Category: Winter sports

Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame announces inaugural class

Eighteen athletes, coaches and officials comprise the inaugural class of the Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame.

The list of inductees includes six Olympic athletes, one Olympic official, four NCAA champions and a slew of Section 2 record holders.

The inaugural class features:

  • Andy Bloom (Niskayuna/Wake Forest) – A 1996 NCAA champion in the shot put, Bloom placed fourth in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia
  • Tracy Baskin (Albany/Seton Hall) – A 1987 NCAA champion in the 800-meter race, Baskin was ranked fourth in the world in 1988 and participated in the Olympics in Seoul, South Korea
  • Tim Lewis (Shenendehowa/University of Colorado) – Competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul as a racewalker; won the national 20-kilometer racewalk title several times from 1987 to 1995
  • Diana Richburg (Lansingburgh/University at Albany) – Competed in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles; won the 1985 national title in the women’s 1,500-meter race; held the United States indoor record for the women’s 1,000-meter race
  • Rudy Winkler (Averill Park/Cornell University/Rutgers University) – Won the 2016 NCAA and USATF championships in the hammer throw; competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Aliann Pompey (Cohoes/Manhattan College) – Represented Guyana in the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics; won an NCAA indoor track and field championship in the women’s 200-meter race
  • Arthur Allen (Mont Pleasant/Northeastern University) – Two-time New York State high school champion in the boys’ 300-meter race (indoors) and the boys’ 200-meter race (outdoors)
  • Nicole Blood (Saratoga Springs/University of Oregon) – Two-time Millrose Games champion in the high school mile race; won state and national high school titles in the girls’ mile and two mile races
  • Shelly Choppa (Glens Falls/Arizona State) – A four-time state high school champion in the high jump; was ranked No. 1 in the nation in 1988 by Track and Field News
  • Cheri Goddard Kenah (Saratoga Springs/Villanova University) – Won the state and Federation titles in cross country; was part of Villanova’s world record-breaking 4×1500 meter relay team; competed internationally
  • Miles Irish (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake/Georgetown University) – A two-time state indoor track champion; set national indoor records in the 600-meter and 1,000-meter races; was part of a world record distance medley relay team at Georgetown
  • Dan Olson (Albany Academy/Wheaton College) – Won three NCAA Division III outdoor high jump championships and two indoor titles; won Penn Relays scholastic high jump in 2001
  • Kyle Plante (Colonie) – Won a national title in indoor track (2010) and was a runner-up at outdoor nationals (2012); won two state indoor track titles and three state outdoor track titles while in high school
  • Rhonda Phillips Scott (Mont Pleasant/LSU) – Established seven Section 2 records in high school; placed sixth in the women’s heptathlon at the 1988 NCAA championships
  • Deshaya Williams (Saratoga Springs/Penn State) – Won discus title at the Pan American Games and the NCAA championships; won state high school indoor and outdoor track titles in shot put, as well as an outdoor title in discus
  • Linda and Art Kranick (coaches) – National and New York State coaches of the year in cross country; have coached more than 100 All-Americans in cross country and track while at Saratoga Springs High School; their teams have won numerous Sectional titles, including a run of 17 consecutive girls Class A cross country team titles (2000-16)
  • Barbara Palma (official) – Officiated track and field competitions at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, plus three U.S. Olympic team trials and numerous NCAA and collegiate conference championship meets; inducted into the USATF National Officials’ Committee Hall of Fame in its inaugural class; developed and taught officiating curriculum at University at Albany

The Capital Region Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame will hold its inaugural induction ceremony Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Red Lion Inn on Wolf Road in Colonie. Earlier that day, a meet and greet will be held as part of the annual Grout Run in Schenectady’s Central Park.

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Summer 4 on 4 Tournament gives some Section 2 hockey teams a chance to practice their creativity and teamwork

By ROB JONAS

GLENS FALLS – There is a certain flow to 4-on-4 hockey that you can’t get when teams skate five per side. The rink opens up, there is more room to maneuver and you create more scoring opportunities.

This is one of the reasons why Queensbury hockey coach Dean Williams created the High School Hockey Summer 4 on 4 Tournament two years ago.

“Four-on-four hockey promoted puck movement. It promotes creativity,” said Williams. “You don’t have right wing, left wing, center and defense. You’ve got four hockey players on the ice playing offense or defense.”

The first two editions of the 4-on-4 Tournament did not draw many Section 2 teams. However, Williams moved the tournament one week earlier this year than when he scheduled it the first two times, and it resulted in an expanded eight-team field representing six Section 2 programs – Queensbury, Shenendehowa, Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa, Saratoga Springs, Christian Brothers Academy and Adirondack (a combined program between Glens Falls, South Glens Falls and Hudson Falls).

“It was a challenge to get teams the first two years because it was a week later in August, after fall teams began practicing,” said Shenendehowa hockey coach Juan de la Rocha. “A lot of kids play football in the fall.”

The first two days of the tournament – August 10 and 11 at Cool Insuring Arena – were played in a round-robin format. The eight teams were divided into two divisions, and each team played a total of three games. The first place teams from each division met in the championship game August 12, with the second, third and fourth place teams meeting in consolation contests.

Games were played in two 25-minute halves with running time. The clock was stopped in the event of a penalty or in the final two minutes of the contest if the goal differential was less than three. The championship game was played in two 30-minute periods with running time, and overtime was allotted, if necessary.

The 4-on-4 format promoted back-and-forth action, a lot of goals and a lot of saves. Coaches cared more about how their players performed than the final scores.

“It’s an opportunity to see your team before the regular season begins,” said de la Rocha. “I want to see creativity, but I also want to see how unselfish they can be [with the puck.]”

“Scores don’t matter, but I’d rather have an 8-7 game where it’s back and forth than if it is one-sided,” said Williams.

Queensbury and Adirondack struggled the most during the tournament, primarily because they split their squads into two teams. Williams said he wants to create more of a competitive balance next year by creating divisions based age level and experience.

“I want to have a futures division and a varsity division,” said Williams. “The futures division would be for eighth and ninth graders who would be trying out for varsity for the first time, and the varsity division would be for the older players.”

The 4-on-4 tournament is part of Section 2 hockey’s strategy for keeping high school players involved in the sport beyond the regular season, which runs from November through February. Section 2 hockey coaches also created a “wrap program” in the fall where players can either try out for one of two elite teams (18-and-under, 16-and-under) or play for their community’s team. The wrap program holds its playoffs in the spring, once the regular high school season ends.

“The wrap program has helped [improve play and retain talent], especially the first couple of years,” said de la Rocha. “A lot of what we’re up against is a lot of youth [travel] teams telling our kids, ‘You play 20 games; we play 50.’ The wrap program gives our kids an opportunity to play more games.”

Having an event such as this weekend’s 4-on-4 tournament also helps the Section 2 coaches’ efforts.

“I like it a lot. It gives the kids an opportunity to see how creative they can be,” said de la Rocha.

A photo gallery from the tournament can be found here.

08.11.18 BHBS @ Shen HockeySection 2 Showcase
Photo by Robert Dungan

Scenes from the High School Hockey Summer 4 on 4 Tournament

The third annual High School Hockey Summer 4 on 4 Tournament pitted six Section 2 squads – Queensbury, Adirdonack (Glens Falls, South Glens Falls and Hudson Falls), Shenendehowa, Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa, Christian Brothers Academy and Saratoga Springs – against each other in a round-robin tournament August 10-12 at the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls. Each game consisted of two 25-minute halves with running time. Photos by Robert Dungan

2018-19 State Tournament Primer

By ROB JONAS

It may be early August, but it’s never too early to think about attending a New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship. Here is where you need to go if your school’s team (or one of its athletes) qualifies for a state tournament during the 2018-19 school year.

Fall sports
Girls tennis: Tri-City Tennis Club, Latham – October 27-29
Cross Country: Sunken Meadow State Park, Smithtown (Long Island) – November 10
Boys soccer: Middletown High School, Middletown – November 10 and 11
Girls soccer: SUNY Cortland, Homer High School and Cortland High School – November 10 and 11
Field hockey: Williamsville North High School, Williamsville (outside Buffalo) – November 10 and 11
Girls swimming and diving: Ithaca College, Ithaca – November 16 and 17
Football
East semifinals: Middletown High School, Middletown – November 16 and 17
Finals: Carrier Dome, Syracuse University – November 23 and 24
Boys volleyball: Capital Center, Albany – November 17
Girls volleyball: Cool Insuring Arena, Glens Falls – November 17 and 18
Golf (Note: Regular season is played in fall, but state tournament is held in the spring)
Girls tournament: Deerfield Country Club, Rochester – May 31 through June 2
Boys tournament: Robert Trent Jones Golf Course at Cornell University, Ithaca – June 1 through 3

Winter sports
Wrestling
Dual Meet Tournament: SRC Arena, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse – January 26
Individual championships: Times Union Center, Albany – February 22 and 23
Skiing: Gore Mountain, North Creek – February 25 and 26
Boys swimming and diving: Nassau Aquatic Center, East Meadow (Long Island) – March 1 and 2
Gymnastics: Cold Spring Harbor High School, Cold Spring Harbor (Long Island) – March 2
Competitive cheerleading: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester – March 2
Indoor track and field: Ocean Breeze Track and Field Athletic Complex, Staten Island – March 2
Bowling – AMF Strike-N-Spare Lanes, Syracuse – March 8 through 10
Ice hockey: Harborcenter, Buffalo – March 9 and 10
Boys basketball: Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena, Binghamton – March 15 through 17
Girls basketball: Hudson Valley Community College, Troy – March 15 through 17

Spring sports
Boys tennis: Site to be announced – May 30 through June 1
Boys lacrosse
East semifinals: University at Albany, Albany and Adelphi University, Garden City (Long Island) – June 5
Finals: St. John Fisher College, Pittsford (outside Rochester) – June 8
Girls lacrosse: SUNY Cortland – June 7 and 8
Track and field: Middletown High School, Middletown – June 7 and 8
Baseball: Various sites around Binghamton – June 14 and 15
Softball: Moreau Park, South Glens Falls – June 15

For more information about NYSPHSAA championships, visit nysphsaa.org.