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Running changes Carthage’s Anderson for better

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CARTHAGE — Nick Anderson used to call himself “the fat funny kid.”

Two years and 40 lost pounds later, the Carthage junior is preparing to call himself a Frontier League champion.

Anderson, who started running cross country after a freak accident in his backyard, is expected to be among the top runners when league meets begin today for boys and girls.

“Honestly without cross country, I don’t know where I’d be today,” Anderson said. “Personality-wise and everything, running has changed my life for the better.”

When Anderson was in seventh grade, admittedly overweight, he was hanging out in his backyard after school, listening to the Beach Boys.

While jamming to the music, Anderson started walking across a wooden plank that separated a drop-off in ground levels in his parents’ yard.

Anderson slipped, and in an attempt to grab onto something to keep his balance, drove his arm through a glass window. He was sliced deep between his wrist and elbow and still has a scar to show for it.

As a result, Anderson had to stop playing contact sports while his wound healed. So the modified soccer player went out for cross country, a sport that he credits for transforming his life.

“I like being the funny kid. But unless you’re the really funny fat kid, you know like the fattest funny kid, there’s no point in being the fat funny kid,” Anderson said. “So I was just sick of it and I decided to keep running.”

Between his freshman and sophomore cross country seasons, Anderson ran outside every night, regardless of temperature or weather conditions. He also overhauled his diet.

Anderson saw quick results. He burst onto the scene last year with a third-place finish in the Frontier League Championship, the best among returning runners, and a top 20 finish in the Section 3 Class B race.

“Regardless of what happens in cross country, this kid is going to run for the rest of his life,” Carthage coach Bryan Zevotek said. “He’s not going to turn back, this was a life change for him, this sport, and you don’t see that every day.”

The year Anderson started with the program — 2010 — was the same year that Carthage’s Board of Education cut cross country from the budget.

So Anderson, like many of his teammates, helped lead the charge in fundraising efforts to keep the program going.

In addition to the team events and can/bottle drives, Anderson turned his training runs into an opportunity to seek donations around town.

“I’d get home and run to my friend’s house, get his parents, then run to another friend’s house and get them,” Anderson said. “I’d go from West Carthage to Carthage and get everybody I know. I was really motivated to help the program.”

The BOE reinstated the cross country program for this season. Zevotek said he has about 65 runners on his boys and girls varsity and modified teams combined, compared with around 20 when he took over the program in 2005.

“We went through a budget crisis and unfortunately, the cheapest sport in the world got cut,” Zevotek said. “Tons of people came together to keep things going and the program’s been growing, and I think we’re going to give some good teams a run for their money this year.”

Here is a look at the rest of the Frontier League:

BOYS

“A” DIVISION

Outlook: Traditional power South Jefferson enters the year as the favorite with Carthage close behind. The Spartans look to follow up on an 8-1 dual meet season with Matt Fee, Nate Tyler and Don Cean, who missed all of last season with an injury, as their leading returners. Isaac Arroyo and a strong freshman class will help Anderson lead Carthage, looking for its first dual meet victory over South Jefferson. Watertown’s roster is thin but could be competitive with experienced upperclassmen.

Carthage Comets

Coach: Bryan Zevotek (8th year).

2012 record: 5-2.

Roster: Damien Allison, Nick Anderson, Isaac Arroyo, Brock Avise, Paul Bracy, Gage Calhoun, John Collins, Griffin DeForest, Dylan Ellingsworth, Jesse Hall, Aiden Hennessey, Sullivan Nathan, Jonathan Quinn, James Runge, Jacob Walls, Ben Whitehurst, Matt Whitehurst.

Indian River Warriors

Coach: Vicky McCullouch and Bobbie Trudeau (2nd year).

2012 record: 2-4.

Roster: Kenneth Adames (So.), Jared Chant (Jr.), Stefan Colbert (Fr.), Jason Cooper (Jr.), Cole Coutermarsh (Jr.), Eric Crow (Sr.), Tanner Edwards (Sr.), Xavier Ehresman (Sr.), Felix Garcia (Sr.), Nathan Ives (Jr.), Skyler Kilgore (Jr.), Marc Maldonado (So.), William McDonnell (So.), Austin Millisor (So.), Erik Patrick (Sr.), Dominik Sullivan (Fr.).

South Jefferson Spartans

Coach: Steve Rogers (23rd year) and Justin Crossway (2nd year).

2012 record: 8-1.

Roster: Joel Banazek (Jr.), Billy Berry (Jr.), Donovan Brown (Jr.), Brendan Cataldo (Sr.), Donnie Cean (Sr.), Morgan Deleel (Jr.), Connor Dillon (Sr.), Alex Fee (Jr.), Matthew Fee (Sr.), Luke Geade (Jr.), Andrew Gosselin (Jr.), Robert Lees (Sr.), Liam Mallan (Jr.), Troy Randall (Jr.), Garrett Strough (Jr.), Jared Tibbles (Sr.), Nate Tyler (So.), Zach Zeltman (Jr.).

Watertown Cyclones

Coach: Jessica Blair (2nd year).

2012 record: 3-4.

Roster: Jacob Catalina (Jr.), Brian Lake (Jr.), James Lamson (Jr.), Austin Myers (Sr.), Jacob Roux (Jr.), Joshua Shannon (Sr.).

“B” DIVISION

Outlook: Beaver River will look to seniors Dustin Neddo and Alize Jarrett to lead the program to a sixth straight league title and fifth straight unbeaten league record. The Beavers have also captured the last five Section 3 Class D titles. South Lewis will rely on junior Leif Ostrum and freshman newcomer Dylan Durgan to compete.

Beaver River Beavers

Coach: Jay Steiner (4th year).

2012 record: 7-0.

Roster: Alize Jarrett (Sr.), Dustin Neddo (Sr.), Andrew Purcell (Jr.), Lucas Schmitt (Jr.), Travis Edwards (Jr.), Troy Purcell (So.), Greg Virkler (So.), Brett Neddo (So.), Noah Zerh (Fr.), Conner Demo (8th).

Sandy Creek Comets

Coach: Patti King (1st year).

2012 record: 1-6.

Roster: Elijah Clark (Sr.), Brody Cooley (So.), Steven Cooper (Sr.), Jesse Cornell (Fr.), Jon Dana (Jr.), Isaac Eisch (So.), Will Grafton (Jr.), Matt Guarasce (Fr.), Josh Kilts (Jr.), Chase Pappa (Fr.), Troi Wall (So.).

South Lewis Falcons

Coach: Jack Bernard (17th year).

2012 record: 4-3.

Roster: Derrick Hill (Sr.), Ryan Teal (Sr.), Leif Ostrum (Jr.), Caleb Rubar (So.), Cody Hoffert (So.), Richard Reesh (So.), Dylan McDougall (Fr.), Dylan Durgan (Fr.).

GIRLS

“A” DIVISION

Outlook: Coming off an undefeated season with many of its top runners back, South Jefferson is a heavy favorite to recapture the league title. Skylar Pastor, Jackie Miller and Ellie Brooks should lead the pack for the Spartans. Carthage will look to compete with newcomer Lexi Smith and Morgan Bernat to lead the way along with a few emerging freshmen.

Carthage Comets

Coach: Bryan Zevotek (8th year).

2012 record: 4-3.

Roster: Rosemary Aviste, Morgan Bernat, Megan Bush, Shannon Davis, Amanda Dobbins, Alexandra Flom, Shelby Gill, Kalsey Goldthrite, Cori Mainville, Yoseiby Mejia, Cristina Palladino, Allie Rios, Kelly Scott, Alexis Smith, Caitlyn Stepanek, Jordan Winn, Samantha Frasher.

Indian River Warriors

Coach: Vicky McCullouch and Bobbie Trudeau (2nd year).

2012 record: 3-4.

Roster: Alicia Albro (So.), Becca Butler (Sr.), Hazel Elias Diaz (Jr.), Shannon Guler (Sr.), Ryan Hesse (So.), Johnnie Heingarten (So.), Hailey Heyrman (So.), Brenna Kruger (Fr.), Abby Ladadini (So.), Nicolette Medeiros (So.), Violette Pfeffer (Jr.), Catalina Rodriguez (Sr.), Kaylee Stewart (Sr.), Shannon Taylor (Jr.), Lydia Torres (Jr.).

South Jefferson Spartans

Coach: Steve Rogers (23rd year) and Justin Crossway (2nd year).

2012 record: 8-0.

Roster: Lydia Babcock (Jr.), Ellie Brooks (Sr.), Rachel Fish (So.), Stephanie Green (Jr.), Aubrey Harrington (So.), Amanda Lloyd (Jr.), Jackie Miller (Sr.), Darby O’Keefe (So.), Skylar Pastor (Jr.), Kate Rockefeller (So.), Delaney Ward (So.), Meredith Zembiec (So.).

Watertown Cyclones

Coach: Jessica Blair (2nd year)

2012 record: 0-7.

Roster: Jemma Austin (So.), Kayla Blair (Sr.), Rachael Coon (Sr.), Karyn Elliott (So.), Lydia Fillhart (So.), Tylisha Gourdine (So.), Emily Leopard-Davis (So.), Lilia Mamikonyan (Sr.), Christina Miller (Jr.), Olivia Reff (So.), Erin Stevens (Jr.).

“B” DIVISION

Outlook: This division should be competitive between South Lewis and Beaver River. The Falcons lost five-time league champion Victoria Campanian to graduation, but have Christina Platt and Sierra Corbett back in the mix. Platt has been a fixture atop league meets for the last few seasons. The Beavers have better depth than they’ve had in the last several years. Sophomore Victoria Rollin will look to follow up on a strong freshman campaign and senior Nola Pominville is back at full strength after three injury-riddled seasons.

Beaver River Beavers

Coach: Cheryl Steiner (5th year).

2012 record: 5-2.

Roster: Nola Pominville (Sr.), Rachel Steiner (Jr.), Sarah Steiner (Jr.), Ciera VerSchneider (Jr.), Reganne Smith (Jr.), Madina Tuhbatullina (So.), Riley Nortz (So.), Victoria Rollin (So.), Vanessa Forney (Fr.), Brooke Steiner (Fr.), Sierra Kempney (8th), Emily Lighthall (8th), Makayla Roggie (8th), Taylor Moore (7th). Kayleigh Willis (Sr., Lowville).

Sandy Creek Comets

Coach: Patti King (1st year).

2012 record: 2-5.

Roster: Adaiah Bauer (So.), Olivia Bauer (Jr.), Emily Cheney (So.), Molly Horth (Sr.), Maggie King (Jr.), Lexy Ladd (Fr.), Brigie McClusky (So.), Mekaila Meyers (Fr.), Rosie Morgan (So.), Richelle Ranieri (Sr.), Kerrie Ridgeway (Sr.), Freya Sergis (Sr.), Sophie Walter (Fr.), Liberty Yalch (Jr.), Rachel Yerdon (Jr.), Kasey Yerdon (So.), Madeline Yousey (Jr.).

South Lewis Falcons

Coach: Jack Bernard (17th year).

2012 record: 6-1.

Roster: Gaelyn Bronson (Jr.), Christina Platt (So.), Sierra Corbett (So.), Heather Tripp (So.), McKayla West (So.), Ashley Hastwell (So.), Lindsey Hastwell (So.), Morgan Burd (Fr.), Kayla Cavanaught (Fr.), Abigayle Liendecker (Fr.), Demi Brouty (8th).

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