Cazenovia athletes head for Empire Games

A host of athletes from Cazenovia and neighboring areas will be headed for Buffalo next week for the renewal of the Empire State Games.

After not being held in 2009, the games resume from July 21-25 as, once again, athletes from six regions (Central, Western, Adirondack, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island) vie for medals in more than 20 sports.

Here is who, and where, local athletes will be going:

Field Hockey - Belle Hoagland and Tori Widrick, two players chiefly responsible for Cazenovia's recent run of Section III Class C championships, join the Central scholastic side playing at the University at Buffalo's Walter Kunz Field.

Ice Hockey - Kollyn Jones, from Cazenovia, and Hamilton star Alex Brink are both skating with the Central scholastic men's team in the ESG tournament at the Amherst Audubon Ice Facility.

Lacrosse - Gabby Jaquith, a long-time standout for the girls lacrosse Lakers, will be a key player on the Central side as it heads to Niagara University.

Wrestling - On the scholastic side of the ESG meet at Buffalo State College's Ice Arena, Brad Lucas and Ryan Cook represent Cazenovia. Three stars from Chittenango -- Wes Blanding, Cody Carbery and John Regan -- are going to Buffalo, as are a trio of Oneida wrestlers that includes Matt Fisher, Lon Palmer and Connor Russ. Canastota's Tyler Sirota will be a medal contender, too.

The large local contingent also includes two former Morrisville-Eaton stars, Ryan LeBlanc and Alex Meyers, in the open division.

Track and Field - In scholastic events at UB Stadium, M-E's Austin Hirsch will try to handle the 1,500-meter run and 3,000-meter steeplechase, while Oneida's Jimmy Moyer will endure the 10-event decathlon. Hamilton's Sage Hurta is in the scholastic women's 800 and 1,500 events as Chittenango's Andrew Foxenberg stretches out to the 10,000 on the open men's side.

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