OHS Boys Win First CC Title in 30 Years

OHS Boys Win First
CC Title in 30 Years

Eight Yellowjackets qualified for States this year. From left are Coach Dan Forbes, Colin Fletcher-Foster, Brandon Gardner, Keyon Ziaie, Jack Forbes, Gabe Rissberger, Nick Kahl, Donovan Lema and Coach Dave Forbes. Seated at center is Simone Schuman.

By IAN KENYON

ONEONTA – For Oneonta High School Cross Country Coach Dan Forbes, the second title is as sweet as the first. Forbes, who was on the Oneonta boys team as a runner during their first title win, talked about how rewarding it was to see the second win from the coach’s view.

“With Lansing and Owego Free Academy performing well throughout this season, we knew going into sectionals that it would be a shoot-out. The outcome was absolutely surprising and really quite special,” Forbes recalled.

Milestones were reached at this season’s Section IV Class C Championship at Chenango Valley State Park. With 47 points, the Oneonta Boys Cross Country team surpassed Owego Free Academy’s 48 points for the team title. The 2022 title is the second ever for the Yellowjackets and the first won since the 1991 Championship 30 years ago.

The Yellowjackets not only brought home the title, but took three of the top 10 spots. Yellowjacket Colin Fletcher-Foster led amongst his teammates with a time of 17:58.50. Following Fletch-er-Foster were Brandon Gardner in sixth at 18:19.90 and Keyon Ziaire in seventh at 18:25.00.

Forbes added, “We have a really tight group on the boys team this season and they could not be more thrilled or proud of their accomplishments, individually and as a team.”

The Yellowjackets also notched notable places with Jackson Forbes in 12th at 18:48.60, Gabriel Rissberger in 18th at 19:06.90, Nicholas Kahl in 25th at 19:42.00 and Donovan Lema in 26th at 19:46.20.

Alongside the boys, the Oneonta girls took fifth place as a team. Notable finishes include Simone Schuman, who placed third overall at 20:14.10 and earned a spot in the state race, in addition to Anya Sloth in 14th place at 22:25.90, and Jordan Forbes in 29th at 23:54.30.

“Simone is one of the biggest stories of our season. She not only won in the Oneonta and Burnt Hills invitationals, but took third place at State Qualifiers and 19th at state, even receiving a medal. She’s only the third runner from Oneonta ever to qualify for state. We’re beyond proud of her,” Forbes added.

In addition to the standout showing by the Yellowjackets, notable local placings include Ethne Degan of Afton/Harpursville/Bainbridge-Guilford, who finished second in the girls race with a time of 19:50.50. In Class D, Delhi finished first overall in both the boys and girls races. Amongst Delhi runners, Ellie Lees timed at 20:02.50 and Gretel Hilson-Schneider at 20:26.80, finishing one-two for the Delhi girls. Lilly McGonigal placed 10th at 22:43.90 and Abi Tessier in 13th at 23:16.60.

Leading the Delhi boys with a one-two finish were Alton Francisco at 16:57.70 and Vincent VanMaaren at 16:58.40. Joining them in the top 10 is Jared Coleman in ninth 18:37.20.

Other notable local girls runners include Mirabella Sanford of Deposit-Hancock and Andrea Favinger of UV/G-MU. Top runners in the boys race from the area include Sidney’s Connor Eberly in fifth at 18:15.80, Noah Pain in 10th at 18:41.30 and Brennan Finch in 11th at 18:43.30 of UV/G-MU, and Caiden Benedict of Sidney in 18th with 19:05.30.


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