North Warren runners have lofty goals for 2009 season

CHESTERTOWN - Despite the school's small enrollment, North Warren High School has tallied super-size accomplishments in their Cross-Country running program.

While their Boy's squad has won consecutive Adirondack League championships from 12005 through 2007, and a Sectional title in 2007. That latter year, the girls came in an admirable second in the league for 2007.

The 2009 season will likely be a stellar year too, if not eclipsing the past accomplishments, Coach Bernie McCann said Friday.

"We now have one of the best girls' teams in the region," he said. "We're bringing back runners who have already made it to the state competition."

He's talking about Sarah Turcotte, a Senior who went to the state meet in 2007, Cassie Maday, who went in 200. They're joined by Freshman Megan Erikson, who was undefeated as a Modified runner.

McCann said Erikson has remarkable abilities.

"Nobody's going to beat her," he said.

This group is likely to qualify for the 2009 state meet, and joining them may be Ashley Maresca, he said.

McCann said the team has three major goals, and they are within sight. First, win the Adirondack League. Second, compete successfully in the Sectional tournament. Third, have three or four runners compete in the state meet.

With the considerable depth and talent of the team, the goals are realistic.

The core of the boys squad consists of Seniors Jeff Bennett - a six-year runner - and Zack Bessette, Juniors Alex Underwood and John Gordon. Four Freshmen are contending for the fifth spot on the boys squad, McCann said.

As she predicted success, Assistant Coach Judy Benway praised the athleticism, dedication and work ethic of all the 2009 team members. She said that six or so of the runners had spend time training in the High Peaks cross-country program at the Lake Placid Olympic training facility.

"They seem very determined," she said.

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