The Eastern States Championship race at the Manhattan Invitational is meant to bring together some of the best teams in the country on a course considered a benchmark for evaluating distance runners. With that said, New York proved again to be one of the most competitive states in the US in cross country.
Bayport-Blue Point, St. Anthony’s, Somers and Pearl River all won boys varsity races while Shenendehowa won both boys and girls varsity races. Bronxville, and Greenwich also claimed races on the girls side. The meet certainly made some changes in rankings across the board. But none greater than Shaker making its first appearance of the season on the boys Harrier XC Super 25, after winning the Eastern States race.
Last week, the Bison weren’t ranked at all. This week they are No. 13 while Fayetteville-Manlius boys fell of the list after its disappointing third-place finish. But there’s a look at the rest of the state.
Bayport-Blue Point won the Varsity A race Saturday with 60 points, finishing ahead of Farrell’s 85. BBP put five runners in the top 25 led by senior Connor Crowley’s third place finish in 13:23.47. Teammate Joe Ray followed in fifth in 13:39.43 as BBP posted a 48-second 5-man spread. Farrell’s Daniel Galiford scored the individual victory. The performance moved them into first place in the New York State Class B team rankings this week. Last week they were ranked second behind Marcellus in Section 3.
Somers claimed the Varsity C race with 93 points. Shoreham-Wading River was second with 131. Charles Conway led the Tuskers in third. He finished in 13:36.14. Justin Zorn (13:53.05) and David Samuel (13:58.90) placed 12th and 15th, respectively. Somers dropped to seventh from its sixth-place standing in the state rankings last week as Queensbury, moved from eighth to fifth in Class A. Washingtonville’s Martin Hehir won that individual race 12:54.51. Everyone said they were off and slow that day.
“When they came in, I didn’t think it was good enough,” Somers coach Tim Fulton said. “They raced to win and they won. That’s what you come here for, to win. We came in thinking that we had a chance to steal one and we didn’t run our best and we one. If anything it gives us more confidence.”
St. Anthony’s continued its hot streak with a win in the Varsity D race, while posting another impressive 5-man spread. This time the Friars put 40 seconds between their first and fifth man. Junior Thomas Diliberto is emerging as the team’s lead runner in the season and St. Anthony’s seems to be mature before our eyes each week. There was only nine seconds between St. Anthony’s 2-5 runners. The Friars topped Queensbury and Cicero-North Syracuse with 87 points. Queensbury, with its 34-second spread finished second with 105 and CNS third with 137. St. Anthony’s coach Tim Dearie said he wasn’t even sure he would bring his team to the meet.
“My team is so tired,” Dearie said. “I thought about scratching the meet and just giving them the weekend off. But they can’t think that the only time they can run with when they feel perfect. …. I think they learned a lot today. Their concentration today, that’s what surprised me.”
The Friars remain the top team in the CHSAA and performance moved them up one spot, to No. 9 on the Class AA state list.
Shenendehowa’s young squad held off Smithtown and Suffern in the Varsity E race. “We ran to our plan,” Shen coach Mark Thompson said. “We wanted to put 3 in the top 10 and 5 in the top 20.”
Close enough. Shen placed 3 runners in the top 14 and 5 in the top 25. They scored 69 points, edging Smithtown’s 73. Suffern, led by Tyler Frigge, who won in 13:17.33, was third with 112. Senior Chris Shartrand led Shen in eighth place, finishing in 13:46.16. The team posted a 29-second spread, an encouraging number as Thompson tries to rebuild his team, which moved a spot up to 13th in the Class AA rankings this week.
Now North Rockland finished second in Varsity F. But the Red Raiders were without Alex Andre, who was held out by coach Barry Baloga, Francis Kelly, who had to take his SAT exam and Brett Bernard (plantar fasciiitis). Senior James Naglieri led the team in fifth in 13;09.57. North Rockland still managed to move up two spots, into sixth in the Class AA rankings. Eddie Owens of Packer Collegiate won the race individually in 12:54.51.
Pearl River used its 28-second compression to win the Varsity G race. Tom Lappas led the team in 13th in 13:50.54 while the Pirates first three runners went 13-15-18.
On the girls side…
Besides Fayetteville-Manlius’ dominant, and expected, win in the girls Eastern States race, there were some other standout performances from local athletes as well. Lizzie Predmore led Shenendehowa’s win in the girls Varsity B race. Shen won with 80 points. Predmore clocked 14.49.28 on the 2.5-mile course, the second-fastest time of the performances outside of the Eastern States Championship. There were 37 seconds between Shen’s 2-5 runners, a good sign for Shen. Freshman Maria LaMontagne of Cicero-North Syracuse posted the fastest non-Eastern’s time in 14:44.50, winning Varsity A.
Shen jumped two spots in the Class AA state rankings this week, into third, and made its first appearance on the overall state list at No. 10.
Bronxville controlled the Varsity C race with 83 points. Broncos’ coach Jim Mitchell said it was just another step forward a team that he expects to be much better late in the season. Meredith Rizzo (15:38.98) and Mary Cain (15:48.94) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, for Bronxville, ranked second in Class C behind Greenwich. It’s worth pointing out, yet again, that Bronxville’s top 5 included four freshmen. Rizzo was the only sophomore.
“We were OK,” Mitchell said. “We were a little better than last week (at the St. Anthony’s Invitational). Eighty-three is not bad. It’s always good to win here but you’re looking to November. So right now we’re fine.”
Sachem East junior Rachel Paul won the individual race in Varsity C in 15:08.23. Paul didn’t hesitate in saying she missed racing 800 meters, where she finished sixth at the state meet last spring in 2:12.58. Paul intelligently worked her way through the large pack and took the pace early but used the downhills in the second half of the course to navigate her way to the front. Paul then used half-mile speed to hold off the field.
Class rival Greenwich won the Varsity F race. Betsy Edinger paced Greewich in fourth, finishing in 15:37.91 while Victoria Houser (16:30.95) and Madeline Montague (16:31.33) were 13th and 14th respectively.