Moruca athletes defend Region One Inter-Zone title

first_imgMORUCA continued their reign as athletics champions after surging to victory in the three-day Region One Inter-Zone Athletics Championships, held from Wednesday to Friday at the Mabaruma Settlement ground.Almost 300 athletes from the three sub-regions battled in road races, high jumps, throws, distance races and sprints.Moruca, who led from day one, were able to accumulate a whopping 768 points. Home team Mabaruma, who did relatively well in the road races and throws, finished second on 587 points, while Matarkai placed third with 303 points.After Day One of the event (10k road races and throws), Moruca athletes had already raced to 209 points, while the home team compiled 148 and Matarkai 42.In the second day, although Moruca and Mabaruma continued to dominate by reaching 427 and 351 points respectively, Matarkai were able to get themselves in the thick of things with 129 points.A few of their athletes were able to excel at the long jumps. Vanessa George was the first to gold, when she copped the top prize in the U-18 high jump on Thursday morning.Soon other Matarkai athletes joined in with Greg Revers U-18, little Zanavier Benjamin U-8 and Euclin Ashby U-18 dominating the long jumps. Aristol Gibson also won the U-10 cricket ball throw.Matarkai, who travelled with their largest side to date – 94 athletes and teachers – had also included an athlete from the Baramita Primary School.Both Moruca and Mabaruma were reportedly represented by 100 athletes each.The best athletes from the championships will now be selected to represent Region One at the National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships (Nationals), billed for November 17-21 at the National Track and Field Centre in Leonora, National Park in Georgetown and National Aquatic Centre in Liliendaal.last_img read more

LaCombe, Johnson bring Minnesota friendship to Syracuse

first_imgFourteen miles of Minneapolis suburbs are all that separated ice hockey players Allie LaCombe and Cara Johnson growing up.Now as teammates at Syracuse, they couldn’t be any closer.LaCombe and Johnson became friends one summer as high school underclassmen playing for the Minnesota Whitecaps. Little did they realize they would share the same ice for nearly a decade.“It’s almost hard to explain sometimes,” Johnson said. “That we’re all the way out here in Syracuse and we have that Minnesota connection.“It’s a real thing, there’s just things we’ve both experienced from back home that we can share together.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLaCombe, a junior, and Johnson, a senior, both play contributing roles for Syracuse (16-11-3, 7-6-3 College Hockey America). LaCombe is one of SU’s leading offensive forces with eight goals on the season, while Johnson is viewed as an unspoken leader on the team and is highly regarded by her peers and coaches.Part of their fondest memories competing on the ice goes back to high school, when they competed as players on rival high schools.“I’ve known Cara for so long that it was almost hard to think of those games as rivalry games,” LaCombe said.While Johnson reveled in the opportunity to play a close companion in high-intensity games, she didn’t mirror LaCombe’s exact thoughts.“Allie’s team was known as the powerhouse hockey school in the area and I watched them win two state championships,” Johnson said. “Then when all of the seniors left Allie’s team, it was nice to finally beat up on those guys and we went to (the state championship).”No hard feelings were ever instilled in one another. If anything, the matchups were just another way to heighten the competitive edge between them.As both players have watched each other mature and develop, their mutual respect for one another is palpable.“I’ve watched Cara become faster and stronger,” LaCombe said. “Once most girls reach college hockey, they begin to blossom as a player. And that’s definitely the case for Cara.”Johnson echoed much of the same sentiments toward LaCombe and said that her teammate has one of the best shots on the team.In terms of eventually arriving together at Syracuse, LaCombe insisted familiarity was a big factor for her selection in a school. Johnson provided the glimpse of home that LaCombe desired on what would be her future team.“It was important to me to have some connection and comfortably with whatever school I was going to choose,” LaCombe said. “So knowing I would have Cara from back home definitely was a big factor in leading me here.”Head coach Paul Flanagan believes the connection for the two transcends just the Syracuse hockey team, as well.“It happens quite a lot — where the best athletes in smaller areas get to know each other quite well,” Flanagan said. “And I’m sure they got to know each other real well and may have had some sort of direct or indirect affect on Allie’s decision.”Since LaCombe’s cousin used to play for Syracuse, Johnson doesn’t take responsibility for LaCombe choosing SU. Yet she did remember the jubilance both of them shared when LaCombe broke the news that she had been accepted into the school.Now Johnson’s inclination reflects a microcosm of their relationship.The modest and mild-mannered Johnson doesn’t look upon herself as a leader or captain, but her closest peers — especially LaCombe — would like to convince her that she is.“She’s a senior this year and has been a phenomenal leader for us on and off the ice,” LaCombe said. “But really, being so close to her for so long, I’ve looked up to her almost my entire life.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 12, 2014 at 1:26 am Contact Connor: cgrossma@syr.edu | @connorgrossmanlast_img read more

After escape to Hawaii, Syracuse’s Stephanie Grossi doubles point total

first_img Published on February 8, 2017 at 10:23 pm Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarez Over Winter Break, Stephanie Grossi ran underneath the Hawaiian sun. She rid her mind of hockey while performing hill sprints along the paradise on the Pacific Ocean. Grossi kept the cold confines of Tennity Ice Pavilion out of her thoughts.The junior ran up the hills to forget about her mediocre start to the season. She had only 11 points in SU’s first 18 games this season. Through 18 games last year, she already had 22 points.Grossi felt re-energized. She’s since thrived in the month following her island getaway, doubling her point total to 22 from 11 in eight games. Grossi is the prolific scorer that Syracuse (10-11-5, 9-3-2 College Hockey America) needs if it wishes to capture its first-ever CHA title.The forward’s torrid start in 2017 led to her CHA Player of the Month honors, as she scored five goals and assisted on six others. For six straight contests, she contributed at least one point a game. The game in which she didn’t score or assist was SU’s only conference loss this calendar year.“Sometimes I think too much out there,” Grossi said. “When I’m just going with the flow and not really thinking, it comes natural and it works better.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHer overthinking on offense stemmed from below average defensive performances. In the beginning of the season, she watched SU’s opponents score and defeat the Orange, even while she was on the ice.With the pressure of SU locked in its own defensive end, Grossi forced the puck in the offensive zone and tried to skate through multiple defenders. But often she turned over the puck in attempts to kick-start a stagnant Orange offense.“She’s a perfectionist in everything she does,” SU head coach Paul Flanagan said. “She was probably putting a lot of pressure on herself, and I think lately she’s playing more relaxed.”Grossi has since relieved herself of the burden of being the No. 1 option for the Orange, a title passed on to her by the all-time leading scorer Melissa Piacentini. Her success came when she began to play off her linemates Emily Costales and Savannah Rennie.In the second period of SU’s 5-1 victory over Robert Morris on Jan. 28, Costales controlled the puck in SU’s defensive zone and looked for her streaking teammate. As Grossi flashed across center ice, she received the puck and saw two defenders in her way and simply burned by them.“Honestly,” Costales said. “I saw her so I just moved it and it was great. She had the puck brought it down and did what she does best.”Grossi, the smallest of the three forwards at 5-foot-2, went back to annoying defenders with her quickness, something she had refined in years prior. Costales and Rennie, who rank second and seventh in points respectively, occupied the space near the boards and used their size to keep the puck in the offensive zone. This formula proved successful as SU defeated then-No. 7 RMU to pull within two points of the division lead.Syracuse will look to Grossi for offense as the postseason nears. If the junior forward builds off her strong January, the Orange should be one of the most dangerous teams in the conference. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more