HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) – Horseheads High School highlighted local track and field talent and honored two coaching legends with their first annual Blue Shoes Invitational.
Ten of the best local high school track and field teams came together at Horseheads High School for the inaugural Blue Shoes Invitational event, on Saturday. The new track and field event saw great action among the student athletes, but opened with a tribute to two local legendary figures.
The event began with a moment of silence to honor 33-year coach at Horseheads Carl Gross and beloved Horseheads track and field coach Tom Jansen.
Gross coached the Blue Raiders in multiple sports including track and football. Following a career that saw several sectional and state titles, Gross continued to share his love for local sports as an official. The long time coach inspired a love for the sports he was a part of and forged long standing bonds with his athletes who fondly referred to him a “Papa Gross.”
Even after his passing in 2021, Gross continues to have an impact on the local community. Gross coached several athletes who reached the college level and more athletes that now impact the area today. Former runners of Gross attended the event in his honor including; Elmira Head Coach Amy Balash, Horseheads Coach Terri Gill and former 100-meter dash State Champion Official Patty Frost Lamoreaux.
Horseheads track and field coach Tom Jansen passed away at the age of 62 in January following a lengthy health battle, but the impact the long-time teacher and coach made on the community is unmatched. Jansen had a successful 31-year career molding some of the best track and field competitors in the area, but what he prided himself on most was instilling life lessons in his athletes.
Jansen’s impact can be seen in many in the community today, but that impact was likely most felt when friends and family of the coach put together a “Drive-by-hello,” when he was in the midst of a tough health battle. https://www.mytwintiers.com/sports/local-sports/drive-by-hello-held-for-longtime-horseheads-coach-tom-jansen/ .
One of Jansen’s goals in his time at Horseheads was to host a track and field event and call it the Blue Shoes Invitational, now the school will host the event annually to carry on the legacy of Tom Jansen and Carl Gross.
Horseheads Boys and Girls Won the Overall Team
Boys Track MVP – Dayzin Legare from Johnson City
Girls Track MVP – Patricia Nester from Johnson City
Boys Field MVP – Andrew Hudock from Vestal
Girls Field MVP – 2-way Tie
Tess Eisner – Horseheads
McKenna Keough – Elmira Notre Dame
1 Horseheads 125
2 Waverly 104
3 Notre Dame 93
4 Lansing 58
5 Johnson City 53
6 Elmira 42
7 Union Endicott 33
8 Edison 20
9 Corning 19
10 Vestal 5
1 Horseheads 96
2 Waverly 87
3 Vestal 71
4 Elmira 61
5 Johnson City 58
6 Lansing 50
7 Union Endicott 40
8 Corning 36
9 Edison 23
10 Notre Dame 18
(Photos Courtesy of: Horseheads Athletics, Waverly Athletics, and nymilesplit.com.)