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Springville-GI’s boys and girls cross-country teams shine at JFK Invitational

The boys' cross-country team at S-GI
ON YOUR MARK — The Springville-Griffith Institute girls (top) and boys cross-country teams recently participated in the JFK Invitational and at the West Seneca West Invitational.

On Sept. 15, the Springville-Griffith Institute girls cross-country team took fourth place out of 21 teams, at the West Seneca West Invitational.

Jessica Wojtkowiak placed sixth out of more than 100 runners on the 3.1-mile course.

Springville’s McKenzie Maloy earned a ribbon at 19th place and Kalei Brautlacht took 24th place.

The S-GI boys placed eighth out of the 21 teams. Mitchell Bunic earned a ribbon for his 18th place finish and Joe Cocina earned a ribbon for his 20th place finish.

The prior weekend, the S-GI teams team competed in the JFK Invitational.

Wojtkowiak, Brautlact and Maloy all won T-shirts for their placings.

Seventh grader Elle Russell’s and team Captain Hanna Hebden’s performances helped the team finish fifth out of 17 teams.

Meghan Loop and Samantha Bugenhagen won T-shirts in the junior varsity race, for their top 20 finish.

The boys were led by Bunic and Cocina, followed by Captain Elliot Tessmer, Donald Piatek and Ryan O’Hara, for the team finish in ninth, out of 16 teams.

The girls team has first team all stars Maloy and Braulacht returning, from last year.

Both teams lost some graduating runners, but Coach Chad Russel said that he likes the direction his team is going.

“It is exciting to see the pieces of the cross-country team puzzle come together,” he said. “The girls team is strong again this year and the boys team are getting good – fast!”

Senior Captain Jess Hotchkiss has been part of the cross country team since eighth grade, when she was named the team’s most valuable player.

“The team looks really strong,” she said. “Everyone has been working as hard as they can. Our biggest goal is to improve even more as the season progresses and hopefully capture the division title.”

Both teams will head to East Aurora on Saturday, Sept. 22. Races will begin at 9 a.m.

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