A look back at the Section 2 Cross Country Championships

By ROB JONAS

SARATOGA SPRINGS – One race lived up to its pre-event billing, while another showdown never materialized at Friday’s Section 2 Cross Country Championships at a soggy Saratoga Spa State Park.

The Class A boys race turned into a battle royale between Shenendehowa and Saratoga Springs, with the Plainsmen pulling out a three-point victory over the Blue Streaks, 60-63. Saratoga had two of the top four runners in the race, but Shen’s pack mentality proved to be the deciding factor.

“Our sixth and seventh runners beat Saratoga’s fifth runner. That was the game right there,” said Shen boys head coach Lance Jordan.

Cross Country Sectionals-8The other expected showdown was in the girls Class B race, where Mohonasen was looking to end Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s dominance. However, the Lady Spartans turned in their strongest performance of the season, as they placed five runners in the top 10 to easily win another Sectional championship with 25 points. Mohonasen placed second with 51 points.

“It was more than we were expecting, but not surprising,” said Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake girls head coach Megan James. “They’re a great late season team.”

“They beat us fair and square. They were the better team today,” said Mohonasen girls head coach Bill Sherman. “We have work to do.”

Cross Country Sectionals-35Most of the individual results were as expected, as Kelsey Chmiel (Saratoga Springs), Rory Graham (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake), Brynne Wright (Greenwich) and Madison Relyea (Mayfield) won the girls races; while Shea Weilbaker (Saratoga Springs), Tyler Berg (Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake) and Brandon Olden (North Warren-Johnsburg) claimed boys championships. The one mild upset was in the Class C/CC boys race, where Rensselaer/Doane Stuart’s Henry Goca passed Voorheesville’s Evan Ensslin in the final 1,000 meters to take the title with a time of 16:07.81

“This my third time qualifying for states, but my first title,” said Goca.

“I tried to push the pace too much,” said Ensslin. “Whenever he tried to push, I tried to push a little bit harder to stay ahead.”

All of the runners had to contend with the muddy, puddle-ridden Saratoga Spa State Park course, which had a difficult time absorbing a morning rainstorm that struck the traditional home of the Section 2 meet. Some runners were slowed by the conditions, but others thrived in the rain.

“Oddly enough, a lot of our girls have had personal bests in the rain,” said Graham.

It was also a time of reflection for long-time Shaker girls head coach and Section 2 girls cross country chair Marbry Gansle, who will be retiring from coaching at the end of the season.

“I just think this [Section 2 meet] is exciting. Everybody’s here, everybody is supportive of each other … the camaraderie between the teams is incredible,” said Gansle.

Gansle will have two Shaker runners to coach at the state meet, as eighth grader Kaleigh Higgins and seventh grader Leoni Griffin placed in the top five in the Class A race to earn two of the five individual berths on the Section 2 team.

“What a great way to go out,” said Gansle. “Two of my young girls going to states.”

For a complete photo gallery from the Section 2 Cross Country Championships, click here.

Cross Country Sectionals-34

Section 2 Cross Country Championships

Class A Boys
Team scores: Shenendehowa 60, Saratoga Springs 63, Guilderland 81, Shaker 141, Ballston Spa 161, Niskayuna 171, Bethlehem 172, Columbia 213, Queensbury 219, Schenectady 224, Colonie 267, Albany 395

Top 10 finishers (* denotes state meet individual qualifier)
1. Shea Weilbaker (Saratoga Springs) 15:09.78 *
2. Matt Cavaliere (Bethlehem) 15:15.46 *
3. Marty Dolan (Niskayuna) 15:24.95 *
4. Ezra Ruggles (Saratoga Springs) 15:32.01 *
5. Alex Hislop (Shenendehowa) 15:34.41
6. Nick Logan (Queensbury) 15:36.71 *
7. Ben Guerin (Ballston Spa) 15:39.57
8. Nicholas Soldevere (Guilderland) 15:39.87
9. Noah Tindale (Guilderland) 15:46.49
10. T.J. Randall (Shaker) 15:51.67

Class B Boys
Team scores: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 17, Scotia-Glenville 82, Schalmont 105, Mohonasen 110, Christian Brothers Academy 123, Albany Academy 167, Averill Park 180, South Glens Falls 207, Glens Falls 248, Gloversville 250, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons 339

Top 10 finishers
1. Tyler Berg (BH-BL) 15:04.13
2. Evan Brennan (BH-BL) 15:11.38
3. Aidan Gillooley (BH-BL) 15:25.90
4. Antonio Beltran (Schalmont) 15:51.64 *
5. Nick Hunziker (BH-BL) 15:57.54
6. Kevin Board (BH-BL) 16:03.22
7. Francisco Beltran (Schalmont) 16:06.65 *
8. Gabriel Winters-Bona (Scotia-Glenville) 16:08.79 *
9. Dante Ubriaco (BH-BL) 16:13.20
10. Ryan Allison (BH-BL) 16:18.53
Also qualifying for states: Nathan Belcastro (Mohonasen) and Nick Graziano (Albany Academy)

Class C/CC Boys
Class C team standings: Catholic Central 60, Stillwater 62, Fonda-Fultonville 101, Voorheesville 108, Greenville 131, Corinth 181, Fort Plain 198, Rensselaer/Doane Stuart 202, Greenwich 205, Granville 258, Cairo-Durham 299, Catskill 315

Class CC team standings: LaSalle 34, Schuylerville 60, Broadalbin-Perth 63, Ichabod Crane 96, Johnstown 150, Cobleskill-Richmondville 163, Coxsackie-Athens 204, Taconic Hills 242, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk 246, Hudson 287, Tamarac 299

Merged standings: LaSalle 67, Schuylerville 113, Broadalbin-Perth 115, Stillwater 126, Catholic Central 133, Ichabod Crane 172, Fonda-Fultonville 211, Voorheesville 233, Johnstown 273, Greenville 274, Cobleskill-Richmondville 300, Coxsackie-Athens 389, Corinth 391, Rennselaer/Doane Stuart 414, Fort Plain 415, Greenwich 417, Taconic Hills 468, RCS 471, Granville 520, Hudson 561, Tamarac 586, Cairo-Durham 592, Catskill 629

Top 10 finishers
1. Henry Goca (Rensselaer/Doane Stuart) 16:07.81 *
2. Evan Ensslin (Voorheesville) 16:26.06 *
3. Sebastian Mills (Johnstown) 16:32.44 *
4. Peyton Howard (Greenwich) 16:36.24 *
5. Joe Yusaitis (Stillwater) 16:47.10 *
6. Gitch Hayes (LaSalle) 16:47.88
7. Shane Viscosi (Fonda-Fultonville) 16:56.21
8. John Gannon (Stillwater) 17:09.34
9. Ethan Burch (Schuylerville) 17:13.47
10. Ronan Coughlin (LaSalle) 17:15.50

Class D Boys
Team scores: Maple Hill 43, Lake George 99, Hadley-Luzerne 113, Berlin 116, Duanesburg 154, Galway 163, North Warren-Johnsburg 167, Saratoga Central Catholic 203, Schoharie 216, Argyle 242, Hoosic Valley 260, Germantown 322

Top 10 finishers
1. Brandon Olden (North Warren-Johnsburg) 15:53.33 *
2. Andrew Drescher (Duanesburg) 16:10.50 *
3. Noah Albanese (Maple Hill) 17:02.19
4. Quinn Pratico (Maple Hill) 17:24.00
5. Holden Decker (Galway) 17:27.10 *
6. Erik Schreiner (Hadley-Luzerne) 17:31.73 *
7. Griffin O’Day (Spa Catholic) 17:42.62 *
8. Jake O’Keefe (Lake George) 17:53.74
9. Andrew Hahn (Schoharie) 18:02.71
10. Reese Steele (Maple Hill) 18:07.08

Cross Country Sectionals-1

Class A Girls
Team scores: Saratoga Springs 37, Niskayuna 76, Shaker 86, Shenendehowa 93, Bethlehem 137, Colonie 175, Guilderland 204, Ballston Spa 230, Columbia 234, Albany 259, Queensbury 332, Amsterdam 372, Schenectady 414, Troy 418

Top 10 finishers
1. Kelsey Chmiel (Saratoga Springs) 16:34.02
2. Faith DeMars (Ballston Spa) 17:36.04 *
3. Ella Kurto (Saratoga Springs) 17:37.74
4. Kaleigh Higgins (Shaker) 17:50.42 *
5. Leoni Griffin (Shaker) 18:03.85 *
6. Liyat Kebbede (Niskayuna) 18:11.21 *
7. Jada Dennis (Shenendehowa) 18:15.33 *
8. Ciara Knott (Saratoga Springs) 18:17:37
9. Kathryn Tenney (Colonie) 18:19.17
10. Emily Bush (Saratoga Springs) 18:20.36

Class B Girls
Team scores: Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 25, Mohonasen 51, Averill Park 118, Scotia-Glenville 128, Emma Willard 138, South Glens Falls 140, Academy of the Holy Names 161, Schalmont 178

Top 10 finishers
1. Rory Graham (BH-BL) 18:22.20
2. Kate Sherman (Mohonasen) 18:34.08 *
3. Jamisen Vendetti (BH-BL) 18:50.61
4. Emily Burke (BH-BL) 18:54.78
5. Mya June (Schalmont) 19:07.97 *
6. Logan Barsalow (Averill Park) 19:19.55 *
7. Skylar Dailey (Emma Willard) 19:21.66 *
8. Madison Whited (BH-BL) 19:24.49
9. Madison Smith (BH-BL) 19:26.96
10. Katie Culliton (Glens Falls) 19:28.00 *

Class C/CC Girls
Class C team standings: Greenwich 16, Greenville 85, Voorheesville 87, Corinth 99, Cairo-Durham 125, Fort Plain 144, Fonda-Fultonville 177, Granville 229

Class CC team standings: Ichabod Crane 70-x, Broadalbin-Perth 70, Albany Academy 71, Cobleskill-Richmondville 77, Schuylerville 82, Johnstown 129
x-tiebreaker

Merged standings: Greenwich 17, Greenville 149, Albany Academy 150, Ichabod Crane 157-x, Broadalbin-Perth 157, Voorheesville 158, Cobleskill-Richmondville 166, Corinth 176, Schuylerville 187, Cairo-Durham 238, Fort Plain 261, Johnstown 286, Fonda-Fultonville 316, Granville 425
x-tiebreaker

Top 10 finishers
1. Brynne Wright (Greenwich) 17:54.74
2. Nina Sgambelluri (Greenwich) 18:30.21
3. Emma Cronin (Greenwich) 18:30.94
4. Teagan Wright (Greenwich) 18:49.68
5. Tess Fitzmaurice (Greenville) 18:51.75 *
6. Sunni LaBounty (Schuylerville) 19:05.37 *
7. Quinn Collins (Greenwich) 19:39.95
8. Emily Skiff (Greenwich) 19:46.42
9. Annabel Gregg (Greenwich) 19:48.98
10. Megan Vianese (Schuylerville) 19:51.11 *
Also qualifying for states: Gabrielle Larsen (Broadalbin-Perth) and Sarah Smith (Johnstown)

Class D Girls
Team scores: Duanesburg 57, Berlin 72, Lake George 135, Catholic Central 149, Maple Hill 153, Hoosic Valley 160, Berne-Knox-Westerlo 161, North Warren-Johnsburg 186, Saratoga Central Catholic 194, Galway 205, Hartford 215, Argyle 233

Top 10 finishers
1. Madison Relyea (Mayfield) 18:18.34 *
2. Elaine Atanasova (Duanesburg) 19:04.38
3. Angelina Pusateri (Maple Hill) 19:16.08 *
4. Michelle Puzulis (Berne-Knox-Westerlo) 19:16.98 *
5. Jen Skeeter (Duanesburg) 19:24.09
6. Lily Czub (Hoosic Valley) 19:34.15 *
7. Elizabeth Radyn (Lake George) 20:00.50 *
8. Emma Jordan (Galway) 20:18.92
9. Elsie Corbett (Berlin) 20:32.15
10. Madison Lillenthal (Mekeel Christian) 20:37.69

 

Cross Country Sectionals-31

 

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