It's only the very early rumblings of the season, with the major competitions coming next week. But a few notable names shook the cobwebs off from a Summer's worth of training, and got some racing under their legs.
East Aurora's Ian Russ made waves for himself in the early season last year. After putting up strong times within Section 6 and at the Pre-State Invite, he made real waves in winning a McQuaid AA Title, over the eventual Class B State Champion, Nathan Lawler. Unfortunately, he ran into some season-altering injuries after that, which derailed his Championship Season run.
Now, Lawler is the top seeded returner for New York State, but Russ could be a sleeper pick for a top finish at States and beyond. He opened his season in a modest effort over 4K, running 12:23.23, over thirty seconds faster than second place.
The ranked team in the State in the Pre-Season, Burnt Hills, made a quick showing within their Section. They produced a quick team win over 3-Miles. They had about a 60-second compression 1-5, but sat two expected runners, Nick Hunziker and Mike Messere, from competition. Even then, their 2-4 runners came across with a one-second compression, showing the makings of a strong, pack-running team. The Beltran twins of Schalmont were the only runners to break up the Top 5.
The reigning Class A State Champs came into the season with a few questions after graduation, and only some were answered at this quick debut. Led by senior Quinn Nicholson, the quintet had a 40 second compression over 4K. Their 5th runner is the key to future success, and the possible entries have taken steps to improve since last year.
New kids on the block, Niskayuna, put together a strong effort at their home invitational, a relay meet. Although they did not win, they split their squads evenly between three teams, which would then take 2-4 in the team competition. Put together their top legs, and you have a very strong team. The course was 2400m, the average modified distance. Below is the best composite Top 7.