[Editor’s Note: This article was intended to be published in today’s RaiderNet Daily, but arrived just after deadline.]
By Jim Ireland
The Fulton cross-country team looks towards a win on Tuesday night to send their seniors off on a good note. It will be the last home meet of their high school cross country career and it will surely be emotional for some of the Raiders. The team will be losing eight senior runners who are all valuable assets to the team.
The senior boys are Marcus Earl, Zach Loura and six year veterans Jim Ireland and Phil Field. The senior girls are Kara Pafumi, Katie Jones, Elyse Cianfarano and the lone six-year veteran, Brittany Lamie. Since cross-country is a co-ed sport and the girls and boys practice together the team bonds like a family. The seniors all agree whether its their first year or their sixth that they will miss this feeling of family formed over many years of running together.
The season isn’t over yet, but this last home meet is a reminder to many that this is the last time they will run that course with a team. The seniors should not let this get them down, however, as sectionals are right around the corner. For six-year runners Jim Ireland and Brittany Lamie there is the hope of getting to go to the exclusive state meet, but only their times at the sectional meet will tell. If they do make it, it will be the way to go out with a bang on their high school cross-country careers.
Phil Field has a chance to place well in the sectional meet and help support the Raider team to a good placing over all. Senior night will be a sore occasion for these three as they have been running together since seventh grade and this is their last race to show what they’ve got to the home crowd. While these runners have been doing it all six years, it would not be without the support of their teammates, who have come and gone over the years. Senior boys Marcus Earl and Zach Loura are two-year veterans whose uplifting words help motivate the team before a race and who are always there to support someone having a rough day.
Senior Elyse Cianfarano is perhaps the most optimistic and wise one on the team because she always finds some way to see the good in things and help everyone solve their problems. First year seniors Kara Pafumi and Katie Jones help lighten the mood in a sometimes-tense team setting with their joking attitudes. Whether this is their first year or the sixth, none of the Raider runners want to see it end. Come out and support the Raider seniors and the rest of the team at Granby elementary school at 4:30 against Cortland and Chittenango.