After running well at Bowdoin Park two weeks ago,the pre-season hype around the Shenendehowa boys seemed to come into question. Sure they were missing a few guys, and sure they won, but they didn't convince everyone that the were a top level team worth a top ten national ranking. After last weekends 18-63 win over a veery good Queensbury team, consider me convinced,
Alex Leuchanka won the race in 13:17. Yes, that is Alex Leuchanka formerly of Warwick Valley, who had to sit out the first few meets of the season with eligibility questions. That all seems straigtened out now and he looked impressive, winning by almost 20 seconds over teammate and defending NXN NY Regional champ Dan Harris, who crossed the line next in the 2.7-mile race in 13:37.
"I felt very strong," Alex said. "I took the lead from about the 800 meter mark and afterwards just kept it going."
Shen then stormed across the line in fifth, sixth, and seventh places as Mike Danaher, Brian Trainer, and Jaime Glover ran 13:45 to 13:51, impressing even their coach Mark Thompson.
"I was hoping to have five guys break 14 minutes and we had five guys at 13:50," Thompson said. "They exceeded my expectations today. Our first man (Leuchanka) ran incredibly well. A time of 13:18 is very, very good."
Shen's only weakness seems to be that their sixth man was back another 27 seconds, but if this front group stays healthy, they look just too tough for any other New York team to hang with.
Yorktown's Manu Kumar continued is breakout season with a win in DII. Kumar, a junior, won for the third straight week, this time in 13:40 while the Suffern boys took the team title 40-62 over Washingtonville. Suffern's times of 13:52 to 14:19 were good enough to finish second to Shen in the merge, edging Queensbury 103 to 125.
The Guilderland girls beat Niskayuna 25 to 84 in DI as Nismayuna's Chelsea Trant ran 16:14 to win by 15 seconds.
"I wanted to make sure to make a break after the first mile. I looked back once but it was clear," Trant said. "It means a lot to win this. After last year, I wanted to make sure I got out ahead early," Trant said.
The Queensbury girls put on the real show for the girls. Running in DII, they beat Shaker 21 to 68 as they swept the top three places. Danielle Winslow ran 15:10 for the win and sister Brittany was second in 15:45. Morgan Mueller was 3rd in 15:49.
"We try to compete against each other," Danielle said about finishing 1-2 with her sister, "but we don't get mad or anything if one of us beats the other."
The race of the day turned out to be the Class C girls, as Greenwich held off Rhinebeck 32-33. Greenwich's Roxanne Heningson won in 15:43 but Rhinebeck swept the next three places to make it close. Rhinebeck's team average was actually 6 seconds better than Greenwich but Greenwich's forth and fifth runners were just a little better to pull out the win.
Reach Tim Fulton at email@example.com
athletes quotes courtesy The Albany Times Union and The Troy Record