Bobcats open season at stampede

Published 9:30 pm Monday, August 20, 2007

By By STEVE MORRISON / Niles Daily Star
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After seemingly endless miles of summer preparation, five members of Brandywine's cross country team showed their grit in an overall field of 65 women and 89 men, competing in the South Bend Stampede, an annual event held at St. Patrick's County Park Saturday morning.
The four-tiered event featured eight local Indiana schools (Clay, Adams, Riley, Washington, Bremen, Wawasee, LaVille and New Prairie); as well as the lone Michigan entrant, Brandywine.
Cool sunny skies made this initial event an easier race than most recent weather would have allowed.
Brandywine coach Jim Murray, whose squad was the Lakeland conference champions in the boys' division last year, optimistically stated, "I expect to field full teams of both boys and girls by summer's end. I have a full team of ladies, but I expect a couple of more guys to come out for the team soon."
No Brandywine freshman/sophomore girls ran in the first of the four 5K jaunts, which was bested by sophomore Bethany Werge of Riley (20:29), closely followed by her runner-up teammate, Paeton Dantuch, (21:18).
Brandywine juniors Ashley Harrell and Jordenne Ferenczie posted times of 24:26 and 28:33 respectively to begin their campaigns in the junior/senior competition.
Harrell, who was an all-conference runner as a freshman, had her season cut short last year by a stress fracture to her foot.
"It's great to be back! I missed it so much, just watching at the end of last year," she enthusiastically exclaimed.
She grabbed 17th place for her division. Not bad after all the pain. Ferenczie was participating in her first high school cross country event, having been allowed to participate this year in both cross country and tennis, now that Michigan's high school sports calendars have been readjusted.
She seemed pleased to be a part of the program under Murray.
The overall winner of the junior/senior race was Tiffany Fowler a Riley senior, who proudly proclaimed, "I'm back!" after serious off-season knee surgery.
Competing in the boys' freshmen/sophomore race were Brandywine's Elliot Richards (20:20) and Aaron Seiting (22:35).
Elliot was pulling double duty Saturday, "I'm expecting to play in a varsity soccer game in the afternoon," he explained.
Riley's Chris Lafree, with a 17:08 performance, finished first in this heat
In the junior/senior division Brandywine's lone representative was 3-year veteran senior Tom Buzzard, who hung in there to finish at 25:15.
Kyle Smiley of New Prairie was the winner of this event.
South Bend Stampede
At St. Patrick's Park
Boys' Junior-Senior Race
Team scores
New Prairie 36, Riley 40, Clay 57, Bremen 103, Adams 136
Top 10 finishers
1. Kyle Smiley (NP) 16:22, 2. Bryce Amberg (Clay) 16:52, 3. Caleb Wantuch (Riley) 17:25, 4. Joel Glon (NP) 17:36, 5. Gabe Johnson (Riley) 17:39 6, Jon Latzke (Riley) 17:42. 7, Joey Goetz (Clay) 17:51, 8. Matt Johnson (NP) 18:01, 9. Austin Nielsen (Bremen) 18:06, 10. Jon Cutler (Riley) 18:08
Girls' Junior-Senior Race
Team scores
Riley 35, Adams 39, Bremen 68, Clay 94, Wawasee 98
Top 10 finishers
1. Tiffany Fowler (Riley) 20:23, 2. Maria Catanzarite (Adams) 20:44, 3. Mary Mahon (Adams) 21:30, 4. Meagan O'Malley (Riley) 21:55, 5. Michelle Kurzhal (Riley) 22:14, 6. Katie Carney (Adams) 22:17, 7. Lindsey Laudeman (Bremen) 22:28, 8. Stephanie Weldy (Bremen) 22:31, 9. Ariel Bambeneck (Clay) 22:33, 10. Kathrin Follert (Wawa) 22:38
Boys' Freshmen-Sophomore Race
Team scores
Riley 62, Adams 67, New Prairie 75, Wawasee 78, Clay 86, Bremen 131, Brandywine 179
Top 10 finishers
1. Chris LaFree (Riley) 17:09, 2. Steven Dennig (Clay) 17:13, 3. Nathan Payne (Adams) 17:16, 4. Zach Amberg (Clay) 17:58, 5. Thunder Olson (Wawa) 18:25, 6. Tyler Newsome (Adams) 18:32, 7. Kenny Houston (NP) 18:49, 8. C.J. Moody (Riley) 18:52, 9. Matt Longcor (Wawa) 19:04, 10. Blake Lawson (NP) 19:04
Girls' Freshmen-Sophomore Race
Team scores
Riley 25, New Prairie 61, Bremen 70, Wawasee 104, Clay 128, Adams 128 (6th runner tie-breaker), Niles Brandywine 195. LaVille no score.
Top 10 finishers
1. Bethany Werge (Riley) 20:29, 2. Paeton Wantuch (Riley) 21:18, 3. Sarah Thompson (NP) 21:25, 4. Hope Jordan (Bre) 21:27, 5. Julie Jeszensky (NP) 21:34, 6. Mara Paluszewski (Riley) 21:35, 7. Elizabeth Roush (Riley) 21:39, 8. Nicole Rhodes (Wawa) 21:49, 9. Cally Carrol (Riley) 22:20, 10. Stephanie Rhodes (Wawa) 22:22