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Warrensburg High's cross-country program a success right out of the gate

The Warrensburg High School 2013 Cross-Country Team includes (front row, left to right): Lane Oehler, Glenn Warner, Austin West, John Kelly, Denver Berry, Zander Griffin, Ryan McNeill, (row 2): Nick Nedelcu, Julie Angell, Ellen Jones, Cara Squires, Meghan Williams, Wesley 
Bessaw, and Ryan Honey.

The Warrensburg High School 2013 Cross-Country Team includes (front row, left to right): Lane Oehler, Glenn Warner, Austin West, John Kelly, Denver Berry, Zander Griffin, Ryan McNeill, (row 2): Nick Nedelcu, Julie Angell, Ellen Jones, Cara Squires, Meghan Williams, Wesley Bessaw, and Ryan Honey. Photo by Thom Randall.

— With only one season in existence, the Warrensburg High School Cross-Country running team has established itself and earned considerable respect in the region.

Not only did the team fare well in its debut 2012 season, but the bulk of the team is back for 2013. This success is not likely to be short-lived — their Modified cross-country squad has the largest roster by far of any school in the region, according to co-coaches Doug West and Brian Winchell.

The 2012 team placed third in the league last season, then placed 7th in Section II even though they’d been ranked in 12th place, West said.

“We surprised everyone,” he said, noting that one of the top runners on the 2012 team was Marney Chancey, who was named a league All-Star. She graduated in June. “We hit our stride late in the season,” he added.

Virtually all the undergraduate female runners from the 2012 team are back, which attests to the experience and potential of the 2013 girls’ squad.

West said that considering this experienced roster, the Burgher cross-country team is likely to accomplish even more this year.

Standout athletes for the 2013 team include two Seniors: Glenn Warner, who was named an Adirondack League All-star last year, and Senior Nick Nedelcu, one of the top wrestlers at Warrensburg High.

There are no less than seven wrestlers on the squad, and they’ve been vital members of the cross-country team, which has a roster of about 30, including the modified level.

After a practice session this week, accomplished wrestler and two-year cross-country runner Denver Berry, a Senior, talked how the cross-country running provided vital side benefits.

“Running in the fall definitely prepares you for other athletics — it takes the load off conditioning in winter sports so you can focus on technique rather than endurance training,” he said.

Nedelcu also noted a benefit of an individual sport.

“Everyone has a shot,” he said.

Junior Julie Angell said that Cross-Country running had health benefits, as well as the competitive aspects.

“This is definitely a fun program,” she said after the team ran a considerable distance with the two coaches running alongside. “And the coaches really know what they’re doing.”

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