Return home

More than 30 Mohawk Valley-area schools set for EJ Herrmann Invite

Ben Birnell
Sports writer
email / twitter
Posted 9/23/22

A tradition in high school sports returns this weekend.  The E.J. Herrmann Invitational – the 79th edition of the cross-country event is set for Saturday morning at Thomas R. Proctor Park in Utica.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

More than 30 Mohawk Valley-area schools set for EJ Herrmann Invite

Posted

UTICA — A tradition in high school sports returns this weekend. 

The E.J. Herrmann Invitational – the 79th edition of the cross-country event is set for Saturday morning at Thomas R. Proctor Park in Utica. 

The meet — which started in 1941 and is considered one of the oldest high school cross-country meets in the state — has grown into a festival-like environment and is set to draw about 35 large and small schools with boys and girls teams around the area while drawing countless spectators to Thomas R. Proctor Park in Utica. 

“I think part of it is just running through the park. It is all grass and trails, so it is a great venue for running,” said Dan Amado, who is one of six meet directors for the Herrmann. “It is central to a lot of schools in the area. … We hear it often from coaches and spectators about how well-organized it is. I think they appreciate that it runs so smoothly. I think that’s a big draw of it.” 

The event is sponsored by the East Utica Optimist Club with help from numerous volunteers. The event, named in honor of the late longtime Utica schools physical education teacher and coach, has been a staple during the fall every year with the exceptions of 1944, 1989 and 2020.

“There’s a lot of history to it. It brings out a lot of people that have been around the city for years and years,” said Proctor boys cross country David Caruso, who is in his fourth year leading the program. “That’s why it is so special.”

Music is played to contribute to the festival-like atmosphere and concessions are available. 

There are set to be 10 races – each named after people who have impacted sports in the community – across varsity, junior varsity and modified levels. The races are divided into small schools and large schools based on enrollment, with the small schools races in the morning. The 5K varsity course has been modified slightly in recent years with the addition of the turf football field installed at the park. 

“We’re in a good spot now,” Amado said. “It took a little while to figure out … how to keep more than 2 ½ miles of the course the way that it always was other than just the beginning of the course.” 

The schedule is set to begin at 9:15 a.m. with the national anthem. The first race is set for 9:30 a.m. Races go off in 20- and 30-minute intervals. 

More than 800 total runners are expected to take part. Mohawk Valley-area schools set to compete are: Adirondack, Camden, Central Valley Academy, Clinton, Herkimer, Holland Patent (minus varsity), Mount Markham, New Hartford (minus varsity), New York Mills, Notre Dame, Oneida, Proctor, Remsen/Old Forge, Rome Free Academy, Sauquoit Valley, Waterville, West Canada Valley and Westmoreland.

The Hermann is set to take place the same day as another big invitational in Baldwinsville that includes most Syracuse-area schools. 

Proctor senior Nico Tidmore is coming off a first-place finish and junior Owen Sweet placed second Tuesday in a meet with New Hartford and Notre Dame on Tuesday on a similar course at Proctor Park. Caruso expects them to be among the top finishers at the Hermann. 

Sauquoit Valley senior Kole Owens was first in a meet last weekend at New Hartford. He could be another participant to watch.

Others include: Oneida’s Tyson Fuller, who was the top finisher in a home meet Tuesday. RFA’s Carson Campbell, Karl vanHoesel, Ethan Baker and Grady Engelbert were among the top finishers in the meet with Oneida. 

On the girls side, Proctor junior Megan Lew was second and classmate Jasmin Gonzalez-Rivera was fifth in Tuesday’s meet. RFA’s Marlo Townsend, Julissa Luciano and Gianna Badolato were also top finishers at the Oneida meet. 

Westmoreland’s Emma Szarek was the top participant Wednesday in a home meet against Little Falls, Dolgeville, Waterville and Canastota.

Comments

1 comment on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • joeref84

    As a member of the EJ Herrmann race committee, I would like to thank The Rome Sentinel for the great article regarding our event. it was greatly appreciated by our committee members . All the profits from our event go towards funding scholarships for area runners as well as to support various youth programs. Thanks again for your support. Joe Briggs

    Monday, September 26 Report this