CORNING'S BANGE SIGNS TO RUN IN THE IVY LEAGUE AT DARTMOUTH (16 PHOTOS)
(2023-03-18)By Brian FeesSouthern Tier Sports Report
CORNING — As Ashton Bange spoke at his college signing on Friday there were laughs, there were smiles, and there were so many nerves.
It’s a moment the Hawks senior didn’t truly think would ever come as he signed to run Division I lacrosse in the Ivy League at Dartmouth. It’s a moment that seems like something from a dream for the Corning star.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “When I was a freshman I had no idea where I was going. No idea what I was going to do. And, I saw all the seniors doing the signings, I thought it was really cool. I had no idea, but this is like out of a fairy tale almost. It’s crazy. I was up there shaking. I’ve never shaken during a public speech, but it just felt so real.”
Bange started his sports career at Corning-Painted Post as a JV soccer captain when the Hawks won the STAC title in 2019. That winter was his first time running varsity track as he made states and qualified for nationals, which unfortunately was canceled due to the pandemic. Spring lacrosse was also canceled that year as well.
Bange was also a part of the soccer varsity sectional championship team in 2020, after that he made the switch to cross country, and the past two years he’s had all kind of success in the sport.
He was the 2021 Newcomer of the Year, All-Region Newcomer of the Year, the Newcomer of the fall and was an athlete of the week. He was on the STAC and Section IV Championship teams and was the individual sectional champion. He was also on the state championship team and placed at states. He was 17th at EastBay Regionals as an individual and he was the NYSPHSAA Section IV Regional Championship as a team. He helped the Hawks take 10th at Nike Cross Country Nationals in Portland, and he was 57th as an individual. He was the 2022 runner of the year, All-Region Runner of the Year, Super 7 Male Athlete of the Year and was an Athlete of the Week.
In indoor track and field he qualified for states in the 1600 as a freshman with a 4:26 and qualified for New Balance Nationals, which was canceled due to the pandemic.
In 2022 he made states in the 1600 in 4:18 and took second at states. He made New Balance Nationals at the Armory in New York City, taking second and becoming an all-American as part of the 3200 relay and taking fourth and becoming an all-American in the DMR relay.
In outdoor track and field he was part of the 3200 relay that won a state title and he also placed in the 1600 in 4:14. He has the school freshmen, sophomore and junior records in the 1,600. He was seventh as part of the 4xmile at outdoor New Balance Nationals last year.
Along with being a multi-sport athlete Bange also has a 4.0 GPA and will earn a full IB diploma upon graduation. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has been Vice President of his class since freshman year.
“I am thankful for my four years here at CPPHS,” Bange said. “I would like to start by thanking the coaches that supposed and continue to support me outside of distance track; Coach Freelove, coach Streeten, Coach Bacalles, Coach Wilcox, Coach Melanson and Coach Ketchum. I want to give a special thanks to my distance coaches coach Lawson and coach Cartwright for pushing me to be the best student-athlete I could be and for developing the skills I did not know I had. Thank you to my family for their sacrifices to help me to be the best version of myself and providing the support necessary to get me to this point. Lastly, I’d like to thank all my teammates that have made playing sport fun, while motivating me on and off the track. I look forward to running for coach McNulty at Dartmouth next year and receive a great education while I’m at it.”
For Bange when it came to colleges Dartmouth was the right fit both athletically and academically.
“It’s great running and it’s amazing academics,” he said. “Especially Ivy League. I know if I ever do get hurt like this, I have a great education to back it up. It’s not like I’m going for one thing. And, if I ever get tired of education, which I don’t perceive myself doing, but then I have a great team to back me up. Either way I feel like I have a balance here at Dartmouth.”
When it came to making his college choice Dartmouth always felt like the right fit, but Bange took his time making a choice.
“It was pretty tough,” Bange said. “I would say it wasn’t as tough as other kids it sounds. The Dartmouth coach he had a ring to him that I really liked. He kind of took me under his wing. I just liked the way he handled the whole recruiting process. I loved some of the other schools I was looking at. But, I went there three times to make sure. People say it’s the first time and you just fall in love. But, the first time I got to know it. The second time I took her out for a little bit and the third time I fell in love.”
Right now the plan for Bange is to major in Mechanical Engineering, which he said Dartmouth has a nice program in, and he said there are a couple other runners on the team in the major.
When it comes to his time in Corning here are a lot of memories for Bange.
“Probably going to nationals last year, indoor states, it was such, something about the energy, and to learn what it is to run against amazing competition,” Bange said. “For the running side at least I think I’ll cherish that the most.”
Running in the Ivy League there is a chance that Bange could race against his friend, and former Corning teammate, Jack Gregorski who runs at Princeton.
“That’s going to be awesome, I honestly cannot wait to run against him,” Bange said. “It is going to be a little weird to run against him, to literally run against him instead of just as a friendly competitor, so this is going to be neat, it’s going to be a little meet.
“There is definitely going to be a little bit of rivals, but it will be fun. Let’s see if I’ve gotten (in cross country). He used to smoke me in cross, but I don’t know, it will be interesting.”
IN TOP PHOTOS: Corning’s Ashton Bange signs with Dartmouth on Friday. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES
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