Orangeburg, NY - Death, taxes, and the Pearl River girls winning XC dual meets. For nearly 30 years, these three things were the only ones of any certainty, as the Pearl River girls were riding the longest consecutive dual meet streak in the State, and quite possibly the country. Beginning on September 18th, 1990, it is believed to be the first girls streak to ever surpass 200 wins. Twenty more would be added before Tappan Zee toppled the lady pirates yesterday afternoon, 27 to 30.
However, the streak will end at 221 wins. Because the meet was a double dual, with Nanuet included, things become tricky. Pearl River beat Nanuet 17 to 46. Because the fifth runner from Pearl River was in before both fifth runners from either Tappan Zee or Nanuet, that dual meet was decided first. In addition, Pearl River achieved an automatic win, when it finished 1-2-3 ahead of Nanuet's first.
It wasn't Pearl River's first such streak. From 1978 to 1990, Pearl River was riding an 86-meet winning streak in cross country, but was defeated by Nanuet, 23 to 32. After that race? Pearl River simply started their streak again, with what was now the current streak. That also makes them 299-2-0 since 1978, a run which also includes 33-straight Sectional Titles, another State Record.
Pearl River had once held a similar streak on the track. Following a dual meet loss to Albertus Magnus on April 8th, 1986, the lady pirates went on for an 193 Spring Track Dual Meet Streak that lasted until April 18th, 2014. Behind all of the XC wins, and many on the track, Dan Doherty has lead the way.
The record is thought to be the National Best. After much research in 2016, it was the longest running girls streak on record.
For the boys, Christian Brothers Academy of New Jersey holds that honor, currently in progress at 352-straight. New York has the third and fourth place teams on that list, with Fredonia boys having a run of 250 (1971-1984), and Addison boys at 247 (1998-2008).
On the girls side of the action, it is the aptly named Victor girls team of Section 5 giving chase, on a current streak of 174. New York holds another distinction, as the Fayetteville-Manlius girls tennis team holds the national record for consecutive dual meet wins in any sport at 329.
As for combined wins? That distinction goes to Dave Hennessey of Penfield. He has surpassed the 500-win mark on the boys side of XC in 2014, and has done so as well for the girls. It is the biggest combined total of any coach. He is currently recognized by the National Federation of High School Sports as the winningest coach in the sport of Cross Country. Doherty has a total of 582 for just for the girls side, which surpasses Hennessey on the girls side.
Dual Meet: Tappan Zee vs. Pearl River & Nanuet
September 12th 2015
Tappan Zee High School
Distance: 2.5 miles
Weather: Sunny, high 70's