1 - Nick Ryan - Fayetteville-Manlius - In any race he ran, it was hard to miss Nick Ryan. At NXN 2011, he was the runner who took off without any look of fear, to create a gap of 5 seconds on the field. He would hold on to take fifth, and go on to have state record track performances. 2012 started all about one thing: where to go to college. After it was decided to head only 10 miles away, to Syracuse University, Ryan's time was spent preparing for his debut at the Manhattan Invitational. There he would face another runner who had taken the early season off to foucs on academics. Edward Cheserek was the defending Foot Locker Champion, and the only runner to break 12 minutes at Van Cortlandt. Come race day, anticipation was high. The two raced off into the woods together, and emerged the same: together. Cheserek pulled away in the final stretches, to win in another sub-12 mark, but it was Nick Ryan who was on him like a shadow. Nick crossed the line in second, in 12:05, which earned him the self-described title of "the fastest loser in Manhattan History." It would be a week and a half before Ryan would emerge again from training to race hard, and he cruised to first in both his league and Sectional meets. Qualifying out of the way, Ryan was preparing the FM-patented-peak at the State meet. From the gun at Elma Meadows, it was clear that Ryan was a step above the rest. He would go on to crush the course record, finishing 20 seconds clear of the next runner, winning in 15:07.9, which also gave his team second place overall. Back into training, Ryan returned to the home of the Stotans to prepare for regionals. On a day that will go down in history, Ryan ran to his own beat at Bowdoin Park for the Nike Cross Regionals, clearing the riff-raff early, and never letting up his stranglehold on the course record pace. At the top of the hill, he was on pace, but it was his downhill sprint that solidified his mark in history, as he cross the line ten seconds ahead of the previous record helf by Jim Rosa, to win in an unthinkable 15:27.0. Heading to Oregon, Ryan was ready to run with the best. However, running is hard to do on such loose footing. After leading from the gun again, Ryan became tripped up with an athlete from Southlake Carroll, and tumbled. Getting up as the majority of the pack had passed, Ryan had edged his way back up to the lead pack, the extra exerted energy took its' toll, and relegated Ryan to 15th, a hard fought effort considering he had to run to the front of a National field; twice that is.
2 - Eric Holt - Carmel - Always a medal threat the year before, Eric Holt turned into a force in the 2012 season. Starting with the Warwick Wave Invite, Holt proved he had the strength to drop big times, as he won the race in 15:26.21. With some speed under his belt, he took his talents to New Jersey, to one of the fastest courses on the East Coast, the Six Flags Safari Invite. Once there, he clocked the fastest time anyone would nab all season, winning in 14:51.31. Heading back to training, Holt scheduled the Manhattan Invite for two weeks later, entering into the Eastern States race. On race day, Holt took out hard, and held on for a 10th place performance in the loaded field, that saw many All-American harriers. Once the race was over, the mindset had changed, and the final goal was race well at states, and make it to NXN. The regimen adjusted, Holt would go on to win his League race, and pace to third in his County meet. At the Sectional meet, he was ready to blast a time to see how he would fare on the course three weeks later at regionals, and clocked a smokin 15:48, to take first place overall in a stacked Section 1. Securing his spot at States, he again pushed the pace at Elma Meadows, and powered to a 3rd place finish in the Class A race, and earned him a State Medal. His goal still in mind, he took of from the Federation meet, but returned to Regionals ready to run. Pushing the pace as he had done all season, he took third overall in the strong field, and guaranteed himself a spot at NXN. Goal achieved, unfortunately the mud and contact race hampered his run at Portland, but he leaves the season with the fastest overall time.
3 - Ryan Manahan - Marcellus - The first half of a duel between Class B hopefuls, Manahan started his season with a bang, that didn't let up for much of 2012. To put it simply, Manahan had a perfect season. Opening his invitational season with two local meets, Manahan flew to the top of the state rankings after placing first at both the VVS overall merge, and the similar marks at the Baldwinsville Invite. Heading to deeper competition, Manahan went to the McQuaid Invite, where he would meet TJ Hornberger, another Class B hopeful on a similar spurn. Manahan pushed the pace until the finish line, again proving that the first place spot was reserved for him. Taking to Manhattan two weeks letter, Manahan cruised to a win in his letter race. One more Invitational in his legs, Manahan pushed to win the merge in the Marathon Invite. Come championship season, Manahan repeated what he had been accomplishing all season, by taking 1st both in his League and Sectional meet. Heading into States, he looked like the favorite, only challenged by the also improving TJ Hornberger. Unfortunately, Manahan strained his groin in an earlier race, and the agitation was increasing coming closer to states. Heading into the race with a nagging leg, Manahan still managed to power through to take the Class B race, and placing 3rd in the Varsity Merge. He had accomplished what many have tried and failed to do: He ran an undefeated season. After much debate about whether to continue into post-season, he finally chose Foot Locker, and would place 28th.
4 - Sibby Hanson - Arlington - Coming into XC, many had eyes on Sibby Hanson because of his 9:06 indoor 3200m, and his likewise fast 1600m times hovering around 4:15. The preconceptions were not misguided, as Hanson opened up his season pushing through local Invitationals, as he went on to win the Somers Big Red Invite, and the Queensbury Invite up in the talent-heavy Section 2. With Arlington heading to the McQuaid Invite for the first time, Hanson had harriers to help push the pace for the first time in the season, and push he did, as finished first overall in the merge for the day, winning in 14:39.0 for 3 miles. Given a week of rest, Hanson headed back to Section 2 to tackle the Burnt Hills Invite, that saw him take first again against the tough field. Returning home for his sectional meets, he would go on to take first in his league championship, as well as take first in the Section 1 Coaches meet by over 30 seconds. Working his way back to Bowdoin the following week, Hanson improved upon his time again to take 2nd overall in 15:54.63. With a tough field in the Class A race at States, Hanson took sixth overall, earning himself all-state honors. Heading back to Bowdoin the next week, Hanson hit sixteen-flat to have the fastest time of the day in the Federation Championships. One last race at Bowdoin Park in his career, Hanson would take 7th overall in the Nike Cross Regionals.
5 - Jeff Antolos - Notre Dame-Batavia - Being a top rated runner is never easy. Doing it as a Class C runner is even harder. A Class that usually see's a slower average pace, Antolos was either running by himself, or running with teams a few jumps above his own school's enrollment levels. That said, Antolos more than held his own, placing second and first respectively in his opening season efforts at the West Seneca Invitationals, and the East Aurora Invitational. Heading over to McQuaid, Antolos took second overall in his division, behind only out-of-state competition. Returning to his home section, Antolos took first at the Pembroke Invite. At his County Champs, he took second overall, after a monster race by Gabe Rodriguez of Geneseo prevented the first place finish. One week later, at the Sectional championship, Antolos left it all out on the course, placing first and sealing his spot at States. Coming into the race as the favorite, Antolos pulled away early, and held on for a thirty second lead on the rest of the race, to win. Holding off on Federations, Antolos raced to an 11th place finish at the Nike Cross Regionals.
Alt - Alec Peinkofer - Baldwinsville
Alt - Philo Germano - Albany
1 - Mickey Burke - Rush Henrietta-Sperry - Finding the perfect balance between fast times, and shying away from overracing is a key component to any elite harriers schedule. Mickey Burke managed to do both, as he stormed the state scene this year in a way his team had accomplished last year. Starting off at the inaugural Bristol Mountain Challenge, Burke took the title and course record in one sweep, placing first overall. Continuing on, Burke took first at the GCC Cougar Meet, running the fastest time of the day, followed only by teammate Brennan Root. It was at this point that Burke took his talents to more major meets, where he saw a fifth place finish in the McQuaid seeded heat. That finish placement was improved upon two weeks later, as Burke took his letter race at the Manhattan Invitational, garnering the 10th fastest time of the day overall. It was then clear that Burke was now a contender for the state Class A title, and he solidified his chance to vie for that title when he took a commanding 1st at his Sectional Championship. Then, at Elma, amongst an unusually top-heavy year for male harriers in the Empire State, Burke outkicked the crowd to take second overall. He again retained his silver status at the Nike Cross Regional meet, placing second overall in an even more commanding fashion. Out in Portland, Burke proved he was best suited to battle the mud, and became the top placing New Yorker, taking 13th overall at NXN.
2 - TJ Hornberger - Lake Shore - TJ Hornberger was the second half of a dual that was fated to be hashed out in the Class B state race. Back home in his Section, Hornberger started the season off taking two golds in huge margins, at both the West Seneca Invitational, and the East Aurora Invite. In what would be a preview for the State Meet, Hornberger took to McQuaid to face Manahan, and would place 2nd overall in his division. He followed that up with his biggest mark of the season, taking 3rd in the stacked Manhattan Eastern's race, only behind Edward Cheserek and Nick Ryan, who were admittedly, running a race of their own. Hornberger rode his success throughout the rest of his sectional season, coming home to take first in Eden Run, and his League and Sectional races. His ticket to Elma posted, the matchup was set, and the Class B race soon turned into a duel that had been forshadowed all season. Hornberger held on for second after a toe-to-toe race, in a very quick time of 15:35.5, 5th fastest on the day. That speed paid off, as he took the next weekend to rest, and came back to fourth overall at the Nike Cross Regionals, and booked his ticket to NXN. Once out in the home of Nike, Hornberger would cruise to a 56th place finish.
3 - Brian Cook - Pearl River - Running from Class B, Brian Cook had been ahead of the crowd in the race for a sectional qualifying spot. Running just .03 seconds off the leader in the merge, Cook took first in his division at the Suffern Invite. At the Warwick Wave Invite, Cook ran the rolling hills well, and took second in his heat, and fourth overall, against a slew of Class A talent. Two weeks later, Cook ran into a second place finish in his Letter Race at the Manhattan Invite, in a strong 12:45.10. Returning home, he garnered the tri-fecta, as he nabbed first in his League, County, and Sectional meet. Heading all the way out to Buffalo, Brian Cook showed his coaches knew what they were doing, as he peaked at the right time to grab third place overall in the Class B race. Showing he could hang with talent from any class, Cook pressured the leaders at Federations, and had a strong fifth place finish to show for it. One week later, Cook found himself once again amongst the best, and stormed to a 20th place finish.
4 - Thomas Slattery - Chaminade - The lone entry from the Catholic High Schools, Slattery was a member of a quality squad from Chaminade. Progressively getting better, Slattery started out by taking 11th at the Briarwood Invitational. Heading over to the strong fields at the Bowdoin XC Classic, Slattery held his own, to take 12th overall. Next it was down to the other difficult course in New York, where Slattery took first in his division of the Suffolk Coaches Invitational. The first's kept on rolling, as Slattery won his Letter Race at the acclaimed Manhattan Invite (A common thread amongst our All-State list). Heading to Nassau Coaches, Slattery again beat out the Long Island crowd to take first overall. Heading home to the CHSAA, Slattery took second at both CHSAA Championship events, behind 2011 All-Stater Dan Galford. However, Slattery would get his revenge, as he took second overall at the Federation meet, then would return the week after to take 13th in Nike Cross Regionals.
5 - Ryan Uvadia - Shoreham-Wading River - Highlighted by a very quick time at Sunken Meadow, Ryan Uvadia had a strong season running on Long Island. Starting off in Bear Mountain, Uvadia took first in the Suffern Invitational, then moved on to repeat as individual champion at both the Bobcat Run, and the Tom Knipfling Invitational. Clearly on a roll, Uvadia headed to Rhode Island, where he took first at the Brown Invitational, posting the ninth fastest mark on the day. His season cut short by Hurricane Sandy, his second place finish at the Section 11 Divisionals secured his well-earned spot up west. Once at Elma, Uvadia took 9th in Class B, with a very fast 16:08 performance. Heading to Bowdoin Park, Uvadia would take 17th overall at Federations, then return one week later to hit 46th in the Nike Cross Regional.
Alt - Jay Navin - Saratoga
Alt - Tim McGowan - Northport
1 - Bryce Millar - Fayetteville-Manlius - The top two sophomores in New York State have more in common that most. Both were one half of a Senior-Sophomore pair on their team that saw top placing finishes at most major meets. Likewise, when the two met up, they finished closely as well. Bryce Millar, coming off a strong outdoor state season that saw sub 4:20 mile's, opened his season with a handful of dual meets. Race ready, Millar entered into the Manhattan Eastern's race as strong as ever. Pushing the pace with some of the top runners in the country, in what is typicall a senior heavy field out front, Millar took 7th overall on the day, and was also the highest placing underclassmen. Sticking with his limited season schedule, Millar returned to a good two weeks of training, and returned to the scene to take on the league championships, where he took 2nd overall, running 16:19.0. He would repeat that performance again next week, hitting 16:28 to take second, and more importantly, securing a spot for himself and his team in the state meet. Once at Elma, Millar stuck with the leaders as he had done all season, and grabbed a very low 4th spot, and helped his team grab second overall in the team scoring, by only 1-point. Again back into training, Millar would return to Bowdoin Park for the regional, which saw him place 85th last year. Taking to the hills, Millar held off the crowd of would-be qualifiers, and took 8th overall against the extended field. However, misfortune struck once out in Portland Meadows, and an early race stumble relieved Millar of his left shoe, and he pushed on regardless to 120th.
2 - Benito Muniz - Carmel - The other sophomore who stormed onto the scene, Benni Muniz took a heavier race load, but managed to keep up with the fastest of competitors. Starting with the Warwick Wave Invite, Muniz would push to a 15:57 finish to take 3rd overall. Heading down to NJ the following week, he took off with his teammate Holt, and posted a monster second-place finishing time of 15:20.26. Entered in the Manhattan Invite, training took over for two weeks before his return, and Muniz cruised to a 13th place finish in the Eastern's Race. Heading back home to Section 1, Muniz traded weeks off and on with teammate Eric Holt, as he took second in the League meet, but first overall in the County. At the Section 1 Championships, a course which would serve as his qualifier, Muniz threw down a third place mark to send him out west, only behind two of the top seniors in the state. Peaked to perfection, Muniz found his stride out on the golf course, and cruised into 5th overall, right behind another sophomore from up North. That performance gave credence to the possibility of Carmel sending two to NXN, and Federations was used as a recovery week. The following weekend, Muniz hit the slopes of Bowdoin, and powered through to nab the last qualifying spot in the regional, taking 6th in 16:03.0, his fastest time yet at the grueling course. Once out in Oregon, Muniz would power through to finish in the top half, hitting 90th overall.
3 - Mike Branigan - Northport - Coming into the season, many people had Northport on their watchlists, because they had 4 guys under 4:20 for the mile last spring. Mike Branigan spearheaded that effort, kicking off the season with the fastest time of the day at the Suffern Invite. Heading to Bowdoin early for the Bowdoin XC Classic, Branigan placed 7th. 7th that is, behind five of CBA's squad, who are arguably unfairly good. Heading to CBA's home turf, Branigan placed 3rd in his division at the NJ Shore Coaches Invite. Again, with a season cut short by the Hurricane, the truncated rest time forced the qualifiers to be taken from the Section 11 Divisionals, where Branigan had taken first. At Elma Meadows, Branigan ran with the best of them, placing 14th overall. Coming back the following week after little rest, Branigan pushed to 12th on the grueling Bowdoin Park hills. However, an off day removed his chances of qualifying for NXN, as his regional race did not go as planned. Look for big times from Branigan on the track, as a 4xMile State record may be jeopardy.
4 - Marco Pomilj - Collegiate - The only runner representing the AIS Federation, Marco Pompilj came to prominance last year with some swift mile times on the track. In XC, he carried over that strength to a very limited season. While his team traveled to race, Pompilj was relegated to dual meets, and select Invitationals. He started his season at Manhattan, placing 8th in his letter race, with a 13:07.8. Picking up the pace, he took 10th in the Brown Invitational, breaking sixteen for the 5k, hitting 15:58.9. Returning to his Federation, he placed first overall in his version of the state meet, winning in 16:26. At the Federation meet, which merges all, Pompilj proved he could hang with the best of them by placing 7th overall. Returning one week later, Pompilj would place 17th at the Nike Cross Regionals.
5 - Dan Dracup - Ithaca - Sticking local, the now-sophomore only had a couple freshmen division races under his belt. Making the jump to varsity proved fruitful, as he sprinted to third overall in his first outing at McDaniel-Baxter Invite. Heading to Section 3, Dracup took on the crowds at the Baldwinsville invite, placing third overall in a loaded field. At McQuaid, the competition cranked up, and so did Dracup's marks, and he proceeded to grab 9th in his division. Enjoying the harder competition, Dracup next headed to Manhattan to take on the best, and placed similarly as well, taking 16th in his heat. Back home to Section 4, Dracup took 7th overall in the Marathon Invitational. When it came to Sectional season, he ramped up, and took first in both his league and sectional races. Peaking when needed, he would go on to place 19th in the States Class A race, and 30th in Federations.
Alt - Jeremy Spezio - Greenwich
Alt - Nick Ciolkowski - McQuaid Jesuit
1 - Aidan Tooker - Saratoga - Aidan Tooker has been on the "scene" since 7th grade, where he competed in the Great American Cross Festival. But his freshmen outing has seen a big jump in the quality of performances. That all started the first week of competition, when Section 2 held a Mega-Dual between all teams. Tooker took 3rd overall in the Section meet, putting all others on watch. It was clear the Saratoga boys were going to be good this year. Three days later, Tooker returned to the turf to take 20th overall in the Queensbury Invite, once again being the highest placing freshmen. Taking his talents back to the meet where he had gotten started, Tooker placed 89th overall in the varsity division of the Great American Cross Festival. Returning home, the Saratoga boys kicked things into gear, and Tooker became a solid 2nd slot for th Blue Streaks. He went on to take 4th overall at the League Championships, then followed that up with a 5th place at their Sectional meet. Tooker's biggest pressure race came at the state meet, where he would finish 12th overall, leading his Saratoga team to a 1-point victory over FM, to take the state title. Tooker continued his success by way of a 39th place finish at the Federation Meet, again running his team to the overall victory. Returning to Bowdoin the weekend after, Tooker improved his finishing position to 23rd, and sent his team straight to Portland. Once out at NXN, Saratoga maintained their pack mentality, and Tooker finished 86th overall, one of the select few male freshmen to even make the meet at all.
2 - Ben Petrella - Liverpool - New York's official "Fastest Freshmen" after his sub-16 performance at his leaguye championships, Ben Petrella's season has lead to Liverpool being a huge factor in the state rankings. Opening his season at VVS, Petrella finished 13th overall in his division, providing a strong finish to show he was ready to run. Not shying from the bigger races, Petrella headed out to see how he fared at McQuaid, where he would take 36th in his strong heat. Two weeks later, to cap off his invitational season, Petrella hit the Manhattan scene, and took 17th overall in his division on a tough Van Cortlandt course. Taking a week off from racing proved vital, as Petrella returned to the scene for his League Champs, where he took 3rd overall in 15:42. Again proving that that was no fluke, he returned the following week to take 4th overall in his Sectional Championship. That sent him to States, where he would place fifteenth overall, a great finish for a freshmen. That mark also earned him an invite to the Federation meet, where he held on to the stronger competition, and managed to grab 16th overall.
3 - Gavin Gaynor - Saratoga - Saratogan teammate to Tooker, Gavin Gaynor could relate. He too was a freshmen who was putting up legit times against some of the seasoned veterans of the sport. In his opening weekend, Gaynor placed 9th overall in the Section 2 Mega Dual. He followed that up with a 26th place finish at the Queensbury Invite. Heading down to Great American, Gaynor would place 151st overall in the stacked East Coast field. Returning home, in almost a teamwide improvement, Gaynor bumped up to 8th overall in his League meet, and solidified himself as a top five runner for the Blue Streaks. Gaynor again placed well at the Sectional Championship, taking 11th overall, and securing his spot at States. Out at Elma, he would cruise to a 29th place performance, amongst some of the fastest harriers around. It was a one place improvement the following week, when he took 28th overall at the Federation meet, again securing the team win. Returning to Bowdoin for Nike Cross Regionals, Gaynor took 35th overall, and was soon on a plane headed for Beaverton. Out in the mudpit of Portland Meadows, Gaynor pushed through the crowds to finish a strong 74th, to cap off a great innaugural season.
4 - Jake Johnson - Colonie - No stranger to stiff competition, as he made the State Meet as an 8th grader, Johnson returned to the turf of New York to compete. After winning the freshmen division at the Ed Springstead Invite, Johnson moved up to Varsity, where he placed 10th overall in the Section 2 Mega Dual. At the EJ Hermann Invite, with some of the best teams around, Johnson took 8th overall, in 17:25.8. Johnson would return to the freshmen division at the Manhattan Invitational, winning his heat in 5:56.0. Again he would rule the freshmen divisions, by placing first in his County meets own division. Bumping back up to Varsity, Johnson concluded his season with a 9th place finish overall at his Sectional meet.
5 - Jonah Allard - Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons - A key member of the ND-BG squad that saw much success in 2012, Allard started his season by taking 4th in his division at the EJ Hermann Invite. He ventured to Van Cortlandt for the very first time, placing 60th in his division, for the Manhattan Invite. It was back to the top at the Section 1 Coaches meet, which saw Allard grabbing 5th overall in his division, securing the win for his team. Seeing his team as a medal threat for the state title, Allard turned in two very good marks at his league and sectional meet, taking fifth and seventh, respectivly. However, Allard's biggest race of the season came at States, where he finished 18th in Class B, second for his team scoring, which helped them secure their teams first State Title in history. Coming back for regionals, he placed 108th, but ends his season knowing his team did something that no other in his schools history could.
Alt - Kal Strickland - West Genesee
Alt - Matthew McLaughlin - East Aurora
2012 MileSplit NY Dream Team
1 - Nick Ryan
2 - Mickey Burke
3 - Eric Holt
4 - Ryan Manahan
5 - Sibby Hanson
6 - TJ Hornberger
7 - Bryce Millar / Benito Muniz
And just for reference
2011 MileSplit NY Dream Team
1 – Nick Ryan
2 – Dan Lennon
3 – Mike Libruk
4 – Dan Galford
5 – Brendan Smith
Alt – Matt Deyo
Alt – Ryan Manahan