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The Sports Reports
It’s rare for a varsity athlete to earn a state medal in her first year of competition, but Northeast Bradford’s Anaiah Kolesar won two state medals as a freshman this season as part of her strong, three-sport year. She is The Sports Reports’ 2022-23 All-Region “Girls Newcomer of the Year.

Kolesar medaled at states in cross country and wrestling, along with collecting two district medals in track & field.

In the fall, Kolesar was the number-two runner for the Panthers, helping them to an NTL Small School title, an NTL Coaches’ Invitational title, and a District IV, Class A championship. At the District 4 meet, Kolesar was the top freshman, finishing third overall.

At the PIAA Championships, Kolesar placed 23rd overall to earn the first of her two state medals on the year.

On the wrestling mats, Kolesar was the runner-up at the Northeast Regional Tournament, then at states she went 3-2 to place seventh, and reach the podium for her second state medal of the year.

In the spring, Kolesar was key to a resurgent NEB girls’ track & field team, one that took third place at the NTL Championships, its highest finish ever with the new format. Kolesar was second in the 1,600-meter run, and third in the 3,200 and 800 at the league meet, while helping their 4x800 relay finish second.

At the District 4 meet, she helped their 4x800 to a fourth-place medal, and a new school record, missing the state mark by six seconds. In the 3,200, she placed fourth overall for her second district medal of the weekend.

NOTE: Three- and two-sports athletes are given precedence in the yearly award, but a one-sport athlete can post a good enough season to force her way on to the list.

(The Sports Reports covers 24 school districts in four counties, and Corning.)

The Sports Reports 2022-23 All-Region “Girls Newcomers of the Year”
Anaiah Kolesar, freshman, NEB — cross country, track & field; Athens — wrestling:
See above.

Kaitlyn Sutton, freshman, Sayre — basketball, track & field: Athens — soccer: Sutton made a big impact in three sports during her freshman season — two at Sayre, and one for Athens.

Sutton made an immediate impact, and was a key contributor in the Lady Redskins’ basketball improvement this winter. A good ball-handler, Sutton showed a knack for scoring in all facets of the game, and was a sneaky good rebounder. She averaged 7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. She also knocked down 19 3-pointers.

In the fall, a speedy finisher for the Athens soccer team, Sutton had a strong freshman year with nine goals and two assists.

In the spring, Sutton was a double-winner in her first varsity track & field meet, and continued to lead the Lady Redskins throughout the season. At the NTL Championships, Sutton place fifth in the triple jump, and sixth in the long jump. She finished seventh in the 400-meter dash. Sutton qualified for the District 4 Championships in all three events, but could not participate.

Haley Litzelman, freshman, NP-Liberty — basketball, softball:
Litzelman made her presence felt on the hardwoods and softball diamond in her first varsity seasons.

Litzelman joined a senior-heavy Lady Mountie squad as a freshman this season and ran the point like a veteran. She scored 9.8 points and grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game, added 3.2 assists and 3.1 steals per game and made 54 three-pointers on the year.

During the spring, Litzelman hit .402 as the clean-up hitter with 33 hits, including eight doubles, four home runs and a triple. She had 26 runs scored and 36 RBI. The freshman threw 23 innings and was 3-0 with a 0.61 ERA and 38 strikeouts.

Brynn Woodruff, freshman, Towanda — volleyball, basketball, softball: Woodruff came on late for the Lady Knights on the volleyball court, adding another hitter up front.

Her biggest role of the season may have been on the basketball court, where she was second in the team in scoring at 8.5 points per game to help lead the Knights to their fourth straight league title.

On the softball diamond, she anchored Towanda’s shortstop position while hitting .281 with two doubles and four home runs as the Knights reached the district semifinals.

Addison Bly, freshman, Wyalusing — softball and soccer: Bly filled in for the Lady Rams alongside lead striker, Olivia Haley. She had several goals and assists on the year, none bigger than her helper to Haley for their district game-winner.

On the diamond, Bly hit .424 with 11 RBI, four doubles, and two home runs for the playoff- bound Rams.

Makenzie Olmsted, 8th-grader, Waverly — soccer, track & field: Olmsted was a first-year standout on the soccer pitch, and on the track for the Lady Wolverines.

Possessing a high soccer IQ, and a non-stop motor, Olmsted had five assists this season, including one assist in each of her first three varsity games. She also scored on a penalty kick to lift Waverly to a win over Lansing in the IAC Championship game.

In her first varsity track season, Olmsted won the 1,500-meter run, and was third in the 800-meter run at the  IAC Championships. At the Class C Championships, Olmsted she third in the 1,500-meter run, and eighth in the 800. At the State qualifier, she was seventh at the 1,500, and was 11th in the 800 in a personal-best time of 2:33.89.

Olivia Thompson, freshman, Sayre — softball, Athens — swimming: Thompson was a standout on the softball diamond for Sayre this spring, and in the pool for Athens during the winter season.

Thompson stepped up and made an immediate impact on both sides of the ball for the Lady Redskins, who showed a dramatic improvement on the diamond this season. She hit .364 (20 hits in 55 ABs) with four doubles, two triples, eight RBI, 16 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. She was also a Gold Glove recipient on the All-Valley softball team.

During the winter season, Thompson was a mainstay on the Athens swim team, and swam on Athens’ District 4 place-winning 200-meter freestyle (third) and 200-meter medley (sixth) relays. She also placed seventh in the 50-meter freestyle, and ninth in the 100-yard backstroke.

Alexis McRoberts, freshman, Canton — soccer and track & field: McRoberts stepped right in for the Trojans on the pitch — scoring and assisting in equal measure from her winger spot. She had the golden goal in a tight win over Muncy as one of her highlights, while helping Troy to their third straight NTL title.

On the track and field, she competed in an eclectic group of events, winning the NTL title in the discus, while helping their 4x400 relay to earn a district medal, and set a new school record.

Leah Beebe, freshman, Northeast Bradford — soccer and basketball: Beebe stepped into a vacant goal keeping spot for the Panthers, and held down the line all season. She had multiple shutouts on the year as she helped NEB post their best season in program history.

On the basketball hardwoods, Beebe acted as a spark plug off the bench, averaging 4.0 points per game and hitting 17 3-balls on the season.

Megan Vance, junior, Tioga — volleyball, softball: A typical Tioga volleyball player, Vance was an asset all over the floor. She is a force at the service line, and improved at the net as the season progressed. She had 130 service points, 75 kills, and 20 digs.

On the diamond, Vance hit .339 (20 hits in 59 ABs) with two doubles, one triple, 16 RBI, and 27 runs scored. She also walked nine times for a .435 on-base percentage, and an .842 OPS.

Taylor Dalton, junior, Owego — track & field, flag football: Switching over from the softball diamond, the junior won the Section IV Division II long jump title and placed second overall. She was also the team’s No. 2 sprinter behind state qualifier Stella Palladino and was a key performer in relays.

On the gridiron, she was the Indians’ key receiver during their match to a Section IV Division II runner-up finish. She had 43 receptions for 686 yards and nine touchdowns with seven extra-point catches. She also had 11 rushes for 55 yards and 3 TDs. On defense, Dalton came away with eight interceptions for 132 return yards (two pick sixes) and 12 “tackles.”

Delaney Abel, 7th-grader, Corning — girls golf: Abel shot 43.68 on the season. In the postseason, Abel was able to win the sectional title and then finish 25th in the state meet to pace all locals at states.

Ella Devlin, freshman, Elmira — cross country, indoor track & field: Devlin finished 51st at the N.Y. State Cross Country Championships, was fifth the Section IV meet, and sixth at the STAC meet.

Devlin placed sixth in the state qualifiers in the 1,500 meters in 5:16.01 during the indoor season. She had a best time this winter of 3:19.19 in the 1,000 and 11:25.85 in the 3,000. She finished 28th at New Balance Nationals, in the middle school division, in the one mile at 5:38.08.

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