Class C Preview
|2017 Season Overview for Class C|
years after winning a second straight States D title that had earned them a
transfer to Class C, the Mount Academy Eagles soared to the top again
for a third States crown. The win came by a 50-67 score over defending
champ Watkins Glen, as the Senecas stayed close to the Eagles through
the first three and four spots but just did not have that depth that
Mount has made its trademark. Glens Falls senior Chris Hughes completed a
winding journey that saw him take 9th in States C in 2015, then 3rd in Class B in 2016 after the Indians moved up in 2016, then the win
back down in Class C in 2017. Hughes powered away from Bronxville's Matt
Rizzo and Irvington's Luke Carmosino in the States mud to win by eleven
seconds. Rizzo was tops among the Class C runners a week later at
Federations, running to a 15th place and a 178 TR speed rating.
Other highlights in Class C for 2017 included the appearance of Newfane at States after a hiatus of 45 years and the first ever appearance of Marcus Whitman, though the school was the site for the 2003 state championship. The Panthers finished 3rd and Wildcats took 4th to set themselves up for title runs in 2018. Vernon-Verona-Sherrill was back at States for the first time in 53 years, and like Marcus Whitman was the host of a state championship back in 2011. And as for the young guys at States, Mount Academy's Darren Baird was tops among the freshmen with a 15th place finish in States C, but any future big finishes for him will need to be in Class B.
reward for any private school that wins a state championship these days
is a quick promotion to the next level, at least for the boys or girls squad
that does the winning (CBA Syracuse girls are now up in B while the boys
stay in C). Mount Academy now resides in Class B, and instead of likely
having a repeat winner at States C in 2018, the action is wide, wide
open. Seven teams begin the year rated within 8 points of each other at the
top, ranging from the team that finished 2nd to Mount at Sectionals last
year to the team that was runner-up at States.
The top-rated team now for 2018 is a James O'Neill squad that
finished 42 points behind Mount in S9-C last year. The Raiders have a
senior duo of Tony Njoga and Carl Tyce on the lead and just enough depth
to make them slight favorites in C this year. Close behind the Raiders
is a Saranac Lake team that finished 5th at States last year and that
has a group of younger runners who could boost the Red Storm into a
major disturbance in C. Third rated is a Hannibal squad that returns all
of its varsity from last year including States medalist Ben Dennison
and is the favorite in the always chaotic pressure cooker of the S3-C.
the top three, the story gets more complex. Bronxville has the top two
rated runners in Class C on the lead, but the Broncos finished 8th in
their section last year with very thin ranks. Marcus Whitman broke
through at Sectionals for the first time last year and finished 4th at
States, but frontrunner Gabe Stash is gone. Dobbs Ferry hasn't been to
States in four decades but has a fairly balanced mix of veterans and
young guys on the rise. Watkins Glen won the state championship two
years ago and has States medalist Gabe Planty on the lead, but it is in
urgent need of a productive recruiting campaign.
A pack of other teams including last year's States teams Pleasantville, Newfane, and Vernon-Verona-Sherrill and also Westhill down from 2017 States B are all contending to make this one of the wildest years in Class C ever, as the champs from any of 8 different sections could have a shot at a States crown. That is exactly what you want to see in States competition.
Matt and Alex Rizzo are back from 2nd and 5th place finishes at States
last year and will be big favorites at the championship this year, possibly even
replicating the feat of Holland Patent's set of twins Dylan Racha and Cody
Racha in 2010 for a sweep of the top two places. Next highest in the
ratings are two juniors who finished a little further back in the States
mud last year, Adirondack's Tyler Fauvelle and Watkins Glen's Gabe
The Class C runners head out at States with 2017 champ Chris Hughes on the far right.
|Top 5 Teams at 2017 States|
|Projected Top 5 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
|Projected Next 10 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
Glens Fall's Chris Hughes charged home to win the States C race by ten seconds.