2013-14 H.S. Indoor Track Preview: On Track for Success

If the local indoor track and field teams are looking to build on their success from last year, then the sky is the limit this season.

Amsterdam’s Izaiah Brown last year came away with the 300-meter state championship. Gloversville’s John Knox placed in the 3,200-meters at the state championships. The Fonda-Fultonville boys won the Colonial Council championship and, along with the FFCS girls squad, placed second in the Division IV sectional meet.

Knox has graduated, but Brown is back to defend his championship, and the Fonda-Fultonville squads have reloaded for another championship run.

“We have a good core group returning from last year and have some talented young kids who will help greatly,” Fonda-Fultonville coach Mark Therrien said. “Although we’ll be running a very similar schedule to last year, we are looking forward to competing against the Colonial Council school in our championship meet.”

The Fonda-Fultonville boys have won or placed second in the last six Division IV championship meets. The Lady Braves have won three of the last six Divison IV titles and were second in two.

Lindsay Therrien returns to defend her Section II Division IV 55-meter hurdle championship and Rebekah Hentnik will defend her Division IV pole vault title.

However, Broadalbin-Perth also has seen a resurgence in its indoor track program with a solid turnout and Jeff Richards returning to the head coaching position with Allissa LaPort assisting.

“It has been a long time since I last coached indoor track and field,” Richards said. “In fact, my new assistant, Allissa LaPort, was a member of my last team back in 2007. My return comes at the request of some of our team as our program has struggled during recent years and actually has been close to coming to an end. I agreed to return because this group of athletes has proven to me during outdoor track and field that they are willing to work.”

The B-P squad had a turnout of 35 athletes, up from the 10 to 15 they have averaged the past couple of indoor seasons.

The Lady Patriots are coming off a successful cross-country season that ended with a sixth-place finish at the state championship meet and will provide a solid core of runners to anchor the squad.

The Gloversville Huskies also had a large turnout of athletes for the winter season and head coach Steve Wendt is confident the teams will make some noise come championship time.

“We look strong this year,” Wendt said. “With all of the newcomers we plan to continue from where we were last year and improve in the Independent League. We feel that this indoor track season will be a great year and possibly do something that hasn’t happened in Gloversville track for at least three decades.”

The Gloversville boys last won a Class A indoor track sectional title in 1983, while the girls won a title in 1979 and placed second in 1980. The girls squad also won Class B titles in 1983, ’84 and ’85 and was runner-up in 1993.

The Gloversville girls squad will be anchored by senior Chanel Thomas who came off a strong indoor season last year to capture a berth in the 2013 outdoor state championships in the pentathlon. On the boys side, Adam Sleezer, Jack Hayes and Phil Meher lead a large group of veteran athletes.

The numbers continue to build for the Amsterdam program as it enters its second season of competition.

The Rams and Lady Rams parlayed a successful indoor season into Big 10 dual meet and league meet championships in the spring.

Brown, a junior, added the 400-meter state championship in the spring to his 300-meter indoor state championship.

“Coming off strong indoor and outdoor seasons, the Amsterdam boys indoor track team looks to continue its success on the track,” Rams head coach Kevin Willary said. “With several returning scorers, the Rams look to be very competitive in the school’s second season with an indoor program.”

Amsterdam girls coach Stu Palczak also is looking for the indoor season to benefit the Lady Rams’ outdoor season.

“This winter we will be introducing athletes to new event, while honing our skills in old ones,” he said. “On the track we would like to win the Big 10 championship meet and place in the top three in sectionals. All this will be done with a long range goal of having a great outdoor track season.”