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Regional full of opportunity for Blue Devils
Saturday, September 12, 2015

Regional full of opportunity for Blue Devils

Fredonia track & field team members formed a large and loud rooting section at last year's regional cross country .

For the members of the Fredonia Blue Devil women's cross country team, the 2015 Atlantic Regional this Saturday is a chance to finally make a name for themselves. For members of the men's team, it's a chance to make an even bolder statement than before.

That's the mindset of head coach Tom Wilson, whose teams will race at the Letchworth State Park High Banks Recreation Area in Castile, N.Y., against runners from upwards of 40 other teams. The women's 6,000-meter race is scheduled for 11 a.m., followed by the men's 8,000-meter race at 12:30 p.m. The top 35 finishers in each race make the all-region team.

Wilson, the 2015 SUNYAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year, will send out the maximum seven runners in each race.

On the women's side, the septet will consist of seniors Lauren Kotas (Lancaster, N.Y.) and Laura Morrison (Wethersfield, Conn.); juniors Bonnie Binggeli (Walworth, N.Y.), Kara Hall (Bergen, N.Y.), and Julia Johnson (Baldwinsville, N.Y.); and freshmen Hannah Kurbs (Lockport, N.Y.) and Stephanie Wojnowski (Rochester, N.Y.). The alternate is freshman Carly Debono (Medford, N.Y.).

The men's group will consist of seniors Kyle Collins (Suffern, N.Y.) and Collin Mulcahy (Batavia, N.Y.); juniors Bobby Cooper (Macedon, N.Y.) and Cody Martini (Palmyra, N.Y.); sophomore Merlin Joseph Jr. (Binghamton, N.Y.); and freshmen Joe Northup (Waterloo, N.Y.) and Ethan Francis (Dunkirk, N.Y.). The alternate is sophomore Charles Loiacano (Lockport, N.Y.).

"The women are ready to prove themselves to the region," Wilson said. "We have been overlooked all season long, not getting in to the regional rankings. We have a great opportunity to really shine on Saturday and cap off this amazing season. The potential to get three females in the top 35 is something we are shooting for.

"The men," Wilson continued, "are ready to make yet another strong push on Saturday. Coming off a strong race at SUNYAC's, they are all ready to leave it out on the course. My two front runners, Collins and Mulcahy, have a strong shot to make the NCAA. I am looking to have three men in the top 35, which will help this men's team better our seventh place finish from last year."

In addition to the prospects of earning all-region honors, the runners will be vying for a spot in the NCAA Division III championship race Nov. 21 at Lake Breeze Golf Course in Winneconne, Wisconsin. The national field will consist of teams and individuals from all eight Division III regions.

The last Fredonia woman to run in the NCAA national race was Morgan Burrows in 2002. Most recently, Zakk Hess, a volunteer assistant coach this fall, represented Fredonia at the 2014 NCAA men's championship race.

"This has been a fantastic cross country season, no matter the outcome this weekend," Wilson said. "I have enjoyed every minute of it and expect to see fireworks this Saturday." 

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