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Wed, May 09 2007 
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Published: May 09, 2007 12:40 am    print this story   email this story   comment on this story  

HS TRACK: GI runner is on the right track

By Nate Beutel
Greater Niagara Newspapers

GRAND ISLAND — Evan Tsembelis showed up late to track practice Monday afternoon. N t because he was fooling around or just running late, but rather because he was completing an Advanced Placement exam.

Normally, you find that Tsemeblis is one of the first out on the oval and eager to get his workout in, so he’s in the advanced placement group of runners, as well.

“Evan has a tremendous work ethic and he’s a competitor, so he’s always working hard,” veteran Grand Island track coach Don Sauer said.

Tsembelis, only a sophomore, is also relatively new to the sport as he only started running competitively in eighth grade after transferring to GI from The Park School. But training with teammate and league all-star Tim Fargino, a senior, has helped Tsembelis progress at a steady pace.

“Tim’s been a great captain (in track and cross country),” Tsembelis said. “When we go on long runs, we always talk about different meets, events, pace, injuries. He’s really helped me a lot.”

Sauer agreed.

“Evan’s become a student of the sport and Tim’s been a good mentor to him,” the coach said. “And that’s what keeps programs going.”

Tsembelis, who competes regularly in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters along with the 1,600 and 3,200 relays has positioned himself as the next top runner within the program, according to Sauer.

“He’s going to keep improving, he has the right attitude and his times are dropping,” the coach noted. “We feel as though he could become one of our better runners (in program history).”

Tsembelis, who won the mile race at the Batavia Invitational last weekend, knows it’ll be difficult to place higher than third at the Niagara Frontier League meet with Niagara-Wheatfield’s Aaron Foote and Lockport’s John Haenle — both of whom are state contenders — in the field, but he’d still like to qualify for sectionals, keep improving his times and perhaps even catch a break.

“I’m working hard to get my times down and I’d like to see some progress on that,” he said. “I’m more mentally focused than ever and things change all the time, so you never know what might happen and who might run what event.”

Sauer said no matter what, he’s certain his budding star won’t back down from the challenge set in front of him.

“I’ll put him in with the best because he’s not afraid of the competition,” the coach said. “And that’s how you get better — by running with the best.”