Weather Can’t Stop Local College Runners

Posted on Oct 22 2016 - 5:08pm by Jeff Pexton
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Herkimer – Despite virtually no sunlight, local teams stole the spotlight.

Saturday morning’s Mountain Valley Athletic Conference’s cross country championship meet saw host Herkimer County Community College winning the women’s race behind Chyanna Bernier’s victory and Mohawk Valley Community College winning the men’s race. Runners and spectators alike were subjected to 40 degree temperature, a driving rain and much wind, making the October 22 event feel more like a survival test.

“I can’t feel my teeth,” Adirondack Community College’s Amber DeCrescente said after she finished second in the frigid conditions. “I was drooling.”

Times turned in were not drooled over by the runners, but the winners were happy with their results.

“I was confident coming in,” Bernier said of her preparation for the race she won in 20:10. “I’ve won two other races.”


Herkimer College's Chyanna Bernier stole the show in the women's race, cruising to the individual championship. (Photo By - Jeff Pexton - Perfect Game Imaging)

Herkimer College’s Chyanna Bernier stole the show in the women’s race, cruising to the individual championship. (Photo By – Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)


The Central Valley Academy alum was dogged by DeCrescente early in the race.

“I could hear her behind me,” Bernier said of her closest competitor.

The sound didn’t last long as Bernier pulled away to win easily. Her finish helped the hosts narrowly beat MVCC 27-29 for the first title in Coach Steve Sydoriw’s seven years at HCCC.

“It was great,” the Westmoreland native said. “We’re improving every race.”

MVCC’s women came in second with Gloversville native Carolyn Peck being the top finisher with a fourth.

“I finished strong, (but) it could have been a lot better,” Peck said of her time. ”I should have warmed up more.”

The men had more time to warm up for their slightly longer course. Adirondack’s Jason Linendoll won with a time of 22:12 then came Proctor grad Alec Ambruso of MVCC. His strong finish kept Adirondack from taking the top two spots and helped his Hawks team defeat HCCC, Hudson Valley, and Fulton-Montgomery for the title.


And they're off in the Men's competition (Photo By - Jeff Pexton - Perfect Game Imaging)

And they’re off in the Men’s competition (Photo By – Jeff Pexton – Perfect Game Imaging)


“I’m a little disappointed,” Ambruso said of his time, “but I’m okay with second. He ((Linendoll) opened a gap on me after one mile. I tried to close it, but it was too great a gap. Maybe if I had another mile.”

HCCC’s Brandon Rawson, an Ilion native, was fourth and also mildly disappointed in his time.

“It’s not quite what I would have liked,” he said. “I’ve tried to heal my leg (injury) since last week. Now I’ve got to look to regionals.”

That’s exactly what MVCC coach Gary Parker can do with confidence after his men’s team won with 36 points to Adirondack’s 54.

“I think we ran really, really well with our number two guy out with pneumonia,” Parker said. “Our (numbers) 3-4-5-6 stepped it up.”