FROM PRESS ROW: GREGORSKI, MALONE NAMED ATHLETES OF THE WEEK; UNSUNG HEROES, BREAKOUT STARS NAMED
As the postseason winds down, there have been some big-time performances by area athletes.
The Corning boys’ cross country team won a state title, with Jack Gregorski winning the individual title.
The Notre Dame girls’ soccer team won a regional title and the Horseheads volleyball team advances to the regional final, while the Corning football team is headed to the regional final.
Now, it’s time to honor the best performances of last week with this week’s Athletes of the Week, Unsung Heroes and Breakout Stars.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK:
JACK GREGORSKI, CORNING, XC:
Simply put, Gregorski turned in a performance for the ages on Saturday.
As the weather got worse and worse for the last race of the day at the NYSPHSAA Cross Country Championships, Gregorski was simply dominant.
The Corning senior started strong and finished even stronger, winning the state title in a time of 15:45.7.
Gregorski had the second best time overall in the state, among all four classes, out of 477 runners, just eight seconds behind LaSalle’s Glitch Hayes, in the Class B race. And, the B race was three races before Gregorski’s race, on a course that was in much better shape than what Gregorski ran on.
The Corning senior helped the Haws dominate the team title. Corning won the A race with 30 points, with Fayetteville-Manlius finishing with 79 points for second. Gregorski also helped Section 4 easily win as the top section in the Class A race, with a score of 270, topping Section 2’s 331.
In the overall competition, among all classes, Corning again had the best score in the state with a 60, topping Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, who had 83.TAYLOR MALONE, HORSEHEADS, VOLLEYBALL:
The Horseheads star did everything she could to try and help lead the Blue Raiders to the State Final Four.
In the sub-regional round Horseheads got a sweep in three sets and Malone had a huge match. She had 13 kills, 10 digs and four aces, as she did a little bit of everything to lead Horseheads to the win.
In the regional final, the magical season for Horseheads ended with a four-set loss. But, Malone had one of the best performances you will find in a loss. Malone had 17 kills and helped anchor the defense as well with 28 digs as she was a star on both offense and defense.
Malone has been one of the best players in Section 4 all year and she showed it last week.
ASHTON BANGE, CORNING, XC:
His performance on its own is impressive enough.
Bange finished fourth in the state in Class A with a time to 16:01.4. He finished sixth in the merged results out of 477 runners among the four classes in the state.
The Corning junior, in his first season running cross country, helped Corning win the Class A state title, and record the best overall score of any team in the merged state results.
But, the results don’t tell the story of why Bange is a hero.
What Bange also did on Saturday was help his teammate, Gregorski, win a state title.
Bange took the race out fast, setting the pace for himself and Gregorski. In the end Bange was able to finish top five in the state, but setting the pace may have cost him a little bit in his own time. But, it allowed Corning to set the pace they wanted, and in the end it gave Gregorski a chance to pull away for the victory.
Running a good race is special. Being a great teammate is the stuff that people will never forget.
NOTRE DAME, NOTRE DAME, GIRLS’ SOCCER:
Game after game after game the Notre Dame girls allowed nothing on defense.
The Crusaders have a strong midfield. They have very good defenders, but they also have one of the best goalies you will find in this area.
Maloney was the IAC Division MVP and she posted shutout after shutout this year for the Crusaders.
On Saturday the Crusaders faced their toughest test of the year in the state semifinal and while the season ended with a 2-0 loss, Maloney did everything she could to keep the Crusaders in the game.
Maloney recorded 20 saves in net for Notre Dame, including some big saves, as the game stayed 1-0 until late in the second half, giving the Crusaders a shot to try and come away with the win.
TEVIN MCLAREN, CORNING, XC:
It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle when you run on one of the best teams in the state.
The Hawks had three state medalists, including the state champion and the fourth-place finisher in the state.
McLaren just missed being a state medalist by two spots. But, what he did at states was pretty special.
Running in his first state cross country meet, McLaren finished 22nd in 16:42.3. He helped Corning win the team state title as they had five runners in the top 24 in the state.
What might be even more impressive for McLaren is that he was 41st out of 477 runners in the overall merged results between all the classes.
SADIE BERES, CORNING, XC:
The Corning girls have had a consistent strategy all season long.
Meet after meet the Hawks had Sarah Lawson and Faithe Ketchum lead the way and then a tight pack of three runners behind that to finish out their top five.
The three runners in that pack have changed from one meet to the next, but they have always had a good grouping there.
The past few meets Ketchum has been dealing with some health things that slowed her down.
At the state meet, Beres, a sophomore, had a strong race, running right with Ketchum, and eventually finishing as the Hawks number two runner, one spot ahead of Ketchum. It was the first time this year that Beres has been the number two runners on the team.
With Ketchum, Bri Urban, Christina Gaskievic and Julia Hluck, the next four Corning runners after Beres at states, the Hawks are going to count on more races like this from Beres in the future.
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