Dillon VanDemortel has been building a tremendous foundation in the first season of his collegiate cross country career.

The 2018 Newark High School graduate has won five invitationals running for SUNY Cobleskill, most recently claiming the Green Mountain College Invitational last Saturday in Poultney, Vt.

“The most difficult transition has been jumping up in the distance and mileage that we run per week,” VanDemortel said. “To be honest, the transition for me has been pretty easy.”

“We do a lot of military calisthenics and stretch pre-workout,” VanDemortel added. “We do a lot of speed work on grass as opposed to high school, and Cobleskill is a pretty hilly area, so in most of our runs we are running elevation.”

So far this season VanDemortel has been named the North Eastern Athletic Conference Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week four times. He garnered an even bigger honor for September when he was selected as ECAC Division III North Region Runner of the Month.

“It boosts my confidence and reaffirms that all the work I did this summer was worth it,” he said. “As to our team, I just try to finish as high as I can to help our overall place. Each win has raised my confidence and shows me that I can compete at a very high level.”

In eight days VanDemortel and the rest of the Fighting Tigers will travel to Lancaster, Pa., for the NEAC Championships.

“The mentality is to get the job done and to accomplish the mission I’ve had since the start of the season, and to see that we are a serious contender for the team title,” VanDemortel relayed. “From the physical side I think I will be ready to run my best.”

While enrolled at Newark, VanDemortel was a five-year member of the cross country team. He qualified for the Class B state championships in 2016 and ’17, earning a medal at that meet in his final campaign. He also ran in the state Federation Championships as a senior.

In addition to being a Wayne-Finger Lakes league champion, he was an All-Section V Class B first-team member as a junior and senior.

VanDemortel is majoring in fisheries and aquaculture.

Other local athletes playing in college:

Lorrayne Broach (Clyde-Savannah ’15) capped off her senior campaign as a member of the SUNY Oswego women’s tennis team recently. The Lakers posted a 9-0 victory over Utica College Oct. 7 to finish the fall season with a record of 4-7. Broach prevailed at No. 2 doubles in Oswego’s finale.

Amy Osterhout (Waterloo ’18) and Olivia Finch (Romulus ’17) are members of the Finger Lakes Community College women’s soccer team.

Abigail Elisofon (Waterloo ’18) is an outside hitter on the Herkimer College women’s volleyball team.

Matt Meckley’s “College Playbook” highlights local high school graduates playing at local colleges and universities, along with those competing outside our coverage area. Email ideas to mmeckley@fltimes.com, or call him at (315) 789-3333 ext. 245.

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