Look Back At The Top Five Local Sports Stories Of 2021
With 2021 coming to an end, let’s take a look back at the year in local sports.
There were many events highlighting the 2021 Utica-Rome area sports scene and here are the Top Five stories, along with a bonus.
2021 Boilermaker- After being held virtually in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Utica Boilermaker Road Race was back. It was the 44th running of America’s best 15K race and for the first time, the race took place in the Fall.
American Boilermaker Winner- For the first time since 1991, an American runner crossed he finish line first. 29-year-old Syracuse native Stephen Rathbun won the 2021 Boilermaker in a time of 47:32. And not to be outdone. 29-year-old Savannah Boucher of New Hartford was the women’s winner in a time of 56:24. Boucher was the first American woman to win the race since 1989.
Utica Comets-New Jersey Devils Affiliation- Utica Comets fans had something to be excited about after the Utica Comets announce d a new 10-year affiliation with the New Jersey Devils. The Comets 2021 home opener was played on October 17, 34 years to the day of first game ever played by the Utica Devils. The Comets set an AHL record, opening the season with 13 straight wins.
Division 1 Hockey Comes to Utica- The Atlantic Hockey Association announced that the 2022 Atlantic Hockey Championships will be held at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica on March 18 and 19. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division 1 Tournament.
Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony- After being postponed in 2020, due to the COVID pandemic, the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 was enshrined in a ceremony in Cooperstown. The class was highlighted by New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter. Other inductees included former Utica Blue Sox player Larry Walker, Red Simmons and the late Marvin Miller.
(BONUS) The Rise of Cedric Mullins- In story with a Utica connection, former Utica Brewer (Blue Sox) Cedric Mullins had a breakout season with the Baltimore Orioles. Mullins was named to the American League All-Star team and won his first Silver Slugger Award.