Flashback Friday Video: Saratoga Boys Eke Out XC Win At Elma

Each Friday, we'll be releasing a previously unreleased Race Video from the Archives

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The fall of 2012 was a time of troubles as Hurricane Sandy crushed the eastern US coast and two days before Halloween devastated New York, especially the eastern part as Long Island and NYC were swamped and the Hudson Valley northward had massive damage. Among the many things cancelled that year was the New York Marathon, and even a few professional sports events such as the first game for the Brooklyn Nets in their new home at Barclays Center had to be postponed.

The NYSPHSAA XC championship was scheduled for November 10th at Elma Meadows about 20 miles to the southeast of Buffalo, and overall it was great year to have the meet far from the chaos in eastern NY. A big problem was that only the Sections above the Lower Hudson Valley were able to hold their State Qualifier meets pretty much on schedule a week before States. Long Island was so battered that no SQs were held and the teams and individual runners were selected from the results of the usually lightly contested Section 8 Conference and Section 11 Division meets held in the days before Sandy. There was some controversy there. Sections 1 and 9 held their SQs half a week late on the Tuesday before States, and that short rest was hardly optimal. Still, getting anything in was a relief, and three teams plus three girls individual champions from S1 or S9 were able to win at Elma, so it can be done.

Only one of the team battles was very close that year, and it came in a Boys Class A race that a Fayetteville-Manlius squad had won the year before with Nick Ryan in 1st in a 63-64 win over Rush-Henrietta. In 2012 though it would be the Saratoga Blue Streaks who would turn the tables on the Hornets with another 1-point squeaker of 57-58 even though they had a 12 second average per runner gap with FM. Much of that deficit was because FM's Ryan and Bryce Millar were well up top in 1st and 4th, while Toga's top 2 of Jay Navin and freshman Aidan Tooker were in 10th and 12th and the rest of the team in between 24th and 29th. FM actually exceeded its Tully Runners 1st place projection of 66 points by a lot, but Saratoga bettered its 3rd place pick with two freshmen in its top 5 by a whopping 28 points, 57 instead of 85. Rush-Henrietta junior Mickey Burke finished 2nd and 22 seconds behind Ryan, and the next year at Queensbury he would join with Millar and Northport's 14th place Mikey Brannigan to give us one of the best three-way duels to the finish line ever at States.

No stopping the Toga Party celebration in 2012 at Elma Medows.