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Busy Week Ahead for Dobbs

Posted Monday, January 05, 2009 by Perry King
Eagles Packing In the Action After Holiday Break

Having bulked up on mega-sized boxes of chocolates and fruitcakes over the break, the Eagles now have to face the grueling task of running themselves back into shape for three meets in the first week of action. The trio of contests are all of very different character, from a Wednesday sprint medley relay night that focuses on a fast short relay race, to a Friday invitational that features very high level competition in all events, to a Sunday night League championship that pits Dobbs against the local small schools.

The Rockland Sprint Medley Relay meet at the Rockland Community College fieldhouse on Wednesday, January 7, serves as a warmup for the Eagles to get their legs back in action after the long layoff. There is only one race, a sprint medley relay that consists of 400-200-200-800 legs over a 1600 meter distance. Both the boys and the girls have freshman-sophomore-junior-senior races plus a seeded race for the top teams in the section. The Eagles will run 8-9 teams and many of the runners will be in class races above their actual grade level. Small teams like Dobbs that aren't sprint powerhouses usually don't win places against teams like Ramapo, New Rochelle, Suffern, Pearl River, North Rockland and etc. unless they grease their opponents' batons. Last year New Rochelle and North Rockland won all 5 girls races and the only small schools to get places were Albertus Magnus and Pawling. The boys' side was even more dominated by big schools.  The meet also has a few field events like the pole vault for entertainment, and the night should be a good time to work off the rust.

The Section 1 Rockland Coaches Meet two nights later on Friday, January 9 at the RCC fieldhouse features all the usual indoor track events. Dobbs will be up against a field of many of the best teams in Section 1, so again high places are not freely available. Many of the top distance runners like Adam Doherty and Shelby Greany return from late season cross country meets and may be a big presence here. Again, the goal for the Eagles is to get just enough work in to prepare for Sunday's League meet. Last year Ramapo, Clarkstown South, and Suffern were the top three teams for the boys while Suffern, Ursuline, and Clarkstown South were best for the girls. Instead of running the 1500 and 3000 distances, the girls do the 1600 and 3200 like the boys. As in the Section 1 Kickoff, the Eagles' best chance for medals appear to be in the 3200 as Patrick Wortner's PB of 10:06 would have earned a 6th last year and Sarah King's 3000 PB of 11:04 converted to a 3200 time of 11:49 would have taken a 4th in 2008. Even races like the 1000 which are often not strongly contested can be brutal at the Coaches Meet, since last year regional greats Shelby Greany, Tori Flannery, Caitlin Hudson, and Megan Brown all ran at least 2:46. Ramson Ragin has a chance in the triple jump if he can get close to 40 feet and Sofia Maluf has a shot at a medal in the 1500 Racewalk if she can improve a bit to around a 9:00. But overall the competition will be fierce here.

The Conference IV League Meet  on Sunday night at the Manhattan Armory should provide the Eagles plenty of chances for medals. It will also serve as an early season dress rehearsal for the season-ending Sectional Meet since basically the same teams will be competing in both meets. Last year the boys team finished 3rd behind Bronxville and Pawling with 77 points and the girls finished 4th behind Bronxville, Pawling, and Alexander Hamilton with 37 points. On the boys' side, they will be missing 6 guys who provided 41 of the Eagle's 63 individual points from last year including Joe Giuliano's lone 1rst place in the shotput and Alan Sanseverino's two 2nds in the 55 and 300 meters, so a lot of runners will need to step up. The boys will be favored in the 3200 and the long and triple jumps behind Pat Wortner and Ramson Ragin and they should also challenge for high places in the 300, 600, 1000, 1600, and high hurdles and 1st to 3rd in all relay races. The girls will be favored in the 1500 Racewalk behind Sofia Maluf and should battle well with Bronxville and Pawling in the longer distances and be competitive in the relay races. Note also that anyone who wants to earn their team some points should enter the high jump, long jump triple jump, shot put, girls Racewalk, and boys high hurdles, where minimal distances and average times can earn high places. 46 points in the boys' individual events went unclaimed last year, as did 33 of the girls' points. They're there for the taking, but keep away from the pole vault.

Luck to all and save something for Sunday.

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