PLATTSBURGH -- Plattsburgh High and Ticonderoga did not cross paths last spring until the Section VII championships and that showdown turned out to be everything you would expect of a battle of two undefeated teams in boys' track & field.

Ticonderoga needed a 1-2-3 finish from its distance stars Lee Berube, Jess Berube and Lee Gabler in the next-to-last event to overtake PHS and win the team title by a 154-146 count.

The boys may have to go some to top that dramatic finish, but with many of the top performers from 2006 back, this season could easily be as exciting as last.

For starters, five state place-winners return, led by Div. II 400-meter hurdles champion Alex Banach of Beekmantown. Ticonderoga's Jess Berube, third in the 3,200 relay, also is back and has been simply outstanding in cross country and indoor track. Teammate Shawn Ross, fourth in the state in the shot put, rejoins the Sentinels while fourth-place finishers David Wilfore (Beekmantown, high jump) and Dustin Rabideau (PHS, pentathlon) have their sights set on making it back to the state championships.

Ticonderoga did lose Lee Berube and Lee Gabler, along with sprint champ Doug MacAlpine and thrower Eric Geisel. But the Sentinels, starting with Jess Berube and Shawn Ross, still have plenty of talent around. Brendan Carberry and Mike Lonergan are solid in the distance events with Jamian Shapiro and Daniel Woods speedy sprinters. Shapiro also figures to do well in the jumps.

Plattsburgh High took a hit in the relays, distances and in the jumps with the graduation of Kevin Bunn. However, sectional champions Erich Tefft (long jump) and Ian Andersen (discus) are back, along with the versatile Rabideau, who can score well in the jumps, the hurdles, and, if needed, in the sprints. Ray Cintron, who lost a judges' decision to MacAlpine in the 100 but then won the 200, could be the quickest around this spring. Tony Hollop gives the Hornets another top sprinter while Brian Ellsworth and David Ellsworth are excellent in the distances.

Saranac was a distant third in the sectionals, but did go 4-1 in Division I duals and 6-2 in overall CVAC competition. The Mockus brothers (Josh and Brian) return with good speed and range in the jumps while hurdler Brandon Jenks and jumper Ben Depo also finished in the top-six in the sectionals last year.

Beekmantown, 3-2, 5-3 in duals, has reasons to be optimistic, beginning with Banach, the state champion, and Wilfore, who won the sectionals in the high jump at 6 feet and then placed in he states. Brian Drollette and Eric LaValley have a good turn of speed with Drollette and Jeff Stitt among the top jumpers. The key to the Eagles' season could be how quickly their throwers come around.

AuSable Valley will make things interesting with jumper Kyle Devins, 400-meter sectional champ Justin Capen and Jason Reynolds figuring to do well in a number of events. Sprinter Kyle Fuller and middle-distance runners Devin Frazier and Matt Hamilton will make an impact, as will freshmen Austin Davis and Nate Muzzy (distances).

Distance men James Cruz and Bryante Lopez, middle-distance runner Mike Nogle and throwers Dylan Roberts and Lopez anchor the Northeastern Clinton team, which has great numbers.

Seton Catholic is always tough in the distances with Seth Bombard coming into his own to lead the Knights. Freshman Jacob DeWitt and Mike Champagne, along with other young athletes benefitting from cross country, will have an impact. Senior captain Jared Pellerin, a versatile athlete, will do well.

No information was received on Peru, Lake Placid or Saranac Lake.

AuSable Valley

Athletes lost

Dan Bushey, Raymond Nelson, Adam Rondeau, Ben Oswalt.

Athletes returning

Justin Capen, Austin Davis, Kyle Devins, Matt Dresser, Josh Giddings, Nick Massaro, James Montefusco, Nate Muzzy, Jason Reynolds, Brad Woods.

First-year athletes

Calvin LeClair, Nate Crowningshield, Kyle Donah, Devin Frazier, Kyle Fuller, Matt Hamilton, Eric Leon, Joe Lincoln, Jason Ormsby, A.J. Osbourne, Will Rhino, Joe Whisher, Mike Abair, Tom Courtney, James Hart.

Beekmantown

Athletes lost

Brendan Downs, Mike Jock, Joe Yelle, Jon Garrow.

Athletes returning

Gregg Castellucci, John Crepeau, Eric Decelle, Brian Drollette, Eric LaValley, Tim Palmer, Garrett Peterson, C.J. Quint, Garrett Shepler, Nick Trombley, David Wilfore, Matt Cartier, Matt Craig, Alex Banach, Nathan Bull, Jeff Stitt.

First-year athletes

Devan Anderson, Sean Bradley, Nick Castellucci, Brendan Courneene, Jeff Laundry, Brett Leidner, Nick Tallon, Josh Turner, Gabe Matott, Tyler Chatelle, Taren Frechette, Braxton Raymond, Dan Levon, Dylan LaMere.

Northeastern Clinton

Athletes lost

Casey Ashfield, Nick Blaise, James Cruz, Maclean Dunbar, James Franke, Bryante Lopez, Alex Menard, Nyal Monette, Mike Nogle, Jarad Palardy, Dylan Roberts, David Werner.

Athletes returning

Turner Sasina, Bobby Grim, Corey Slater, Derek Norton, Jeff Horn, Jimmy Troung, Kyle Chambers, Owen LaBarge, Brenton Tetreault, Casey McGibbon, James Kelly, Jon Streker, Jonathan Coupal, Josh Mesek, Connor Herdic, Gerald Marks, Karl Bechard, Chadwick Piche.

First-year athletes

Edward Bouchard, Justin Moore, Mitch Laundrie, Justin Spring, Caleb Hampton, Cody Hampton, Jacob Ballard, Kasey Garrand, Max Hipko, Mike Brassard, Nick Barcomb, Ben Grim, Justin Scotch, Ryan Sample, Josh O'Connor.

Plattsburgh High

Athletes lost

Elliot Lacki, Alex Courneau, Galen Frechette, Craig Light, Nick Kirkpatrick, Alex Richardson, Kevin Bunn, Tanis Daniels, David Rosoff, Kyle Halstead, Cameron Rathbun, Dan Hammack, Marc Cassone, Tom Pell, Nathan Branch.

Athletes returning

Paul Allen, Ian Andersen, Sam Beguin, Tom Bennett, Aaron Black, Roman Bajoras, Anthony Cantrell, Nathan Caudill, Declan Chaskey, Ray Cintron, Pat Collins, T.J. Collins-Fredette, Ethan Crockett, Brandon Dunham, Brian Ellsworth, David Ellsworth, Keaton Gallagher, Gurpinder Gill, Matt Holden, Antonin Hollop, Matt Hughey, Justin Lavarnway, Eric McCauley, Robert Mundy, Max Nacht, Ryan Pepper, Scott Powers, Dustin Rabideau, Ryan Seabron, Joe Shannawi, C.J. Taber, Erich Tefft, Tom Titherington, Jesse Toohill, Joe Young.

First-year athletes

Zack Ayotte, Richard Barber, Dan Bennett, Ryn Bracy, Elijah Curtis, Jeff Donlan, Andrew Favro, Alex Fleming, Jacob Ford, Tyler Hatch, Josh Hebert, Marcio Mena, Nick Whitney.

Saranac

Athletes lost

None reported.

Athletes returning

Ryan Buckley, Brandon Darrah, Ben Depo, Joe Hutti, Joe Green, Jordan Freeman, Josh Mockus, Brian Mockus, Jason Pageau, James Racette, Mike Rush, Adrian Rockerfeller. Tim Petrashune, Kevin Wilson, Nate Williams, Brandon Jenks, Jordan Bryant, Mike Nason.

First-year athletes

Luke Blair, Torrin Fittin, Jacob Goddeau, Dustin Gratto, Jordan Grimshaw, Josh Herron, Randy Housinger, Matt Lakers, Ryan McNulty, Louis Racette, Alex Ryan, Josh Snell, Steve Sousie, Pat Verville.

Seton Catholic

Athletes lost

Kevin Cornell, Jeffrey Abbott, Hyun-Gi Kim, Luis Barros, Bonja Martinez-Estaun, Lucas Orozco-Martin, Nick Prendergast, Andrew Garami.

Athletes returning

Seth Bombard, Mike Champagne, Sean Masten, Jared Pellerin, Greg Perry, Jarad Whiteman.

First-year athletes

Jacob Relation, Shao Ma, Jacob DeWitt, R.J. Marte, Zachary Ziemer, Justin Bressette.



Ticonderoga

Athletes lost

Nicholas Badgriwicz, Mark Barber, Jesse Berube, Lee Gabler, Eric Geisel, Jacob Lawrence, Doug MacAlpine, Shawn McBride, Lee Peters, Zack Pratt.

Athletes returning

Lee Berube, Derek Brighenti, Patrick Dunn, Cody Fastzkie, Michael Lonergan, Jamian Shapiro, Shawn Ross, Corey Trudeau, Daniel Woods, Jared Best, Brendon Carberry, David Cook, Alex Durkota, Shane Graser, Jarrod Sammis, Alex Walters.

First-year athletes

Jonathan Granger, Patrick Lonergan, Dustin LaFrance, Andy Burrows, Jonathan Ferguson, Shane Fuller, Joseph Guerin, Skyler Mosier, William Norton, Dylan Overbeek, Dustin Scott, Ralph Todd, Bryce Beuerlein, Jeffrey Burns.

Missing: Peru, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake.

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