Schalmont sophomore Kerry Flower displayed an outstanding finishing kick at Saturday’s Everett T. Grout Memorial Cross Country Invitational.
Big sis didn’t need one.
Julia Flower continued her cross country comeback with a dominant victory in the Division C race for one of the highlight efforts at chilly Central Park.
A pair of hotshots from North Rockland provided another with a one-two showing in the girls’ Division I race which denied Shaker star Maryanna Lansing what would have been her fifth Grout triumph. Julia Flower watched Lansing win last year, but could not defend the Division C title she claimed as a sophomore due to a stress fracture in the joint below her left ankle.
That injury cost the Division I college prospect six weeks of action.
“I had to come to this meet last year and hated watching,” Flower said. “Just hated it.”
The senior prevailed Saturday in 15:48 over the 2.75-mile course, picking up the first of four wins for Section II competitors.
“She’s much stronger than she’s ever been, much faster,” Schalmont coach Rich Kranick said. “She proved it today.”
Grout races begin with a 200-yard straightaway and then take a sharp right turn at a dirt-covered softball field. Flower was ahead at that point and never in trouble afterward in a performance similar to the one she turned in while winning earlier this season at Voorheesville’s Blackbird Invitational.
“I want to go to bigger races and do better,” said Flower, who will run at the Manhattan Invitational next Saturday. “With the ankle, I didn’t get a chance.”
Flower’s biggest cross country win came during her sophomore season when she was best in the Section II Class C race. She later placed 17th at the state meet, which was tops among area participants.
“We want to score at the states,” Kranick said. “She’s been fifth, second, eighth [in indoor and outdoor track], but missed the big prize. That’s the ultimate goal.
“Kerry’s goal is to go with her big sister to the states. She was seventh last year. Just missed.”
Kerry Flower (16:31.93) outsprinted Hudson’s Alexandra Bartolotta (16:33.13) to the line for a second-place Division C finish. As a freshman at the Grout, Flower took third.
“I wanted to get second,” the younger Flower said. “I knew if I stayed with her [Bartolotta] I’d have a chance. I usually have a strong kick at the end.”
Kerry Flower will take over as Schalmont’s team leader after her sister departs. Kranick said they both have a similar work ethic.
“When I say they are 365-days-a-year athletes, they are,” Kranick said. “Last Christmas Eve, they were in the weight room. They never stop.”
Alex Harris (15:10.20) outkicked North Rockland teammate Katelyn Tuohy (15:10.64) to take the Division I race. Harris, who is among the nation’s premier steeplechase competitors, won the Division II race last year in 15:42.71.
“My coach wants me and my teammates to run together, and at the end, just run,” Harris said.
Lansing was in third behind the two North Rockland runners at the softball field and never caught them on the roads that surround the park.
“The first 400 meters, the Shaker girl was on us,” Harris said. “We broke away.”
“They’re amazing runners,” Lansing said.
Lansing (15:43.82) last year was the second female in Grout history to snare four first-place trophies, following Niskayuna’s Caitlin McTague (1999-2001, 2003).
“I was a little nervous before the race. I kept repeating, ‘I can, I can,’ ” Lansing said. “I ran hard. I had a good time. I’m disappointed I didn’t win, but you can’t win them all.”
“She does try her best in every race,” said Shaker senior Paul Nichols, the boys’ Division I winner. “I’m sure it will motivate her for the races that are ahead.”
Nichols (13:34.68) beat out Niskayuna’s Charles Ragone (13:42.78), and finally notched a first after placing second at the Queensbury Invitational and third at Monroe-Woodbury’s Crusader Pre-State Classic.
“We were all disappointed. That was tough to hear just before our race,” Nichols said of Lansing’s third-place performance. “I was thinking if she’s not going to win it, I’ve got to put the Shaker name out there.”
Colonie freshman Kathryn Tenney won the girls’ Division II race (15:24.51) after placing third last year, and helped the Garnet Raiders defend their team title.
“We won last year and I think the year before,” said Tenney, who recorded wins earlier this season at the Fort Plain Invitational and the Ocean State Invitational in Rhode Island. “We were expecting to do well.”
In the closest team race, Queensbury (46) edged Niskayuna (47) for boys’ Division I honors.
Teams: Queensbury 46, Niskayuna 47, Connetquot 68, Shaker 105, Middletown 140, Albany 155, White Plains 158, Yorktown 182, Amsterdam 256.
Individuals: Paul Nichols (Shak), 13:34.68; Charls Ragone (Nisk), 13:42.78; Ethan Carey (Q), 13:49.07; Kevin Bouyea (Q), 14:09.09; Tim Monahan (Con), 14:12.74; Joseph Quinn (Nisk), 14:14.01; Antonino Manzella (Q), 14:14.46; Brandon McCormick (Con), 14:42.19; Colin Ross (Nisk), 14:44.10; Frankie Kelly (Con), 14:47.06.
Teams: Bethlehem 39, Christian Brothers Academy 46, Washingtonville 51, Columbia 125, LaSalle Institute 145, Schenectady 180, Gloversville 190, Mohonasen 194.
Individuals: Dawson Homer (BC), 13:49.00; Mike Carnavos (CBA), 13:55.97; Jon Messler (Wash), 13:59.13; Kevin LaFleche (CBA), 14:06.15; Thomas Quinn (Wash), 14:14.05; Mike Flowers (CBA), 14:18.91; Cameron Davis (BC), 14:24.91; Lucas Culley (BC), 14:43.55; Derek Baranski (BC), 14:50.67; Dermot Coughlin (LSI), 14:54.00.
Teams: Sauquoit 46, Taconic Hills 95, Fonda-Fultonville 108, Greenville 119, Broadalbin-Perth 179, Saratoga Catholic 229, Hoosic Valley 262, Duanesburg 269, Lake George 274, Schoharie 292, Johnstown 296, Cohoes 315, Berne-Knox-Westerlo 329, Windom Ashland Jewett 339, Stillwater 343, Berlin 343, Fort Plain/Canajoharie 382, Watervliet 388, Galway 414, Granville 482.
Individuals: Dylan Canarelli (Saq), 14:11.66; Kevin Malen (WAJ), 14:33.21; Trey Hotaling (TH), 14:39.59; Ben Fasciano (TH), 14:44.51; Cormac Tolan (Green), 14:46.76; Austin Meulengracht (Mechanicville), 14:47.32; Taylor Philpotts (Saq), 14:49.72; Zachary Ward (Saq), 14:51.73; Sean Kehler (Saq), 14:55.16; Brendon VanVlack (Duan), 14:57.95.
Teams: North Rockland 20, Shaker 58, Bethlehem 66, Columbia 127, Albany 138, White Plains 167, Mohonasen 170, Yorktown 214, St. Francis Prep 243.
Individuals: Alex Harris (NR), 15:10.20; Katelyn Tuohy (NR), 15:10.64; Maryanna Lansing (Shak), 15:43.82; Haleigh Morales (NR), 16:09.56; Olivia Lazarou (Amsterdam), 16:24.60; Kerry O’Connor (NR), 16:29.72; Claire Tantillo (NR), 16:35.06; Elli Sol Strich (Alb), 16:35.78; Rachel Brown (Shak), 16:36.39.
Teams: Colonie 27, Niskayuna 70, Queensbury 84, Washingtonville 111, Middletown 122, Emma Willard 123, Holy Names 199, Gloversville 225, Lansingburgh 245.
Individuals: Kathryn Tenney (Col), 15:24.51; Amanda Chambers (Col), 16:08.20; Dana Lynch (Midd), 16:16.26; Brianna Lawless (Wash), 16:21.68; Amelia Kokernak (Nisk), 16:22.50; Carolyn Pellegrini (Col), 16:31.71; Dayshia Randall (Troy), 16:33.36; Emma Demboski (Q), 16:40.82; Bellame Bower (Col), 16:43.35; Lizbet Navarro (Midd), 16:45.34.
Teams: Broadalbin-Perth 74, Fonda-Fultonville 93, Duanesburg 102, Schalmont 111, Sauquoit 113, Hoosic Valley 168, Johnstown 208, Berlin 236, Saratoga Catholic 252, Fort Plain/Canajoharie 256, Mechanicville 279, Lake George 290, Watervliet 305, Galway 344, Cohoes 348, Stillwater 385.
Individuals: Julia Flower (Schal), 15:48.22; Kerry Flower (Schal), 16:31.93; Alexandra Bartolotta (Hudson), 16:33.13; Olivia Baumann (Greenville), 16:47.51; Celina Onzo (BP), 16:59.11; Elaine Atanasova (Duan), 17:00.34; Carolyn Burnell (HV), 17:10.03; Mackenzie DeZolt (BP), 17:16.58; Gabrielle Larsen (BP), 17:21.12; Kacie Hunter (FF), 17:26.82.
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Categories: High School Sports