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November 8, 2013

 

Local trio set to run on big HS stage

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

Solid runs in their respective sectional cross country championships have earned three local student-athletes a trip to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships Saturday at Queensbury High School.
Homer Central senior Jade Auchmoody will return to the State Meet in Class B for a third time and she will be joined by freshman newcomer Hayley Tasselmyer from Cortland High.
They will run the last race of the day at 12:10 p.m.
Auchmoody placed third in the Section 3 Girls Class B Championship last Saturday with a time of 19:43 at Jamesville Beach County Park while Tasselmyer took seventh place in 20:05 earning the fifth, and final, non-winning team slot.
Groton senior Jason Jenks is also making a return to the State Meet in Class D boys. Jenks has an early start time as the Class D boys are second on the schedule with a 9:25 a.m. start time. He toured the Chenango Valley State Park Golf Course layout in 17:12.3 to place second in the Section 4 Class D Championships Oct. 31.
Auchmoody finished in 52nd-place in the 2012 Class B State Championship Meet with a time of 19:44.7 at Elba Meadows Golf Course. She came home 54th (21:47.2) in her debut in 2011 at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School.
“Jade has worked really hard this season to secure another trip to the cross country state meet,” Homer coach Jim Baldwin said. “Her determination and mental toughness has shown through as she has been battling through some minor injuries and illness off and on during the season. I think she is as healthy as she has been going into the state meet and seems to be in the position to peak at the right time. The coaches look forward to seeing her leave it all on the Queensbury course Saturday.”
Jenks ran 17:44.3 to finish 39th in last year’s Class D race at Elma Meadows. One year older and running much stronger, Groton coach Scott Weeks expects a better showing in 2013.
“Jason has really committed to solid training over the last two years and his training has paid off,” Weeks said. “He’s really in a different league compared to last year. He had the fastest time in our last two invitationals–Whitney Point and Marathon–of any runner that I’ve coached in my 16 years of cross country.
“This week, he had his best workout of the season which leads me to believe that we’ll see a much better performance than his 39th placing last year at the New York State Championships,” he added.
Tasselmyer is the biggest surprise as the freshman is the first Cortland runner to compete in the state meet since Margaret Knight made three straight trips from 2004 through 2006.
“Hayley entered the season not knowing what to expect from her competition,” Cortland coach Matt Dearie. “She was a naive, inexperienced runner. She has learned so much as shown by her cool approach to the sectional race. For her to let some of those very talented and successful girls go out a little faster than her with the plan of being able to move up with and then hopefully pass them in the second half of a difficult course speaks volumes about how much she has grown. It’s a difficult thing for a young, competitive athlete to do, but she has shown this season that she can be very bold in being aggressive and bold in being patient. However, Hayley knows that she still has a lot to learn in the next three years. It is very exciting to know that we still don’t know the answer to the question, “How good will she be?
“Hayley has had a very good season,” he continued. “I know she will go to the state meet and compete with everything she has in her. The results will take care of themselves as long as she just performs the process of competing. It is a wonderful experience for a young athlete.”

 

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