls ran out of their minds today. Most of them ran faster than last year and some of them by a large margin." This happened to be Erin Yaichuk's first big race out after missing Auburn last week, and she definitely showed that she'll be a strong contributor to this year's team. Becky Mackenzie, for the second weekend in a row broke 19 minutes. When interviewed, she had this to say, "I couldnıt believe I broke 19 last week. I thought they (Auburn) messed up the watch or something. Now that I did it again, I'll just have to accept that I also did it last week." Annie Scogin, who's been a 'mainstay' since the beginning of Weeks' XC coaching career, once again showed that she'll back this team up with, not only her motivational leadership, but also her continued strong performances. When asked about the overall potential of this Groton team, Weeks would not comment, but seemed to feel that the team will continue to improve as a whole.
 Katie O'Konsky was put in the Unseeded Girls' race because she had missed a fair amount of training in the past two weeks either not running at all, or when she did run, only ran real easy. She showed that her condition has certainly improved, and will be a Varsity Athlete at Baldwinsville next week.
When asked about Groton's race against Skaneateles, Weeks felt that, "Skaneateles is real tough up from and they're real deep as well. They're simply a solid team."

Varsity Boys                          Overall
Runner             Time     Race      Finish
================  =======   ========  ======
Ben Hebdon        16:20.8   Seeded      13
Matt Hebdon       18:23.5   Sophomore   49
Andy Carey        18:20.0   Sophomore   43
Kyle Gallow       20:07.0   Unseeded   177
Keith Roneker     20:30.5   Sophomore  130
Dustin Novitzki   21:40.3   Sophomore  163

Seeded Girls' Race              Finish
Runner             Time      Team  Overall
================  =======    ====  =======
Erin Yaichuk      18:47.8     1      9
Becky Mackenzie   18:48.1     2     10
Lynne Vincent     19:36.6     3     19
Annie Scogin      19:47.6     4     23
Alida vanAlmelo   20:26.8     5     40
Kari Gallow       22:16.4     6     91
Meghan Hathaway   DNF        DNF    DNF


Auburn  Invitational : (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
September 22, 2001
  The Auburn Invitational gave the Groton teams a sense of where they stand for the season. The boys' team finished in the middle of about 17 teams. "I feel that we have lots of room for improvement as a team" Weeks stated. "We have a group of real hard working guys and that's what it takes in this sport."
 The girls were missing Veterans Erin Yaichuk, Lynne Vincent, Brandey Hurchla (top 3 from last year), and Katie O'Konsky for differing reasons. Weeks expects that all of them will be back next to race McQuaid next week. "We still had a strong showing missing 4 of our top 6 at this meet" Weeks felt. Coach Weeks also said, "When we put it all together, Iıll be very interested in what this team can do." Considering the improvements from those Groton Runners that did compete, Groton will surely be a team to watch this season.

Dual Meet @ Moravia @ Filmore Golf Course (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
September 18, 2001

 --------------                        Team Scores
 Ben Hebdon       17:47  2nd           -----------
 Matt Hebdon      20:05  11th          Marathon 45
 Andy Carey       20:40  15th          Moravia  49
 Kyle Gallow      21:24  20th          Waverly  50
 Keith Roneker    22:49  22nd          Groton   70
 Dustin Novitzki  22:51  23rd

 ---------------                       Team Scores
 Becky Mackenzie      22:16  2nd       -----------
 Erin Yaichuk         22:16  3rd       Groton   21
 Annie Scogin         22:16  4th       Waverly  55
 Lynne Vincent        22:16  5th       Moravia  68
 Alida vanAlemelo     23:05  7th       Marathon 88
 Meghan Hathaway      25:07  12th
 Kari Gallow          25:07  13th
 Mary Prince          29:26  21st
 Mandy Esparza        30:53  23rd
 Brandey Hurchla       DNR   DNR
 Katie O'Konsky        DNR   DNR

On the boys side, Ben Hebdon ran an outstanding race! He 'cruised' to a time that is 41 seconds faster than last year on this course. He is looking good right now and will likely take care of business at the Auburn Invitational this coming Saturday. Andy Carey and Keith Roneker had the biggest improvements running almost 2 minutes and 5 minutes faster than last year on this course. "Both Andy and Keith are a very hard workers and it definitely shows in their performances and continued improvements." Dustin is a newcomer this year and will certainly help out our team this season.

On the girls' side, Mackenzie, Yaichuk, Scogin, and Vincent all ran together in this race using it as a key-up workout for the Auburn Invitational this Saturday. They all ran at least 50 seconds faster than last year on this same course. Alida vanAlmelo has been ill for a couple of days. Otherwise, I think she could have run with the top 4 runners here. Meghan Hathaway and Kari Gallow also cruised the race together. Mandy Esparza and Mary Prince had good races for being new athletes. I would expect large improvements from them in the meets to follow.

Susquehanna Valley Invitational : (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
September 8, 2001

 Ben Hebdon       Junior/Senior Small School Race    14:39  2nd
 Matt Hebdon      Fresh/ Soph  Small School Race     16:00  4th
 Andy Carey       Fresh/ Soph  Small School Race     16:53  9th
 Kyle Gallow      Fresh/ Soph  Small School Race     18:29  17th
 Dustin Novitzki  Fresh/ Soph  Small School Race     18:49  22nd
 Keith Roneker    Fresh/ Soph  Small School Race     18:49  23rd

 Becky Mackenzie  Varsity Girls Small School Race     17:56  1st
 Erin Yaichuk     Varsity Girls Small School Race     17:56  2nd
 Annie Scogin     Varsity Girls Small School Race     17:56  3rd
 Lynne Vincent    Varsity Girls Small School Race     18:20  6th
 Alida vanAlemelo Varsity Girls Small School Race     18:27  8th
 Katie O'Konsky   Varsity Girls Small School Race     19:33  11th
 Megan Hathaway   Varsity Girls Small School Race     20:05  14th
 Kari Gallow      JV Girls Race                       20:48  8th
 Amanda Esparza   JV Girls Race                       25:17  28th
 Mary Prince      JV Girls Race                         DNF  DNF
 Brandey Hurchla     Did Not Run                        DNR  DNR  

The Groton Cross Country Teams attended the Susquehanna Valley Invitational on Saturday, September 8th. This is an early invitational that Coach Weeks finds to be very valuable. "The kids like the course for one. Also, they've been training for at least 3 weeks and are 'biting at the bit' to race."
The boys' team was split into 2 separate races. "There's such a difference between Ben and the rest of the group. I could have moved the Freshman and Sophomores to the Junior/ Senior Race, but felt that they would be more competitive in their own age group race" said Weeks. Coach Weeks also commented that "The team is young aside from Ben and will continue to improve. I predict that we will be competitive in the league this year, and along with the Modified coming up next year, we will be very good for the next couple of years to come."
The girls were also put into two separate races. However, the top seven girls were put into the Varsity Small School Race. "I was happy with our performances for the most part. Some of the girls have some work to do (that didnıt get done in the Summer), and once that happens and we're complete, I'm optimistic that we can, once again, make a run at a Class D State Title" said Weeks.
When asked about the teams as a whole, Weeks had this to say, "These are the hardest working and most dedicated group of kids I've ever worked with. Keith Roneker has improved by more than 2 minutes in his races over last year due to the running he did in the Summer. Alida vanAlmelo, who didn't make the top 7 last year, is now a strong runner on an even more competitive team this year. This is also due to the running she did this past Summer. I only hope that some of the younger athletes follow suit in the future."

November 3, 2000 Update: (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
Section 4 Championships
Chenango Valley State Park
November 2, 2000

The Boys and Girls from Groton came away double winners once again making Groton History. Never before in Groton's past have they qualified 2 teams for the New York State Championships in any one season. Certainly it has never been done in the same year with the same sport. However, these two teams seemed on a mission to set a new precedent for excellence at their Alma Matter. Coach Weeks had this to say regarding the impressive showing, "I knew it was possible for both of these teams to qualify for the State Meet, but when it finally becomes reality, it's an awesome feeling."

The girls were the first race to go off at 11:15. From the beginning, they set a nice pace at the front of the pack. Not concerned about the one runner that took it out about 20 meters ahead of everyone else in the first half mile, the Groton girls reassured each other that this runnerıs lead would not last. This held true as Brandey Hurchla took over the race just after the half way mark of the race. "Brandey took a confident lead with Liz Vinson from Marathon trailing in second for a while. Brandey's a tough runner in the second half of any race. I feel that she's a tough runner in the beginning as well, but she's not been tested yet this year" emphasized Weeks. When interviewed following her race, Brandey said, "I just wanted to follow the team plan. I wanted to win the race, and the plan Coach Weeks set out for us worked out well." Weeks nearby also emphasized that the trio of Scogin, Yaichuk, and Mackenzie also followed the plan by just 'cruising' in as a team and saving their big race for next week when it really counts.

When asked of his team's chances at the state meet, Coach Weeks had this to say, "in the past 3 weeks of racing with the exception of the Marathon Invitational where we didn't have our best team showing, our 5th girl has not placed any worse than 7th place in major invitationals. I feel that that makes a statement to us and to other teams." As well it should! If anyone has watched this team in action in the past three weeks .... even at the Marathon Invitational, they know that this team looks very impressive. With a pack time that's been consistently well under a minute and a front runner who's a threat to win the State Meet, this team will certainly be a team to watch.

The boys team saw Sam Mackenzie take a commanding lead with a half mile to go. He never looked back as he ended up winning the race by a comfortable margin. Mackenzie had this to say following his race, "the race played out in my favor. By running a smart race, I was able to use my strengths strategically and pull off a win." When asked of the specifics of his strengths, he felt that it was best to save that information for after the State Meet.

Coach Weeks felt that Groton was the favorite going into this race. "I felt that we could beat Afton with a descent race from all of the team members. We had good races and came away with the Championship" stated Weeks. Afton had other plans however. They went out hard trying to get away from Groton early and maintain a solid team lead. Going into the 3rd mile, Afton had 5 runners in front of Groton's 5th and 6th with the other places being very close. "We won the race in the last mile" stated Weeks. With a mile to go, the race could have gone either direction. "With a little soul searching and some real team heart and pride, my guys picked up about 10 spots in the last mile. Afton could have done the same and won the race, but these boys have wanted this win like no other Iıve seen" emphasized Coach Weeks.

Once again, Coach Weeks was asked about his team's chances at the State Meet. "I feel that if they run a race like they did today, weıll be tough to beat. They had a lot of heart and a lot of pride and that says a lot in the middle of a race. I predict that we'll be in the top 2 in the state. It will be close scoring, and the champion will be determined by who wants it the most."

Varsity Boys     Time  Finish      Varsity Girls    Time  Finish
===============  ===== ======      ===============  ===== ======
Sam Mackenzie    16:43  1          Brandey Hurchla  19:22  1
Ben Hebdon       16:57  4          Lynne Vincent    20:21  4
Mike Adsitt      17:31  9          Erin Yaichuk     20:39  5
Matt Hebdon      18:12  17         Annie Scogin     20:39  6
Andy Carey       18:34  21         Becky Mackenzie  20:39  7
Josh Hildreth    18:42  22         Katie O'Konsky   20:57  9
Justin vanAlmelo 20:31  47         Kari Gallow      21:37  12

Boys Class D Team Score      Girls Class D Team Score
=======================      ========================
Groton             52        Groton     23
Afton              71        Marathon   51
Marathon           82        Tioga      95
Tioga              97        Moravia   140
Moravia           120
Walton            161
Odessa Montour    174
Unatego           210

October 29, 2000 Update: (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
Groton XC... Simply Impressive @ the IAC!!!
October 28, 2000

On a cold, windy, miserable, October day in Marathon, the Groton Cross Country teams would accomplish something completely unexpected by Coach Weeks. Both the Boys' and Girls' teams came away the 2000 IAC Overall Champions. "I expected that the girls would win, but the boys' win came as a complete and pleasant Surprise" Weeks stated. Coach Weeks also had the following comments, "I would have expected that our girls were the favorites to win, but I felt that the Thomas Edison boys would have been the team to bet on. Like I emphasized to my boys, I don't doubt (their) abilities. I am simply a realist, and Edison has looked very tough for the latter half of this season. This is one of the few opportunities that this Groton boys' team has competed complete, and I guess I just didn't realize their full potentials. Missing certain individuals throughout the season made our performances inconsistent and simply unpredictable."

This marks only the 4th time ever in the Interscholastic Athletic Conference (IAC) that the same school has won both the Boys' and Girls' Overall Championship in the same year. Three of those 4 times have been by Groton.
The girls showed impressive dominance of the league taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th places for an almost perfect score of 17 points. "For the last three meets, we've had a team plan going into the meet that we've stuck to, and it's simply paid off very well" Weeks stated.

The boys also had a team strategy going into the meet. Top runner Sam Mackenzie had this to say about their plan, "Our strategy going in was to do what it took to win." All of the Groton boys set personal bests on the course en route to what will probably be considered their best team performance of the season.

Being that this is the time of the season that counts the most for the Cross Country runner, Coach Weeks was asked to comment on his philosophies of peaking runners. He had this to say, "I don't believe in 'peaking' as it is loosely used by many. The idea behind 'peaking' is that you reach a peak, run very well, and then, without choice, your performances will gradually decrease in quality. I simply donıt believe in that jargon. I've personally seen athletes compete at a high level for weeks prior to a decrease in performances, which, truth be known, is probably simply due to some sort of mental 'burn-out' rather than the typical assumed physical problem. I believe that you can schedule training so that the runner runs at his/her best capability at certain times of the season. I believe that it's simply a matter of what I call, 'resting and racing'." According to Coach Weeks, almost all of the Groton Varsity boys and girls had their personal bests on Marathonıs course today probably proving that his 'rest and race' theory holds some truths.

Varsity Boys      Time  Place      Varsity Girls     Time  Place
================  ===== =====      ===============   ===== =====
Sam Mackenzie     17:20  2         Brandey Hurchla   20:11  1
Ben Hebdon        17:32  5         Lynne Vincent     20:43  2
Mike Adsitt       17:58  8         Erin Yaichuk      20:48  3
Matt Hebdon       18:23  15        Annie Scogin      21:00  5
Andy Carey        19:31  40        Becky Mackenzie   21:07  6
Josh Hildreth     19:34  42        Katie O'Konsky    21:23  9
Justin vanAlmelo  20:47  69        Kari Gallow       22:05  16
                                   Alida vanAlmelo   22:42  21
                                   Beth Loparco      25:16  61
                                   Brandy Wright     26:21  74

IAC Boys Team Score          IAC Girls Team Score
====================         ====================
Groton            70         Groton            17
Thomas A Edison   85         Marathon         102
Trumansburg       87         Waverly          124
Lansing          103         Newark Valley    133
Marathon         152         Watkins Glen     152
Southern Springs 152         Thomas A Edison  181
Moravia          174         Trumansburg      194
Tioga            177         Tioga            220
Newark Valley    214         Moravia          344
Watkins Glen     239         Southern Springs 348
O-M              304
      ***All other Teams are Incomplete

October 23, 2000 Update: (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...  
Marathon Invitational 10/21/2000

The Groton Cross Country Teams attended the Marathon Invitational with mixed goals.  The Boys would be missing Mike Adsitt (#3) and Josh Hildreth (#5).  After a stellar performance at Whitney Point, it would be disappointing to be missing 2 of their top 5.  However, those remaining from their top seven squad including Mackenzie, Hebdon, Hebdon, Carey, and vanAlmelo attempted to take care of business on the individual scene.  However, for some unforeseen reason, none of these young men would reach a goal on this day that would satisfy their expectations to run well.  When interviewed concerning his race, Sam Mackenzie simply stated that, "well, weıre bound to have a bad race, and if today is that day, well.....itıs better than next week.  We might as well get it out of our systems now."  Coach Weeks feels that the team has shown more potential than what was shown at Marathon.  "Theyıll step up to the plate when it counts" was the analogy Weeks used concerning his boys' post season potential.

The Groton Girls looked very impressive at this meet especially in the beginning and middle of the race.  People seemed to be taken by Groton's Dominance which was shown when, at the mile mark and still at the mile and a half mark, they had 4 of the top 5 runners in this very competitive race which had Section 4's top 3 Class A teams.  Groton's dominance seemed to slip away shortly there after when one of their runners dropped from the race.  At that time, their lead pack (the top 4 still together) seemed to dissolve.  When asked about what might have happened at this point in the race, Coach Weeks stated that, "after talking with the three who did finish, two of them felt that they lost their focus when their teammate dropped from the race."  "Unfortunately, when you run a team race like this, with the plan that we had which was to run together at the front, and especially with young athletes, it only takes one major fallout to potentially cause the others to lose their focus concerning the task that is really at hand."  When asked about how he thinks that his team will handle this disappointment, Weeks simply stated that, "we'll talk about it in practice on Monday and take care of any concerns both on a team basis and on an individual basis."  Weeks alluded to the fact that, in this sport of Cross Country Running, a coach needs to try to, not just pay attention to the physical training, but also put some emphasis on the psychological realm as well.  "This is a great team with great potentials and the best is still to come for them" emphasized Weeks.

Certainly, and with no doubt, Groton's highlight of the meet was the individual win by #1 runner Brandey Hurchla.  Still a Freshman, Brandey ran 8 seconds faster than Heather Iatauro (4th at the State Meet Class C/D in 1998, 3rd in 1999, and undefeated this year) who won the unseeded race. Concerning her performance, Weeks stated that, "Brandey is just beginning to gain the confidence she needs to run at the front of any race.  She feels that she will run a better race if she gets out fast with the leaders, and I certainly agree.  Her potentials are limitless."  When asked about Brandey talents as a runner, Weeks said, "I've known since she was a Modified runner that she's got some special running talent.  I, however, feel very strongly that she'll progress at her own pace.  I have not pushed her to this point, and don't plan to any time in the near future.  As a Freshman front runner, whatever she gives us in the way of performances, weıll be happy with."

October 18, 2000 Update: (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...
October 17, 2000
    The Groton Cross Country Teams attended the Whitney Point Invitational on Tuesday, October 17.  In what was scheduled to be a team workout, both teams came away as the overall champions.  Up against top teams like Union Endicott, the Groton Girls took on the challenge with a plan that allowed them to run the final two miles of the race very easily and still score only 17 points in an invitational that showed 25 schools.  Groton's top 5 scoring places were 1,2,3,5,6.  Coach Weeks said, "part of our plan was to run as a team, and with a team gap of less than a minute, we did just that."  Both Hurchla and Vincent shared the overall win in a showing of team unselfishness that tends to make good teams even stronger.  Mackenzie and Scogin also shared the 5/6 spot.  Weeks had this to say about his team's overall performance, "We used this meet as a test for a new team racing strategy, and it worked out perfectly.  The girls are very confident with the new strategy, and after an almost perfect score, they should be."  This is certainly Groton's best performance of the season which shows that the season's training is really coming together.

    The Groton boys had their best team performance of the season at Whitney point as well.  Because they don't plan on being complete at Marathon this coming Saturday, they decided to use this Invitational as a solid Team effort.  The boys came away with an Invitational win scoring 76 points to second place Windsor's 91 points.  Individual standouts included Sam Mackenzie who, after taking two wrong turns while leading the race, lost by less than a second.  When asked what he thought about Mackenzie's performance, Weeks exclaimed, "This kid is really looking tough, and I think he's capable of anything in the post season.  A guy who's run sub 2 in the 800 and is also a strong distance runner will be tough to beat."  Weeks feels that Mackenzie is working hard and doing all the right things to prepare himself for the the conclusion of his final High School Cross Country Career.  When interviewed, Junior, Ben Hebdon reported that he has his sights set on running with Mackenzie in the final championship meets of the season. Coach Weeks feels that Ben, being the more experienced distance runner over Mackenzie, is capable of doing just that if he sets him mind on it.

Varsity Boys   Time Finish    Varsity Girls     Time  Finish
============   ====  ====     ==============    ===== ======
Sam Mackenzie  17:00   2      Brandey Hurchla   20:07   1
Ben Hebdon     17:13   4      Lynne Vincent     20:07   2
Mike Adsitt    17:45   8      Erin Yaichuk      20:24   3
Matt Hebdon    18:06  14      Becky Mackenzie   21:04   5
Josh Hildreth         48      Annie Scogin      21:04   6
Andy Carey            57      Kari Gallow              21
Justin vanAlmelo      99      Alida vanAlmelo          42
                              Beth Loparco             88
                              Brandy Wright            89
                              Katie O'Konsky          DNF

   Varsity Boys                   Varsity Girls
School Place  / Pts.         School Place   /    Pts.
==============  ====         =============       ===
Groton           76          Groton               17
Windsor          91          Sidney              104
Maine Endwell   120          Unetego             139
Chenango Forks  140          Newark Valley       154
Newark Valley   209          Windsor             164
Afton           210          Maine Endwell       196
Union Endicott  210          Watkins Glen        213
Chenango Valley 241          Marathon            219
Whitney Point   241          Union Endicott      238
Delhi           266          Susquehanna Valley  243
Sus. Valley     287          Oneonta             250

October 16, 2000 Update: (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...

OCTOBER 14, 2000
The Groton boys were missing their #1 runner (Sam Mackenzie) due to SATs. Coach Weeks felt that Sam would have placed about 3rd which would have given them about 120 pts. and probably 5th place. Certainly, they would have beaten Beaver River again. #4 runner, Matt Hebdon had a bad fall in the first 50 meters of the race. He was thrown to the ground by his brother Ben. Coach Weeks was quoted as saying, "man, I donıt know how much longer I can tolerate this sibling rivalry." Overall, the Groton boys had a fine showing. They now have Senior Josh Hildreth back in the mix. "If he can stay healthy and with us for the remainder of the season, we can be a threat to win the State Title" said Coach Weeks.

Speaking of the other Male runners in the race, Weeks felt that Tim Scarpinato of the Beaver River team had a nice showing. He had this to say, "This kid is a talent and a competitor. He'd just run a sub 4:45 mile in P.E. the day before. Who runs that fast in Gym class? What a great attitude. Trained, Rested, and Race Ready, this guy will be a threat to win the individual State Title. He's definitely one to watch."

The girls also had their share of misfortune in the Girls Varsity race. Shortly after the mile, #2 runner Lynne Vincent fell in the woods and was unable to finish the race. Shortly following this event, #3 runner Becky Mackenzie, in her attempt to alert a Groton parent, tripped over a root herself and experienced a rough fall. Mackenzie was able to finish. Both Vincent & Mackenzie came away with their share of battle wounds. At the finish, Freshman Mackenzie, speaking (or was is growling?) for the two, was quoted as saying, "grrrrrrr.....these (the wounds) are our bragging rights." Coach Weeks responded with, "whatever pumps you up.......just be ready for Sectionals and States." Weeks felt that the Groton Girls had a strong race at certain points, but were weaker in others. When asked about how he felt about his teamıs performance, Coach Weeks said, "After a short conference with the team, weıve figured out what we need to do from here on out to strengthen our weaknesses. I feel we need to work on our racing strategies and our execution of them. The girls feel that they need some changes in their training to better prepare them for the tougher races." Although Weeks was willing to say that he agreed with the girls and they agreed with him, he was unwilling to divulge any details. I guess weıll have to just wait and see how this team progresses for the remainder the season.

Groton was missing their #2 runner (Lynne Vincent) due to a fall in the race. She would have placed about 5th which would have given us about 42 pts. and very much closer to Beaver River.

Beaver River Invitational Results:

Groton Girls    Overall Finish   Beaver River Girls
=============== ==============   ================== ===========
Brandey Hurchla 18:37.1   2      Adrienne Gagner    18:52.0   3
Erin Yaichuk    19:58.4  10      Julie Emery        18:52.5   4
Becky Mackenzie 20:13.9  12      Lauren Moser       18:59.0   5
Annie Scogin    20:13.9  13      Danielle Buzzell   19:19.6   6
Katie O'Konsky  20:25.1  15      Michelle Golden    20:43.3  21
Kari Gallow     21:28.8  29      Holly Zehr         21:06.4  25
Alida vanAlmelo 21:47.0  33      Jolene Munger      21:21.3  28
Beth Loparco    24:05.0  62      Kisa Ruiz          21:39.6  30
Lynne Vincent    DNF             Cassandra Zehr     22:15.0  40

       Varsity Girls 
    School Place   Pts.
   ============    ===
   Beaver River     39
   Groton           52
   South Lewis     127
   Frontier        136
   Saranac Lake    143
   Norwood-Norfolk 167
   Clinton         197
   Gouverneur      242
   Carthage        308 

October 15, 2000 Update: (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...
IAC Division III Cross Country Championships
STONEHEDGES Golf Course, Groton
October 12, 2000

Groton Cross Country had their IAC Divisional Championships on Thursday, October 12. On the boys side, Ben Hebdon, Mike Adsitt, and Matt Hebdon did not race so that they could be ready for the Beaver River Invitational on Saturday. As a team, they felt that the big invitational on Saturday was more important and that they would concentrate on the IAC Overall Championship in 2 weeks. Sam Mackenzie, who will take the SATs on Saturday instead of running Beaver River, ran his last ever home meet with passion and came away the IAC Division III Individual Boy's Champion. Coach Weeks felt that Sam had an outstanding race and a very nice showing for his last appearance at his home course. Sam is considering attending Havorford as a Freshman.

The Girls team, with the exception of Brandey Hurchla, all toed the line. However, they ran it as a team tempo run and still won the Championship with relative ease. Annie Scogin, speaking for the top four Groton girls at this meet (Vincent, Scogin, Mackenzie, Yaichuk) was quoted as saying, "we felt SO good running this as a tempo and were only 20 seconds out of 1st place. We are pumped to run the IAC Overalls. Our team is SO ready to run the end of this season." When asked by Coach Weeks why she didn't run with her teammates at this meet like she did at the Baldwinsville Invitational, Freshman Katie O'Konsky said with a smile and a laugh, "But Mr. Weeks, you said to run easy." Coach Weeks was seen taking a triple dose of Ibuprofen only 2 minutes later. Katie was only a few seconds behind her teammates. Newcomer Kari Gallow and veteran Alida vanAlmelo were unavailable for comment. 

October 2, 2000: Groton results from the McQuaid Invitational held on Sept. 30 (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ...

Conditions were Perfect (Perfect Temp., no wind, no rain, clear skies). 

In a seeded small school race that was a memorial for Beaver River runners Mike Ardison and Dereck Farney, the Groton Boys decided to wear ribbons in their memory. "It's kind of a XC tribute to fallen heros" was one of the statements made in regards to the ribbons.

Groton placed well enough to get themselves a 5th place ranking in the state Class D Polls. Although their race was not a memorial, the Groton Girls also felt that they needed to pay tribute to Ardison and Farney by wearing ribbons in their race as well.

Groton was beaten by the Beaver River team who had a real tough top 3 showing. Coach Weeks had this to say about the Beaver river Performance, "This is the best showing Iıve seen by the Beaver River Girls this season. They packed in 3 girls better than Iıve seen them do all year. They will be tough to beat from here on out." In consideration of an outstanding pack time, Coach Weeks felt that the girls' performace was a good one. Becky Mackenzie continues to improve by very large margins. Alida vanAlmelo has also come on very strong in the past 2 weeks while Annie Scogin, Brandey Hurchla and Katie OıKonsky continue to improve consistently. Erin Yaichuk had another stellar performance considering this is only her 2nd big meet ever. Lynne Vincent had her strongest top team placing ever, and that will be a critical factor for the Groton Girls' squad. Every one of the Groton girls who ran McQuaid last year, had outstanding improvements over last year's performance.

Team scores listed below are scored prior to runners of incomplete 
teams being removed.  Team places remained the same however.

Seeded Boys Race (Small Schools)     Seeded Girls' Race (Sm/Med Sch)
================================     ==============================
Girard, OH            97             Honeoye-Falls Lima    72
HFL                  194             Skaneateles           72
St. Vincent/St. Mary 200             Beaver River         119
North East           212             Groton               160
Skaneatles           223             Walsh Jes.           227
McDowell             225             West Allegheny,PA    247
Addison              243             South Jefferson      231
Starpoint            255             Waterloo             244
TAE                  258             Newark               307
Eisenhower           271             McDowell, PA         328
Groton               279             Alden                329

Groton Boys                          Groton Girls
=========================            =========================
Sam Mackenzie       16:20            Lynne Vincent       19:11
Ben Hebdon          16:30            Brandey Hurchla     19:14
Mike Adsitt         16:36            Becky Mackenzie     19:26
Matt Hebdon         17:25            Erin Yaichuk        19:49
Josh Hildreth       18:09            Annie Scogin        20:01 **
Andy Carey          18:26            Katie OıKonsky      20:26
Justin vanAlmelo    20:20            Alida vanAlmelo     21:05
                                     Kari Gallow         21:21
                                       ** 50 second pack time


September 25, 2000: Groton results from the Auburn Invitational held on Sept. 23 (by Groton Coach Scott Weeks) ... Groton will be competing at the McQuaid Invitational next week end.

Conditions (at Auburn) were terrible. Very Wet and considerable wind. Kids loved the conditions with the exception of the T-Storms.

Boys Team Results      Girls Team Results
=================      ==================
Skaneateles    60      Skaneateles    24
Groton         89      Groton         33
Onondaga       92      TA Edison      91
TA Edison     132      T-Burg         97
Weedsport     181      Lafayette     153
Moravia       195      Fabius Pompey Inc.
Cato-Meridian 209      Sandy Creek   Inc.
Lafayette     225
CBA           254
Myderse       255
Watkins Glen  352

Gorton Runner       Time      Team Finish    Overall Finish
===============     =====     ===========    ==============
Brandey Hurchla     20:25          1              3
Lynne Vincent       20:40          2              5
Erin Yaichuk        21:16          3              7
Annie Scogin        21:24          4              8
Becky Mackenzie     21:26          5              10
Katie O'Konsky      22:06          6              12
Kari Gallow         23:07          7              14
Alida vanAlmelo     22:59  

Erin Yaichuk ran her first XC race ever and certainly did a nice job doing it. She and the new Freshman are still Learning the sport of Varsity XC. Becky Mackenzie has really stepped up to assume a solid varsity position. Running with Veteran Annie Scogin, she shows that sheıs not intimidated by experienced and accomplished runners. Katie OıKonsky continues to perform well on the varsity scene, but struggles with race day cramps. Top runner Brandey Hurchla has still yet to get in a consistent routine of training due to underlying circumstances, but still continues to show her talents and new aggressiveness on the XC course. Lynne Vincent has certainly assumed a strong 'front running' attitude and her performances have showed it. Kari Gallow and Alida vanAlmelo continue to emphasize Grotonıs depth with their consistent and impressive early season performances.

September 11, 2000:  the following write-up was sent by Groton Coach Scott Weeks ... I (the webmaster) really appreciate Coach Weeks' effort in sending this information ... I also want to congratulate Groton on having an outstanding team (good luck Annie S.).

The Groton Cross Country Teams competed in the Susquehanna Valley Invitational on Saturday September 9. In an impressive score of 29 points, the girlsı team easily won the small school division of the meet. Their top 7 places were 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11. If the times were plugged into the Large school race, Groton would have only lost to Elmira South Side by a very small margin. On this note, Groton is showing to be one of the top teams in all of Section 4 Cross Country. This yearıs team is being led by a very strong trio of Annie Scogin, Brandey Hurchla, and Lynne Vincent. Two new Frosh additions, Becky Mackenzie and Katie OıKonsky rounded out the strong top 5 at the Sus. Valley Invite. A late addition of an additional Junior will make Groton easily the strongest team ever. In addition, last yearıs top 5 runner, Alida vanAlmelo, is easily running her best Cross Country ever and had a 6/7 place showing at the Invitational. Another new Junior addition, Kari Gallow, who is one of Grotonıs top 3000 meter runners, also made a strong stand at Susquehanna Valley with a 6/7 showing. 

Coach Weeks had this to say about the squad and what he observed at their first Invitational: Vincent, Hurchla, and Scogin are, as always, tough as nails in training and in racing. Mackenzie and OıKonsky, only a little over a minute behind our top 3, are just learning to race the 5K distance that is Varsity Cross Country. They will improve rapidly. Gallow and vanAlmelo each had a small physical ailment which slowed them in the race. However, they still managed to be the very next two places behind the two new Freshman. It was easily the smartest and most impressive team race Iıve ever seen run by a high school team. AND.....itıs still early. These girls had a plan prior to the race and they executed it to near perfection.

According to Coach Weeks, Grotonıs strongest asset is their team Cohesion and their willingness to run together in packs of 2, 3, and even 4. Itıs tough to beat a squad who runıs together and supports each other in the beginning, middle, and at the end of the race. This type of team racing will make us very strong. Iıve never seen a team bond like this, and Iım very interested and excited to see what will come of it. 

Following a dual meet against Moravia and Marathon, Groton will compete at the Auburn Invitational.


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