Fort Lee cross country head coach Ed Garrison is happy with what he has seen thus far during practices, and knows he has two talented teams on his hands.
Last season, the boys team finished fifth out of six teams in the Big North Division 7 American League with a record of 1-4. The team also finished seventh out of nine in the Bergen County Championship and eighth out of 15 teams in the NJSIAA North 2, Section 2 Sectional Championship Meet.
The team has some important people returning for another season, including senior Jenya Dyagilev, who is first team Big North Division 7; senior Yuki Takahashi, who earned honorable mention; senior Evan Sophias; senior Dariell Vasquez; and sophomore Soichiro Itagaki, who was one of the best freshman runners in all of Bergen County last fall.
The team opens up their season Saturday, September with a dual meet against Englewood at Darlington.
The girls team also opens up with the boys and looks to improve on last season, when they finished 2-3 and in third place out of six teams in the Big North Division 7 American league. The Lady Bridgemen also finished in eighth out of 10 teams at the Bergen County Championship and finished ninth out of 11 teams in the NJSIAA North 2, Section 2 Sectional Championship Meet.
The Lady Bridgemen also have some important members of their team returning, including junior Christina Ramirez, who is second team All-Division; junior Renee Mattesich, who earned honorable mention; senior Regina Kang; and junior Melanie Plattner.
So in spite of last season's lackluster showing, the young, inexperienced versions of the teams are no more, and it's no wonder Garrison feels optimistic about the 2011 season.
"Both the boys and girls Fort Lee Cross Country Teams have many experienced runners on the team this year," Garrison said. "Both teams should contend for the Big North; Division 7 (American) Championship."
Highlight meets for the cross country teams with such lofty goals include the following:
- Wednesday, October 12th, Big North Division 7 Championship at Garrett Mountain
- Saturday, October 22, Bergen County Championship at Darlington Park
- Saturday, November 5, NJSIAA (North 2; Section 2) Championship at Warinanco Park
Here's a look at the 26 student athletes comprising both teams' rosters:
- Senior Jenya Dyagilev
- Senior Yuki Takahashi
- Senior Dariell Vasquez
- Sophomore Soichiro Itagaki
- Senior Evan Sophias
- Senior Liam Eisenberg
- Junior Masayoshi Miura
- Freshman Spyridon Koustis
- Senior Demir Radoncic
- Senior Eric Tsoi
- Freshman George Tsoulis
- Sophomore Nicholas Wong
- Freshman Joel Ahn
- Sophomore Chris Ashman
- Sophomore Kevin Lu
- Freshman Steven Morales
- Junior Christina Ramirez
- Junior Renee Mattesich
- Junior Julie Lau
- Senior Regina Kang
- Sophomore Melanie Plattner
- Sophomore Victoria Tam
- Freshman Andrea Major
- Junior Tiffany Pan
- Freshman Amy Qin
- Junior Rei Yoshida