TICONDEROGA - Fort Ticonderoga is more than a historic site.
For the Ticonderoga High School cross country teams this fall, it's a home course.
A construction project at Ticonderoga Middle School has made the old cross country course unavailable this season, so harriers are now running across the battlefields of Fort Ticonderoga.
The partnership has worked well according to Ti High Athletic Director Bob Sutphen.
"The fort grounds are perfect for the teams and the races can be seen much better by visitors," he said.
Working with Lyle St. Jean, S
Fort Ti superintendent of buildings and grounds, Coaches Brian Kiely and Jay Wells have been able to set 3.1-mile course around the 50 acre site.
Sentinel athletes find the course challenging.
"The first 400 meters starts on a hill and you have to really pace yourself or you'll rune out of energy before you can finish," Jay Berube said.
More than 200 guests were in attendance at the most recent meet. Sutphen put together a hand-out for the crowd to acquaint visitors with the fort.
"Even though the meets are at the fort after hours," he said. "I thought this would help get the word out."
Sutphen has begun thinking about making Fort Ticonderoga the teams' permanent home.
Cross country is not new to Fort Ticonderoga. The past five years the fort has hosted the Footrace at Fort Ticonderoga, which attracts more than 100 runners and several hundred spectators each September. The fort grounds are also popular with local runners who use the grounds for training.
Ticonderoga swept a pair of meets in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference boys cross country action Oct. 6.
The Sentinels topped Peru, 25-32, and beat Northeastern Clinton, 15-50.
Jay Berube won the race for Ti in 17 minutes:39 seconds.
Josh Cook finished third with Ben Karkoski seventh, Mike Barber eighth, Kevin Densmore ninth and Pat Lonergan 10th for the winners.
Ticonderoga lost to Peru, 15-42, and to NCCS, 15-50, in girls action.
Hannah Herbst paced the Sentinels, finishing 14. She was followed by Brittany Holt 15th, Becky Barber 16th, Tabitha Taylor 17th and Alaina Bevilacqua.