QUEENSBURY - Battling chilly temperatures and a steady wind, runners took to the 5,000-meter course at Queensbury High School on Saturday for the New York State Public High School Cross-Country championships.
The Broadalbin-Perth Lady Patriots earned a berth in the championship meet as the Section II Class C champions, while B-P's Greg Bogdan and Canajoharie-Fort Plain's Jordan Ahrens earned individual spots on the Section II boys squad.
The seven-runner Lady Patriots squad consisting of Jordyn DeNeuville, MacKenzie DeZolt, Sarah Naple, Victoria Opalka, Coreena Monroe, Cadey Nolan and Alex Opalka came through with a sixth place finish in the 11-team, 130-runner Class C field.
The Broadalbin-Perth girls cross country team leaves the starting line at the beginning of the Class C race Saturday at the New York?State Public High School Athletic Association?Cross Country Championships at Queensbury High?School. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"It wasn't what we were hoping for, we were hoping for a top three, but we are happy," Broadalbin-Perth coach Jeff Richards said. "[third-place finisher] Skaneateles is the team we lost the tiebreaker to [Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Invy on Oct. 12]. But we are young and hopefully they will use this as motivation to get back here next year."
Bronxville (Section I) won the team title with 45 points, followed by HC Williams (Section X) with 71 points and Skaneateles (Section III) with 107. The battle from fourth to seventh was separated by 18 points with Akron (Section VI) placing fourth with 130, followed by Wayland-Cohocton (Section V) with 136, Broadalbin-Perth (Section II) with 146 and Friends Academy (Section VIII) with 148.
"In this type of race, we don't have the front-runners and we needed to group and our group kind of fell apart and spread out," Richards said. "That is what hurt us today. The points were all close for third, fourth, fifth sixth and seventh. It was just a matter of that group being a little tighter. There is a little bit of disappointment but the fact that we got here is something to be proud of. The great thing is they are all underclassmen and hopefully the will continue to train hard."
Ahrens, a senior, missed qualifying for last year's meet but made the most of his first appearance at the state championships .
"I enjoyed the experience," he said. "It is just so much fun coming here. I met a lot of new people and I am looking forward to running against them in college."
Ahrens used a strong start to take home a medal with his 15th place finish in the 132 runner field with a time of 16:20.7.
"I was hurting," Ahrens said after the race. "It [the course] was definitely a lot better than last Saturday. It was nice and solid and very fast. The opening mile was like 4:39. The kids were moving."
Ahrens also was named the recipient of the Section II Sportsmanship Award.
For Bogdan, Saturday's meet marked his third trip to the state championships in four years. He also qualified in his freshman and junior years.
The Broadalbin-Perth senior used his experience on the course to take home a medal with his 16th place finish with a time of 6:28.7.
"I wanted a top 20 and I got 16th so the hard work paid off," Bogdan said. "Home course advantage does help. I have run here six or seven times. My first race here was my only JV race as a freshman and then I was moved up to varsity."
Queensbury won the girls Class B state championship edging Pearl River by six points. Fayetteville-Manlius topped Saratoga Springs for the Class A girls title, while Tully won the girls Class D title. Greenwich represented Section II in Class D and finished fourth in the team standings.
On the boys side, Fayetteville-Manlius won the Class A title with Saratoga Springs third; Pittsford Mendon was crowned the Class B champion with Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake fourth.
Holland Patent won the Class C title with Corinth seventh and Mount Academy edged Greenwich for the Class D state championship.