ELIZABETHTOWN — The Saranac Lake boys and Saranac girls ran past the competition to come out on top as the Section VII cross country champions at Cobble Hill Golf Course Friday.
James Catania took first place for the Red Storm with a time of 15:10, and the Chiefs' Rachael Woodruff finished first with a time of 17:35.
The Saranac Lake boys finished with 17 points to earn them the championship, and Plattsburgh High (70) and Saranac (94) took the next two spots.
Catania ran alongside second-place finisher Peter Fogarty (15:11) for the majority of the race.
“The weather was a challenge, but I think we all overcame it together. It's a very fast course so it's exciting to be able to run here,” Catania said.
The two runners, as well as the Red Storm's Andrew Fogarty, practice together to keep pace and push each other to go faster.
Andrew Fogarty took third with a time of 15:27.
“It's like, Peter has a twin but I like to think of myself as his running twin because our strides will match up and we work well together,” Catania continued.
“We just kind of like to stick together, and we know that we're both pretty much the same speed and that we like having fun together,” Peter Fogarty said.
Saranac Lake returns to the state championships to defend its NYSPHSAA Class C title, and Catania returns for his third trip to states and Peter Fogarty for his second.
“We want to win the state championship again. That's the goal,” Peter Fogarty said.
According to Red Storm coach Bill Peer, the boys typically practice running together in packs and try to keep the same mindset at race time.
“They run a good pack and Micah McCulley is right behind them, he was fifth today and pretty close behind them,” Peer said. “We have a good compression, we have a good pack, and they train well together and work well together.
"We'll start to focus in on the state meet now that we've won sectionals and be prepared for it.”
The Class B winners for both the girls and boys was Beekmantown, and the Class D boys winner was Moriah/Boquet Valley with 39 points, followed by Seton Catholic with 41 points.
Jake Glicksman finished with a time of 15:32 for Seton Catholic, and Sam DeJordy second for the Knights in 16:19.
“We're very pleased with our boys,” Peer said. “They work really hard, they're great teammates, very focused and they know that each week in November you've got to win if you want to run the following week.”
The Chiefs' girls finished with 37 total points and ran ahead of Saranac Lake (51), Peru (69), the Hornets (105) and AuSable Valley (107).
Woodruff took off early and paced ahead of the pack to come out victorious, beating the Patriots' second place finisher Lily Potthast (18:24) by almost a minute.
Plattsburgh High's Nora Graves rounded out the top three with a time of 19:39, and Saranac's Gillian Miner (19:47) took fourth.
Woodruff has been preparing all season to return to states in the best condition she can.
“My strategy has been to stay healthy and just do everything I can to get better and improve, including all the little things like getting enough sleep, eating right and just trying to train smart and not get injured.”
This is also Woodruff's senior year on the course and to win meant a lot to her and her teammates.
“It's really special, especially to be here with the team, trying to compete and go to states, and with states being at home this year, it was just really fun to be out here with my team and try to qualify for states and just finish hard,” Woodruff said. “I've been running on this course since I was in eighth grade, so it was nice to finish the way I did.”
According to Chiefs coach Jim Medeiros, Woodruff completed the course last year in 17:28, and she holds two of the four fastest times for girls in the history of that course.
“We just got some great races from Gillian Miner and Danielle Borner, and we were able to get our seventh runner, Kaelyn Fay, in before Saranac Lake's fifth runner to displace them further back,” Medeiros said. “I was a little bit shocked that it would be that much. It could've went either way.
“It was nice to win by that much. If it had been scored last week, we would have lost, so the margin of victory was very surprising.”
Although the Red Storm girls did not win, they will still be sending two of their runners to the state meet.
“We will have Gwen Mader and Katie Samperi return to the state meet,” Peer said. “We're happy for them that they'll get to do that as individuals and that they will continue for us.”
Peer also said that he was absolutely pleased with today's performance overall.
“I thought that Saranac had a great race. It doesn't take away from a really good season for us as we were the CVAC regular season champions,” Peer said. “I thought that Saranac outperformed us today, they were ready to run, they're well-coached, they have a great front-runner, they have a great team pack and it was their day. We're proud of our kids, just disappointed in the result.”
The state meet will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16, starting at 9 a.m. on the Plattsburgh State course.
“I can't believe it,” Medeiros said. “If you had asked me halfway through the season if we were going to win today, I would say absolutely not, but they turned it around and they saw it coming back and (Friday) they went over the top.”
Section VII State Qualifier
1. Beekmantown 15.
1. Saranac Lake 17, 2. Plattsburgh High 70, 3. Saranac 94, 4. Peru 104, 5. AuSable Valley 124, Northeastern Clinton 131.
1. Moriah/Boquet Valley 39, 2. Seton Catholic 41, 3. Lake Placid 43, 4. Ticonderoga 110.
1, Goodwin (BCS), 15:58. 2, Barber (BCS), 18:52. 3, Laughan (BCS), 19:03. 4, Bibeau (BCS), 19:04. 5, Curilla (BCS), 19:25. 6, Sand (BCS), 19:57. 7, Mageria (BCS), 20:44. 8, Berry (BCS), 22:07. 9, Moravec (BCS), 22:31. 10, Saliba (BCS), 22:42.
1, Catania (SLCS), 15:10. 2, P. Forgarty (SLCS), 15:11. 3, A. Fogarty (SLCS), 15:27. 4, Glicksman (SC), 15:32. 5, McCuller (SLCS), 15:33. 6, VanBuren (M/BV), 15:50. 7, Goodwin (BCS), 15:58.0. 8, Gilbo (NCCS), 15:58. 9, Campbell (PHS), 16:04. 10, Skutt (LP), 16:07. 11, Jakobe (SLCS), 16:08. 12, Ash (SLCS), 16:13. 13, DeJordy (SC), 16:19. 14, M. Flanigan (LP), 16:24. 15, Daby (AVCS) 16:25.
1, Glicksman (SC), 15:32. 2, VanBuren (M/BV), 15:50. 3, Skutt (LP), 16:07. 4, DeJordy (SC), 16:19. 5, M. Flanigan (LP), 16:24. 6, Tausinger (M/BV), 16:46. 7, Moore (SC), 16:53. 8, Scanio (LP), 17:09. 9, Garnica (M/BV), 17:10. 10, Bilow (M/BV), 17:20. 11, Andrew (SC), 17:25. 12, Simmer (M/BV), 17:41. 13, J. Flanigan (LP), 17:51. 14, Anthony (LP), 18:00. 15, Peters (M/BV), 18:08.
1. Beekmantown 15.
1. Saranac 37, 2. Saranac Lake 51, 3. Peru 69, 4. Plattsburgh High 105, 5. AuSable Valley 107, Northeastern Clinton incomplete.
1. Lake Placid 19, 2. Ticonderoga 38, Moriah/Boquet Valley incomplete, Seton Catholic incomplete.
1, Hamel (BCS), 21:39. 2, Grizzle (BCS), 22:39. 3, Saliba (BCS), 22:56. 4, Ko (BCS), 24:29. 5, Eldredge (BCS), 26:07.
1, Woodruff (SCS), 17:35. 2, Potthast (AVCS), 18:24. 3, Graves (PHS), 19:39. 4, Miner (SCS), 19:47. 5, Mader (SLCS), 19:51. 6, Crippen (PCS), 19:52. 7, Borner (SCS), 19:55. 8, K. Samperi (SLCS), 20:08. 9, Gainer (PCS), 20:21. 10, Wissler (SLCS), 20:27. 11, Trabakoulos (SLCS), 20:29. 12, Converse (SCS), 20:36. 13, A. Fay (SCS), 20:42. 14, Denis (SCS), 20:50. 15, LaHart (PCS), 20:51.
1, McKiernan (M/BV), 19:30. 2, S. DeJordy (SC), 19:42. 3, Yang (SC), 19:57. 4, L. DeJordy (SC), 20:03. 5, Cohen (LP), 20:18. 6, Morgan (LP), 21:38. 7, Harper (LP), 21:50. 8, Moran (TCS), 23:10. 9, Le (LP), 23:27. 10, Flora (TCS), 23:37. 11, Gangi (M/BV), 23:39. 12, Tyler (TCS), 24:17. 13, Baker (M/BV), 24:49. 14, Schmeil (LP), 25:58. 15, Roth (LP), 28:35.
Email Sabrina Bruno: