Three of the top New York prep athletes of all-time met on the starting line in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Saturday for a rare cumulative glimpse of the dominance in cross country that the Empire State has produced. Three-time NXN champ Katelyn Tuohy (Class of 2020), Foot Locker champ Aisling Cuffe (Class of 2011), and IAAF World Junior winner Mary Cain (Class of 2014) all found their way to the Lehigh University Cross Country Course for the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships.
All three female athletes are now in very different stages of their careers. For Tuohy, it was her first chance of the season to run against non-HS competition, something she has only ventured into once before. For Cuffe, now a pro athlete competing for Saucony, it was a culmination of some very good marks on the road racing circuit. And for Cain, it was the first step back into competitive running, after some time recovering from recurring injury.
The race went out hard, however, with a field of over 400 athletes, the front was very compact. At 3.5K, over halfway of the 6K distance, Cuffe and Tuohy were in the top five, while Cain was 13th, just six seconds off the lead. As the race proceeded, Cuffe gained an advantage over Tuohy, although the high school senior stayed just off her heels. On the uphill finish, brutal for a murky, muddy day, Cuffe managed to pull away, finishing for the win at 20:07. Tuohy took second overall in 20:11, while Cain finished 33rd at 21:11, a strong finish for where she is in her fitness cycle.
Other Notable New Yorkers
The race wasn't limited to just three New York stars. Other names included Maine-Endwell Coach and Alumnus Megan Jacoby, Bay Shore Standout Laura Cummings (Class of '04), Queensbury Standout Danielle Winslow (Class of '08), and North Shore NXN-Finalist Liz Caldwell (Class of '13).
For the men's 10K, New York saw NXN Finalist Eric Holt (Class of '12), State Steeple Champ Brennan Root (Class of '13), Ticonderoga Standout Lee Berube (Class of '08), and many from the NJNY Hoka Group based in New York.