2022 NY Boys XC Preview: Class C

Boys Class C Preview

Team Snapshots - Individual Snapshots - Section by Section - Top Team Breakdowns

In the list of the top 10 Class C teams for the 2019 preseason preview, all of the squads had an incoming average speed rating of 140.0 or higher. In this year's preview, the top team had a struggle to hit 137.0. That pretty much sums up the state of affairs among the small schools around the state who were absolutely hammered by the restrictions of the peak pandemic times. So no, this is not the strongest field of teams that Class C has ever had. We'll leave that honorific to a year or two down the road when C is deep and the action is really buzzing again.

And yes, C is the "just right" class that will be the only one this year to include a representative from all 11 sections at States intersectionals. Its school-size numbers are not so grindingly low as in D that they exclude small schools in downstate sections, and not so high as in A and B that the less populous sections are left out of the dance. Its last eleven States team champions have emerged from seven different sections. Oddly, Section 5 usually fields the most Class C teams, but no team from there has ever won the States title in the years from 1960 on when NY expanded to three classes.

2021 Recap 

Irvington had finished as high as 3rd at States three times before in 1973, 2008, and 2018 (update, and 2nd in 1974). Last year all the pieces fell together for the Bulldogs as they packed their top 5 in between the overall 13th and 31st place spots to best Southwestern and Fonda-Fultonville by a 50-80-86 score. The 2022 States host Vernon-Verona-Sherrill was 4th, followed by James O'Neill, and Lansing. The final five teams were Saranac Lake, Wheatley, Norwood-Norfolk, Center Moriches, and LeRoy.

Alden's Kyle Urban finished 7th as a sophomore in 2019 when States had last been held, and in 2021 he put on a dominating performance to win by more than 25 seconds. Allegany-Limestone seniors Jacob Brink and Daniel Casey captured the 2nd and 5th spots, and their senior class comrades took 15 of the top 20 spots. Juniors Sam Ash of Saranac Lake and Bennett Melita of Fonda-Fultonville placed 3rd and 4th to set up a possible showdown at the top in 2022.


The unusual situation in Class C in post-peak pandemic times arises because five of the top six teams at 2021 States suffered heavy losses to graduation, and the only one that didn't get really smacked was just five deep and now needs a new fifth guy.

It's hard to recall a time when a team loses its top five runners from a not particularly deep squad and still starts off at the top of the Class in a preseason preview. But the East Aurora Blue Devils won two straight championships in 2014 and 2015 when they were last denizens of Class C, and this year they drop back down again to their old haunts after a 4th place finish in the States B race. EA's top three of Owen Rung, Ryan Defries, and Joseph Chudy need some reinforcements behind them, and the Blue Devils have often been very good at developing a strong middle core as the season proceeds.

Reigning champ Irvington should be in the hunt for a repeat title with the #3 - #5 guys back from last year after losing the top duo of Lucas Turano and Liam Lyons. Again, the Bulldogs are traditionally good at development, so Brice Pierce, Indy Minkoff, and Ryan Carron should see some younger guys coming up behind them.

Fonda-Fultonville has the strongest returning top 4 of the contenders for States and likely will move to the top of the rankings as soon as it finds a 5th guy to place reasonably well for a squad led by States 4th place finisher Bennett Melita. A few other teams such as Saranac Lake, Southwestern, Alden, Briarcliff, and States host Vernon-Verona-Sherrill could move up into the top 3 with a modicum of pleasant developments in a year that is wide open in Class C.


2021 States 3rd and 4th place finishers Sam Ash of Saranac Lake and Bennett Melita of Fonda-Fultonville join 6th place finisher James Tette of Penn Yan as the top contenders at States. Among the young guys who often take big leaps during their sophomore seasons, two guys to watch based on their track and field performances are Bronxville's Kieran McBride and James O'Neill's Carson Darling. Alden's freshman triplets Gage, Evan, and Caleb Feide could also be stepping up well this year.