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West Valley girls track sprints into season

Kaitlyn Snayczuk

WEST VALLEY — The West Valley Central School girls track team enters the 2014 season, looking to continue its winning ways. Since 2011, the girls have transformed themselves into a perennial winning program. With one win coming in 2011, the team has produced back-to-back five-win campaigns in 2012 and 2013. The five wins from last year were all over Class C schools Franklinville, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Westfield, Cassadaga Valley and Frewsburg.

According to coach Kristopher Fuller, in 2011, only six West Valley students came out for track.

“Four years later, the program has grown to include 22 athletes. As the program continues to experience success, year after year, more and more girls want to join and become part of the team,” Fuller said. The 2014 team’s makeup is 12 returning players and 10 rookies. It will be anchored by Kaitlyn Snayczuk, Jordan Seltzer, Kelsey Chai and seniors Andrea Gentner, Trisha Thomas and Lindsey Smith.

Snayczuk, a junior, is the only returning Section 6 qualifier and Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association All-Star. She dominated the 2013 campaign in her rookie year, en route to setting the school record in shot put, according to Fuller.

Seltzer, a junior, is entering her fifth varsity season. She has finished top four in team points, each of the past three years. She is the team leader, on and off of the track, Fuller noted.

Chai, a freshman, is a force in the 1,500-meter and 3,000-meter races. She looks forward to a sectional berth, in both events. Gentner and Thomas will lead the team in the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles and sprinting events.

Smith will lead the team in jumping events.

Additional girls returning include: Alex Gentner, Cheyanne Folts, Lauren Olejniczak, Cameron McLeod, Phyllis Bailey and manager Amber Thiel.

Half of the team consists of rookies. Sprinters will be Ashley Blackmon, Brook Smith, Tessa Sullivan and Abby Proctor. Mid- and long-distance will be Courtney Walters, Macie Kagelmacher, Haven Ford and Taylor Smith. Throwers will be Madison Fleischman and Sidney Ploetz. The girls open the season at Franklinville on April 5, for the Frostbite Relays.

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