New York - It may only be the first weekend for most high schoolers, but the harriers have officially been at it since August 20th. While most teams will have their first meet in the books next week, several teams elected to not wait out the week. Check out below for only some of the highlights from the area.
Success Sans Seven
The Academy of The Holy Names and Bronxville have more than a couple things in common. Despite both teams falling under "lesser" enrollment figures (class B and C respectively), both teams have found themselves and their girls teams on National Watchlist's around the country. Both teams took the option of taking on competition this past Saturday, with Holy Names find competition local at the Niskayuna Ekiden meet, while B-ville choose to migrate to New Jersey for the Randolph Invite. Just to add to the similarities, both squads took to the hills missing two members of their top 7, with Holy Names Catherine Maloy and Jacqueline Willsey and Bronxville's Mary Cain and Meredith Rizzo missing from the finishing five. Despite the absences, both teams proved why they made the watchlists, as Bronxville finished strong with 19 points, solidified with an overall win by Emelie Hoffer. For Holy Names, the meet was a little different. Scored as a relay over 2500 meters, Names' put in four in the top five, with Estela Smith finishing 9th. A strong opener for both teams.
Breen Braves Weather
It's no secret that the weather was the real challenger for some races this weekend. Tornado's and heavy rains threatened the state all day long. The Rob Breen Invitational was no stranger to these conditions, despite having some notable performances. For the boys, CHSAA favorite Dan Galford put his first race under his belt, winning in 17:19, just over fellow Farrell'er John Bentivigna. While the rains prevented fast times, Pearl River's Kelly Hayes took the girls race by over 30 seconds, winning in 19:38.2.
Girls' Got Talent
In the first annual Parma Park Invite, Canandaigua's Kennedy Jensen showed her speed by leading her team to 1st with an 18:12.0. With one of the highest speed ratings (140) of the weekend for the girls, Jensen leads an always strong Canandaigua out of Section 5, a team who always seems to have strong showings. A little more east, it was all about the showdown between Suffern and Cornwall at the Washingtonville Wave Invite. Kate Zendell led Suffern to a tight top finish over Cornwall (26-31), but the battle was hard fought. Suffern took top 2, with Cornwall taking the next 3. Next across the line was Suffern's Ursula Svoboda, followed by Cornwall's Dara Cuffe, younger sister to 2010 Gatorade Athlete of the Year Aisling Cuffe. Demonstrating that cross country can come down to the strength of the 5th, the race played to Suffern's ultimate favor.
Boys Back Too
Back to Section 2, which many claim to be the hardest to make it out of for a spot at states, lives up to its reputation at the Guilderland Invite. In the Varsity Large Schools race, we saw the debut of last years fastest freshmen Marco Pompilj of Collegiate. Finishing the 2.7 mile course 7th in 14:26, the finish served as an aid to teammate's Ty Buckley's 2nd place finish in 14:13, which helped secure their first place team finish. But the drama resided in the Small Schools varsity race, which came down to 6th man decision between Maple Hill and Chatham. As the rule dictates, when any teams score is tied, the decision goes to the higher placing 6th man, which in this case was Maple Hill's Norm Bullinger.
Some teams took to the busses this weekend as well, as Bayport-Blue Point's boys took 2nd place at PA's Spiked Shoe Invitational. More west, Honeoye Falls-Lima took both their boys and girls teams to PTXC Invite, where both squads made top ten overall.