By Christopher Hunt
PAWLING – Lizzie Predmore felt it. Queensbury’s Brittany Winslow felt it too. The one arduous hill on the course at Lakeside Park seeped into both their legs and snatched any ideas of a monster kick.
So Winslow stapled herself to the Shenendehowa junior’s shoulder. Predmore couldn’t shake her. But Winslow couldn’t find another gear and Predmore earned just enough breathing room to win the championship section at the Green Mountain Lake Invitational in 18:20.06, the fastest time of the day.
“The hill really took a lot more out of me than I thought,” Predmore said. “Even though people talked about it going in. I thought I would be able to recover from it. I think it took longer than I thought. I don’t know if I ever recovered from it.”
Winslow led Queensbury to the team title, finishing in 18:23.27. Queensbury won the championship section with 45 points, holding off Arlington, which was second with 59 points and Shen third with 60. Brittany’s twin sister Danielle, who sat out last week’s Ed Springstead Invitational because of pain in her hip flexor, finished fourth in 19:26.93. Teammate Jolie Navataka was sixth in 19:51.46.
“They did well,” Queensbury coach Bob Underwood said. “Danielle was a little off but she’s just getting back. Brittany had a great race today. Jolie also had a great race. We like to come out here early and get a look at the course. That’s really what this is about.”
Predmore held off Brittany Winslow for the second time this season. She put seven seconds on her at the Ed Springstead Invitational two weeks ago. Underwood said he was happy to see her hold on longer this time. Predmore said she never thought she had the race under control.
“She was right there the whole way,” Predmore said. “She’s a great runner. She really helped me. I hope she felt like I helped her.”
Harborfields rookie sensation Kelsey Margey was with Winslow and Predmore through the first two miles but dropped back then collapsed headed into the last mile.
She was met by her coaches and medical staff but recovered about 45 minutes later and left on the team bus appearing healthy.
Ward Melville claimed the Division I race with 49 points, led by senior Mary Kate Anselmini, who finished second in 19:27.69. West Seneca West placed second as a team with 70 points.
“Our main goal was to get a taste of what this course is like,” head coach Tom Youngs said. “Our second goal was to get our second pack to close the gap with the front group.
Ward Melville is strong up front with Anselmini and junior Caroline O’Hea, who finished fourth in 19:59.27. Samantha Reilly was 11th in 21:29.95. But the spread between the top five was almost two minutes, a gap Youngs hopes the team can close before the state meet, which is also at Lakeside Park in November.
One of the ways he hopes to close the gap is by fostering a team atmosphere. The team holds what they call “Fun Fridays” and yesterday was the Amazing Race edition. The team did an activity that ranged from trivia questions to eating strange food while running a lap in between each station. At one of the stations, they had to eat graham crackers with marshmallows and mustard.
In another they threw baloney and cheese onto each other’s faces. The baloney and cheese had to stick before they could run a lap. They admitted they might have enjoyed themselves a little too much Friday.
“(Today) wasn’t the best day,” Anselmini said. “I was definitely feeling the mustard and marshmellows.”
Holly Cavalluzzo of Valley Central won the individual race in 19:10.04, her fourth straight win of the season. Cavalluzzo went straight to the front early and never backed off. Canton won the Division II race with 69 points led by freshman Laura Pierce, who won in 20:00.34. Tully won the Division III race with 67 points. Kira Garry of Friends Academy won the individual title in 19:49.72.
Reach Christopher Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.