Girls State Preview Predictions
West Seneca West
Team: No way I’m betting against Fayetteville-Manilus. They are really just that much better than everyone else and for all intents and purposes, the season just started for the three-time national champs. My feeling is that FM coach Bill Aris is only now going to start truly unleashing his team and they will only get better from here on out.
With that said, I was thoroughly impressed with Saratoga Springs at the Section 2 Championships last Saturday and the way they handled Shenendehowa at Saratoga Spa State Park. Not to mention that as I write this, Tim just called them “the best team ever in the history of sports, in any sport.” Yes, meant high school for any New York Yankees fans. Saratoga Springs will battle it out with Burnt Hills for second in the merge as well.
Individual winner: I’m going with FM’s Courtney Chapman. She’s seasoned. She’s consistent and simply the best runner in the field. Teammate Hannah Luber will be right behind her. Don’t worry. I’m not forgetting about Shen’s Lizze Predmore. She should be in the mix as well.
Tim’s Prediction: Anyone that picks against FM hasn't watched this team at all this season. Sure Saratoga has been coming on strong of late and I don't see anyone else finishing 2nd. FM is trying to win Nationals again thios year so I agree with Chris that FM has another level in them. As for the individual, either Prerdmore of Shen or Chapman. Chapman seems closes to unbeatable here but Predmore's sub 17:00 at Saratoga Spa was just silly fast. IF Chapman faulters, it's Predmore's race.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
Team: Burnt Hills. To me it’s simple: They got passed Queensbury which is difficult enough in itself. If they can survive that, I’m sure they won’t have much trouble with Cardiac Hill at Sunken Meadow Park. From talking to coach Shaun Zerf, this team is still coming together and the backend is probably better than they’ve looked so far. At the Section 2 meet, freshman Alyssa Drapeau impressively held off two charging Queensbury runners in the stretch. Saratoga’s fourth and fifth runners were only slightly better than BHBL’s at that meet which tied them at 54 in the merge. If it’s that close again then you give the edge to Saratoga Springs. But as far as the Class A race goes, Burnt Hills will dominate same way they did last year when they won with 31 points.
Individual winner: I’d like to say how much it personally pains me to think that Roslyn’s Emily Lipari could lose this race and in all likelihood, she could very well win her 3rd straight state title. But I’m going with Cornwall newcomer Aisling Cuffe. The sophomore has been incredible this season and is arguably the best distance runner in New York State right now. Lipari tends to sneak up on you because she wasn’t at all the biggest meets this season. Without question this is the most exciting individual race of the day. Both girls are in love with cross country and both are strong on hills. My guess is that they’ll pop out of the moat together.
Tim’s prediction: I'm picking Danielle Winslow of Queensbury, though I wuld like to pick the girl with the proven past - Emily Lipari. Lipari ran her best race of the season last week at her qualifier meet and she knows this course better than any of the girls. Lipari has proven she can kick with some of the best girls around. Still, her's my top 4: Winslow - LiPari - Cuffe - Roecker. I can't believe I'm picking Roecker 4th but this field is deep. Could be the best race of the day. As for the team, Mendon is good but Burnt Hills is better. If they run true to form, they'll win this one.
Team: East Aurora has been atop the state rankings in Class B all season. Pearl River has been second. Note: Pearl River coach Dan Doherty does the girls state rankings. Just to be clear, he is not under-rankings his team but he is of the school of thought that East Aurora is a highly-competitive team and the defending champs. Pearl River hasn’t beaten them this year, so they get the benefit of the doubt with judging the rankings. All of that withstanding, my choice is Pearl River. The Pirates haven’t really had an opportunity to be greatly pushed this season. East Aurora is the favorite. My pick is still Pearl River.
Individual winner: Lauren Mullins of Johnson City. I haven’t seen her race this season but after some research, Mullins, just a freshman, finished eighth at the state meet last year. She’s dropped a full minute off her times from earlier this season and ran 18:05.30 at the Section 4 championships.
Tim’s prediction: Even though I coach a team that competes against Pearl River on the track, I am still a Pearl River fan. So with that said, I'm picking them. I think they have proven they can win this race, they know this course better than most teams as they raced here and practiced here. East Aurora will be very tough to be and I expect this to be the best team race of the day. Pearl River girls wear red tight shorts if you're trying to follow this race. Johnson City's Lauren Mullins seems to be a bit better than the rest of the field, so I'll take the safe route and pick her, but don't be shocked if North Shore freshman Sam Nadel upsets on her home turf.
Team: Bronxville isn’t the team that it should be this season. But it seems that wherever someone falters, someone else emerges. First eighth-grader Emelia Phillips became one of the top runners on a team looking for depth now last weekend, another eighth-grader, Meredith Rizzo finished as the team’s #2. The fact is that if the Broncos can come together on the same day they can be a tremendous team but so far at the very least they’ve proven to be resourceful. That doesn’t mean that Rhinebeck won’t be waiting for a mistake though.
Individual winner: Samantha Watson of Schuylerville. She has continually improved through the season. The sophomore won the Class C title at the Section 2 championships and has shown that she can lead a race if needed.
Tim’s prediction: I will be rooting for Bronxville to win this one since I am good friends with coach Mitchell, but as far as who I think will win, I really don't know. Bronxville has dealth with some inconsistancy this year but their youngsters have stepped up nicely. Rhinebeck has looked very capable all season. I'll pick Bronxville but I'm hoping for a 5 point meet and will not be shocked if Rhinebeck win. Erin Cawley should win this title by maybe the biggest margin of the day.
Team: Ah, an easy one. Greenwich. Greenwich and then after that, you guessed it, Greenwich. This team not the same team that dominated Class C at the state meet last year but the returners will do the same in Class D Saturday.
Individual winner: Greenwich’s Roxanne Henningson. Not much explanation needed. She’s the best in the field.
Tim’s prediction: Greenwich wins this - hands down. But can Amanda Moreland of Bloomfield win here? I say yes she can. She's not well know and not the popular pick, but this is my upset of the day.