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ELMIRA HOLDS SIGNING DAY AS NINE ATHLETES COMMIT TO PLAY AT THE NEXT LEVEL (12 PHOTOS) (2022-06-07)

By Brian Fees
Southern Tier Sports Report
For Nine Elmira Athletes their accomplishments in high school have led them to an opportunity to compete at the college level.

Elmira recently held a college signing for nine athletes who will be moving on to compete collegiately.

JACOB ROSE
Misericordia College Swimming
COACHES THOUGHTS:
Rose has been a true competitor for the Elmira Express Swimming & Diving team since joining the team as an eighth grader. Jacob’s love for swimming and determination shows in the results. Jacob never finished below third place in a dual meet, he had two third-place finishes, three runner-up finishes and an astounding 13 first-place finishes. He also participated in two invitationals his senior year. Rose finished third in his individual events as well as supporting his relay to great success at th eWaverly Invitational. At the Elmira Invitational he placed third in both of his individual events and supported two more successful relays. Jacob ended his senior year with two second-place finishes at the Section 4 Class A Championships in the 100 butterfly and 100 breaststroke. Jacob’s biggest accomplishment was finishing first in the 2021 Section 4, Class A Championship which broke the team record.
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “It felt good, I’m super excited to swim for a new program with new people,” Rose said.
WHY MISERICORDIA? “I really like the atmosphere, the coaches, the pool, it really kind of clicked on their visit,” Rose said. “I think it will be a good fit for me.”

BEN ALLEN
Houghton College Cross Country & T&F
COACHES THOUGHTS:
Ben qualified and placed 69th at the New York State Cross Country Championships for the 2021 season. He placed seventh in the 3200 meters at the indoor state qualifier meet. Allen finished fourth at the Section IV, Class A/B meet in the 3200 in 2021.
“Ben is self-driven and has worked so hard to improve over the years,” Coach Amy Balash said. “Ben has come a long way in the last two years to accomplish his goals and run PR’s at every distance this season. Ben is a leader on and off the track. He includes all athletes on our team and you can always find him cheering on modified teams when we are at meets. Ben has been one of our top place finisher/point success over the last four years.”
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “It’s good, just having that sured up for next year is exciting,” Allen said.
WHY HOUGHTON? “They are very personal in their approach, how they deal with everyone person to person,” Allen said. “It’s a small school how they care about everyone. That mattered to me.”

LYDIA BENJAMIN
SUNY Geneseo Swimming & Diving
COACHES THOUGHTS
: Lydia has been on the Elmira Express Swimming and Diving team for four years as a solid competitor in the 1-meter diving event. Lydia finished her senior year never placing below second place in a dual meet. She had eight first-place finishes and only two second-place finishers. Her highest score this season was a 238.80. Lydia is also a strong 11-dive competitor, finishing second at the Waverly Invitational third at the Elmira Invitational and fifth in the Jack Mathers Memorial Invitational. Lydia’s highest score for the 11-dive event was 415.35. She also ended her season with a third-place finish at the Section 4, Class A Championships. Lydia truly is a well-rounded athlete, also swimming in relays when needed.
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? It felt really good, it finally feels official,” Benjamin said. “It feels like it’s been a long year, it feels really good though.”
WHY GENESEO? “It was the team dynamics,” Benjamin said. “I love that the team was like a family and that really drew me in and I knew that my work with diving wasn’t really done and I’m really excited about that.”

TYLER MARKS
St. John Fisher Football
COACHES THOUGHTS:
Tyler has played four years on varsity, the last three years he was a varsity starter, and the last two years he started on both sides of the ball. Tyler’s senior year was ended when he had to have an emergency appendectomy. At that time Tyler was our fullback and wingback on offense, middle linebacker on defense and our punter on special teams. Tyler’s senior season stats: 68 carries, 98 yards, four touchdowns, 26.5 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Tyler was one of our captains throughout his senior year and was nominated for the Ernie Davis Award.
“Tyler is a very genuine person,” coach Jimmy McCauley said. “He stays true to himself and doesn’t try to be someone he is not. Tyler has not missed. Weight room session, practice or game up until week four of his senior year. Tyler’s genuine personality and hard work ethic are two commendable characteristics. His hard work is immeasurable. From his relentless hours of offseason training to his willingness to push others to their best in practice, to never quitting on a play in the field, and his unselfish team first attitude. He has shown what an important part he was to the program’s success. Those characteristics make Tyler a great leader. I know Tyler will continue to work hard through the challenges of playing a sport at the college level. Front he Express football family, we wish Tyler the best as he continues his education and athletics at St. John Fisher College.
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “It’s always been my dream since I’ve been a kid to play college football,” Marks said. “It turned into a goal during my high school years and I’ve been working hard for it, so I’m excited.”
WHY FISHER? “I am definitely super excited,” Mark said. “I left unfinished, I felt like I had more time out on the field and they have a great campus, great coaches and I feel like it was the right fit.
“When I went up there for my couple visits it was breathtaking, they’ve got some good stuff up there to get better.”

MEGAN FEDOR
St. Thomas Aquinas Division II Basketball
COACHES THOUGHTS:
Megan, recently named NYSPHSAA all-state eighth team, led the Lady Express in every category other than scoring this year. She was named to the STAC all-conference, Elite 15 selection and was a participant in the first annual BCANY Section 4 all-star game. Megan has been on varsity for three years, she set a program record this year with 24 rebounds in a game versus St. Mary’s-Lancaster. She also had the third most rebounds in a season in program history. Megan is an honor roll student who is enrolled in the New Visions Program at GST Boces.
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “It was really exciting, I appreciated the support from all my family and friends,” Fedor said.
WHY ST. THOMAS AQUINAS? “I know some people that went there, they gave good info about it,” Fedor said. “I loved the campus and I’m excited to continue my basketball.”

AMARIONAH DIXON
Tompkins-Cortland Community College basketball
COACHES THOUGHTS:
Amarionah, recently was named STAC West all-division selection, Sports Reports Fourth Team Selection and the STSR Sixth Person of the Year. Amarionah was our Super-Sub! She averaged almost 10 rebounds a game and was one of the top defensive players in the state. Amarionah has been on varsity for two years, she is an honor Rolle student who has worked tirelessly to improve on and off the basketball court.
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “Nerve-wracking and very exciting at the same time,” Dixon said.
WHY TC3? “I am very excited to play at the next level to explore more than what I explored at Elmira High School,” Dixon said. “I chose TC3 because it’s close to my family and I have been looking into the sc cool for a very long time and I feel like I will accomplish a lot there.”

LAUREN MILLER
Mansfield University Division II Basketball
COACHES THOUGHTS:
Lauren is a three-year varsity athlete. Lauren was our Jack of All Trades as she was our third-leading scorer, rebounder, second in assists and steals and hit big shots down the stretch. Lauren was named to the STAC West All-Division Team. She was named to the Southern Tier Sports Reports Terrific 10, was named to the Sports Reports All-Region third-team and was named the WETM-18 Sports Athlete of the Week during the 2021-22 basketball season. Lauren is an honor roll student and one of the best leader on the team.
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “It felt good, exciting, everyone can see what I worked for,” Miller said.
WHY MANSFIELD? “I really thought it was a good opportunity to better myself in basketball and education,” Miller said. “Stay close to home, so I can have my family come by and watch a couple games.”

NASIR KING
SUNY Morrisville Cross Country & T&F
COACHES THOUGHTS:
Nasir qualified for and competed at the New York State Cross Country Championships in 2019 and had an eighth-place finish at the 2019 Section 4, Class A meet.
“Nasir works hard and always puts forth his best effort,” Balash said. “Throughout the years Nasir has been a leader to the younger athletes on the team. Nasir had an awesome race at the 2019 Section IV Cross Country Championships and qualified for the NYS Championship race. Nasir had several set backs over the last two years, but he has worked to comeback even stronger and even ran several personal best times this season.”
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “It was really good,” King said.
WHY MORRISVILLE? “There business program was really what I was looking for going forward,” King said. “Cross country they have a very strong team.”
HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO BE PART OF THE NEW MORRISVILLE T&F PROGRAM? “Really excited, we get to go set some records,” King said.

ASHLEIGH BERTELSEN
Ithaca College T&F

COACHES THOUGHTS: “I am honored to say Ashleigh will be attending Ithaca College in the fall and will continue with her athletic career as an Ithaca Bomber,” coach Corrine Taylor said. “Over the past four years Ashleigh has achieved some great accomplishments. She has competed and placed in several state uqliaifer meets for both indoor and outdoor seasons. Over the past four years Ashleigh has earned the team approximately 140 points alone. Ashleigh has grown into a hardworking, dedicated student athlete. I can’t wait to watch her grow even more at Ithaca.”
HOW DID SIGNING FEEL? “I am so excited, I can’t wait to compete at the next level and have so much fun with the team,” Bertelsen said.
WHY ITHACA? “My coach went to Ithaca,” Bertelsen said. “I did one visit up there and automatically fell in love. It’s a D3 school with very good facilities. I’m just very excited to compete with them.”
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IN TOP PHOTO: Lydia Benjamin smiles at a signing day at Elmira. PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES


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