The lights will shine brightest on the big meet downstate, but there’s an excellent off-Broadway production on Saturday, too.
While the Manhattan Invitational boasts another stellar girls’ field and has created a new boys’ championship race that will also serve as the Eastern States championship, the Burnt Hills Invitational at Saratoga Spa State Park will feature a matchup of the Class A No. 1-ranked BH boys against one of the top-ranked Class AA schools, Arlington, and No. 4 Class A Jamesville-Dewitt.
“Considering we’re up against what’s going on down there, we’re really lucky to get Arlington and Jamesville-Dewitt,” Burnt Hills coach Chip Button said.
What’s going on down there is an Eastern States Championship that drew an incredible 32-team field. From the Nike Cross Nationals regional rankings, Manhattan has three of the top five from the New York
Region, including Shenendehowa (No. 1) and Queensbury; four of the top eight from the Northeast, including No. 1 Christian Brothers Academy of Lincroft, N.J.; and three of the top four from the Southeast, No. 1 Jamestown and No. 4 Oakton of Virginia, and No. 3 Brookwood of Georgia.
The girls’ championship race will pit Saratoga Springs and Burnt Hills against the likes of nationally top-ranked Fayetteville-Manlius and Lincoln Sudbury (Mass.), the top team in the Northeast, along with Shenendehowa and Queensbury.
The Burnt Hills Invy will be anything but an afterthought, though.
In the last six years or so, the meet has grown from 30 to 55 teams. Besides Section II, six other New York sections are represented, along with teams from Vermont and Massachusetts.
The Spartans will have their hands full against Arlington and Jamesville-Dewitt, but have all kinds of momentum after beating Fayetteville-Manlius at the
McQuaid Invitational two weeks ago. The same weekend, Arlington lost by a point to Queensbury at the Queensbury Invitational.
“I really think we’re running as well as we ever have; I haven’t changed my mind from a couple weeks ago,” Button said.
“Especially our first four. They’re running as well as any group I’ve had.
“I think it’ll be a great race, and I’m
really looking forward to it. They [Arlington] have three guys up front who can run with Shen and our guys, but I think they drop off a little after that.”
The Spartans’ top four are Scott Maughan, Otis Ubriaco, Kent Harlow and Sean Pezzulo, and they have four runners all competing for the fifth spot in any given week.
The Shenendehowa boys put it all
together at the Grout Run last week, and will be jumping into a Manhattan field that the word “loaded” hardly does justice.
“From the rankings, we kind of have a sense of which teams are good, but we don’t know how they race, so we’re just going to give it our all and see how we do against the big boys,” Shenendehowa junior Dan Harris said.
“Manhattan’s going to be one of the biggest meets of the year,” Shen coach Mark Thompson said.
The Burnt Hills girls, ranked in the top 10 in the country, will have a varsity team at their own invitational, but will send their top seven to Manhattan.
The young Saratoga team, ranked second in the state, dominated the Oatlands Invitational in Virginia last month, and Shenendehowa is ranked third in the state, and joins Saratoga and Burnt Hills in the national rankings.
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Categories: High School Sports