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Sun., Oct. 4
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FL ‘B’ champs: Minus track surface at school, Lowville girls excel


LOWVILLE — Would you believe it if someone said the No. 1 girls track and field team in the Frontier League “B” Division does not even have a track surface?

“There was one until 1957 right here. They built the elementary school on top of it with the promise of a new track soon,” Lowville girls track and field coach Bill Marks said.

“We come off the bus every day because we don’t have home meets. So we’re always working hard,” senior Tasha Widrick said.

Void of a track for 56 years, the girls have adapted.

According to head coach Marjorie Rush, the girls run in the hallways and on the sides of the streets surrounding Lowville Academy. Occasionally they run on the turf.

The school has a high jump pit in the gym, and the girls practice throwing and long jump at the Lewis County Fairgrounds. Although Rush admitted the girls had not been able to get much practice at the fairgrounds this year due to poor weather conditions.

“So we practice at meets,” Rush said.

“It puts us at an advantage because when we run at practice we are running around corners instead of turns; we are running up hills instead of on a flat. It really helps us get good cross training so by the time we’re on a flat surface we’re fine,” senior Anna Platz said.

The team, comprised of 30 girls and only three seniors, will compete in the Frontier League championships Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Carthage High School. This is the first time in seven seasons that the girls have been division champions, from which Rush contributes to the commitment of the newcomers.

“Good improvement by the youngsters, and the more experienced runners are ready ... it’s exciting, definitely,” the fourth-year coach said.

“All underclassmen work and step up ... you don’t have to yell at them to take it seriously, they have everything in mind with what they have to do, everyone comes with their game plan,” said senior Tanner Sammon, who has been out most of the season after hip surgery. She hopes to take part in the final meet.

The team is 9-1 this season, a turnaround from last year’s 5-3 mark.

The team is fueled by eighth-grader Alexis Bach in 200 and 400-meters, sophomore Serena Vargulick in hurdles and junior Ellory Roberts, who remains undefeated in the league in the shot put. Freshman Chelsea Cole has already qualified for opens in the long jump.

“We are going to focus on getting the girls qualified for sectionals and hopefully some of them for opens,” Rush said.

“I believe South Jeff (A Division champions) is probably going to win most of them, but we have to decide how we’re going to attack that,” Marks said. “Whether we go for a few individual performances or ... we haven’t gotten that far yet.”

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