Collegiate Opens Strong
Sometimes it's very easy to tell who had a big summer of training. Ty Buckley of Collegiate made that abundantly clear with his second-place finish on Saturday at the Guilderland Invitational.
A year ago, Buckley — who led Collegiate to victory in the large school race over Burnt Hills (54-91) — was a solid runner with personal bests of 4:36 in the mile and 9:58 in the 3,200 meters. But he has risen to a new level as he covered the 2.7-mile course in 14:13, just behind Marc Brandmyere of Mount Anthony's of Vermont.
Coach George Calano was pleasantly surprised by Buckley's race. "I expected big things from Ty this season but he's already exceeded my expectations for the season. He had a strong summer of training.
"Marco Pompilj led the race for two miles and Ty sat comfortably in third going into the woods. When they came off the hill and out of the woods everyone was surprised when they saw Ty in the lead. He held on until the final strides. His birthday was the next day and a win would have topped things off for him."
Pompilj — the top freshman at the N.Y. State Federation Championships — was seventh in 14:26. There are high expectations for the sophomore after running 4:17.61 for 1,600 meters last spring. Liam Buckley was ninth for Collegiate with Luke Chang 14th.
Calano continued about his teams' day. "It was probably our best season opener ever with the exception of the 2006 opener at Great American. Going into the meet, our expectations were lowered somewhat with two scorers on the sideline. J.P. Meredith and Isao Anzai are dealing with tendonitis issues and we opted not to race them. We approached the race as a test of where we are in our training and it also gave a chance for the back of our lineup to show what they could do."
Clearly Collegiate is ready to match performance with the early season hype that has been bestowed upon it.
The Bronxville girls opened up at New Jersey's Randolph Invitational on Friday and easily claimed the Group C race (with 19 points) despite the absence of top runners Meredith Rizzo and Mary Cain. Junior Emilie Hoffer won the race in 19:15 with Caroline Bertholf of Tri-Valley (N.Y.) second, nearly 40 seconds back. According to Coach Jim Mitchell, Hoffer had a great summer of training in Vermont and looks fantastic.
After that is was four straight Broncos with Argentina Chrappa, Morgan Nobles, Courtney Campbell and Hilary Rizzo streaming in. Bronxville will head to their home turf of Van Cortlandt Park next weekend for the Villa Bears Invitational.
The boys of Wallkill Valley (N.J.) easily beat Pope John XXIII (N.J.). Craig Corti, Ryan Chiesa and James Corti finished within five seconds one another to place 2-3-4 and lead the Rangers to a 27-79 victory. Bronxville junior John Flannery won the Group B race in 16:21, but the Broncos finished in seventh as Union Catholic (N.J.) won.
The only cross country invitational contested in the five boroughs was the Rob Breen Invitational at Cloves Lakes State Park on Staten Island. The Farrell boys looked comfortable in winning the varsity race. Dan Galford, John Bentivigna and Brian Tress placed 1-2-3 in a blanket finish, all running between 17:19 and 17:21. Kelly Hayes of Pearl River won the girls' race in 19:38 with Angelique Demeo of Tottenville second about 30 seconds behind.
The most unique event of the weekend had to be Niskayuna's XC Ekiden— a relay style event held at Nuskayuna Middle School. The Holy Names' girls swept the top two places in the 3x2500m relay. Saratoga Springs transfer Estela Smith made her debut for Holy Names while teammate Leah Triller had the fastest split of the day in 9:17.