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Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Waverly senior Sheridan Talada had a record-setting senior season, and is the 2019-20 Valley Sports Report Girls “Athlete of the Year.

Anytime an athlete is the first to accomplish something, it’s noteworthy.

In the fall, Talada became the first Waverly girl to earn a medal at the New York State Cross Country Championships, and was the VSR Girls “Athlete of the Fall.”

Talada, a two-time VSR Girls Cross Country “Runner of the Year,” finished third at Section IV, Class C State Qualifier, after winning the IAC divisional meet, and finishing second at the IAC Championships. She placed at 18th at the NYS Championships.

During the regular season, she won the Tom Koons Valley meet, and the Baxter-McDaniel Invite (Chenango Valley), finished second at the rugged Marathon Invite, third at the prestigious McQuaid Invitational (Rochester), third at the Bob Greene Invite (Newark Valley), third at Forbes Invitational (Oneonta), and fifth at the Owego Invite.

Talada became the first Wolverine harrier to run in the New York State Federation Cup meet, and finished 54th in a field of 249 runners.

This winter, Talada put her name in the WHS record book three times early in the indoor track & field season, but her season was derailed by an injury that hampered her after the New Year’s break.

In December, Talada set school records in the 1,500-meter run (4:55.45) and the 3,000-meter run (10:36.09), She also teamed with fellow seniors Melina Ortiz, Cora Smith, and Elizabeth Fritzen to set a school-record in the distance medley relay in a time of 13:00.29 — breaking the previous record set in 2000 by more than 19 seconds.

In the postseason, she had three top-four finishes to help Waverly to first-ever Section IV Indoor Track & Field, Division 2 team title. She finished second in the 3,000-meter run in a time of 10:47.4, was fourth in the 1,500-meter run in 5:05.26, and ran on the first-place 3,200-meter relay team.

A state qualifier last spring, Talada would likely have strengthened her resume with a strong season on the track.

The remainder of the All-Valley Super 7 Girls Athletes of the Year are:

Melina Ortiz, senior, Waverly:  Possessing great speed, foot skills, and a high soccer IQ, Ortiz was a key cog in Waverly’s division title campaign.

She scored 12 goals and had seven assists on the season.

Ortiz, who is a three-time all-state performer, will play at Division I Siena College next fall.

This winter, Ortiz had three top-five finishes to help Waverly to first-ever Section IV Indoor Track & Field, Division 2 team title. She placed third in the 300-meter dash in 43.83 seconds, fourth in the 55-meter dash in 7.68 seconds, and fifth in the 600-meter run in a time of 1:44.1.

At the State Qualifier, Ortiz finished third in the 55-meter dash in 7.62 seconds, and fourth in the 200-meter dash in 44.0 seconds.

Early in the season, Ortiz teamed with fellow seniors Sheridan Talada, Cora Smith, and Elizabeth Fritzen to set a school-record in the distance medley relay in a time of 13:00.29 —breaking the previous record set in 2000 by more than 19 seconds.

A four-time state qualifier — three indoor and one outdoor, Ortiz was primed for her second straight trip to the state championships this spring.

Sidney Tomasso, junior, Waverly: Tomasso, who is a heady defender, created easy points for herself and her teammates in transition, and was an aggressive defender in the man-to-man and zone defenses.

Tomasso can score with equal aplomb from behind the 3-point arc, with the mid-range jumper, or taking the ball to the hoop. She also showed a nose for the ball on the boards as well.

Tomasso averaged a Valley-best 19.8 points and 6 rebounds per game, as well as 4 assists and 4 steals per game. She made 48 3-pointers on the season, and shot 85 percent from from the free-throw line.

This fall, Tomasso earned a starting spot on the volleyball team in her first season. She had 159 points, including 48 service aces, 72 kills, eight blocks, and 77 digs.

Tomasso, a three-time state qualifier in golf, was set to play softball this spring. She has already earned letters in cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and golf in her career.

Giovanna Rossi, senior, Tioga: Ultra-athletic with great hops, Rossi was a powerful hitter from all over the floor, and a force at the net for the Tioga volleyball team.

This winter, Rossi was a monster on the boards, and also showed a soft touch on her mid-range jumper for the Lady Tiger basketball team.

She averaged 9.2 points, a Valley-best 11.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game.

A standout on the softball diamond, Rossi would have surely solidified her spot in the Super 7 this spring.

Kennedy Westbrook, freshman, Waverly:
On the soccer pitch, Westbrook, a bundle of energy who never seems to slow down, played tirelessly from end line to end line, and was a major facilitator in the Waverly offense.

She scored 14 goals and doled out 10 assists in her first varsity season, and was the VSR Girls Soccer “Newcomer of the Year,” and the “Newcomer of the Fall.”

Westbrook, a hard-nosed defender on the hardwoods, was a constant source of energy for the Lady Wolverines on both ends of the basketball court. She was the VSR girls basketball “Newcomer of the Year.”

She averaged 10 points, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds per game.

Kayleigh Miller, junior, Athens: On the hardwoods, Miller, a heady player, made teams pay when they gave her even a glimpse of an open look.

She averaged 12.8 points per game, including a Valley-best 70 3-pointers, as well as 3.2 steals, and 2.6 assists per game.

On the volleyball hardwoods, Miller, a heady player and team leader, led Athens with 420 assists, to go along with 106 digs, 73 points, including 19 aces,13 kills, and two blocks.

Olivia Ayres, junior Tioga: A talented and speedy offensive force, Ayres scored 13 goals and doled out four assists for the Tioga field hockey team.

This winter, she led the Lady Tigers in scoring on the hardwoods. When she was on, Ayres could fill it up in bunches from beyond the 3-point arc.

She averaged 14.3 points per game, including 62 3-pointers, as well as 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.2 assists per game.

An all-star softball player, Ayres would have surely strenghted her spot in this list this srping.


IN PHOTO: Wavery's Sheridan Talada.

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