SARATOGA SPRINGS — Why talk about it?
Shenendehowa girls’ cross country coach Rob Cloutier saw no good reason to bring up to his runners the historical implications of their race Friday.
So he didn’t.
“They already know,” Cloutier explained.
When the Plainsmen realized their goal, his message to the team in a huddle was to the point.
“We did it,” Cloutier told his athletes, setting off cheers, tears and hugs.
Shenendehowa stopped Saratoga Springs’ remarkable streak Friday, as the Plainsmen won the Section II Class A championship at Saratoga Spa State Park. Shenendehowa’s win came after Saratoga Springs won team sectional championships at the largest-school level every year from 2000 through 2016. Starting with the 2005 meet, Shenendehowa was the runner-up to Saratoga Springs at every sectional championship with the exception of one year.
“You want it for your kids. It’s for them. I’ve had my years,” said Cloutier, a Shenendehowa graduate. “You want to give them the framework that they can be successful. They’re good kids. They’re good people. Their outcome is a reflection of caring about each other.”
Shenendehowa had five runners finish in the first dozen of a race that Saratoga Springs junior Kelsey Chmiel won with a mark of 16:40.74 that bettered her own course record. Seniors Hannah Reale and Olivia Lomascolo finished in fourth and fifth places, respectively, while senior Charlotte Hartman (eighth), sophomore Hannah Belleville (11th) and Jada Dennis (12th) finished next for the Plainsmen.
“I’m so happy right now,” Reale said. “The team did so good. I know some of us didn’t have our best days, but we stepped up for each other.”
Shenendehowa won the team title, its first since 1995, with 40 points. Niskayuna finished in second place with 60 points, while Saratoga Springs was third with 73.
“This is such an awesome moment. It was definitely nerve-wracking, but we knew it wasn’t out of our reach,” Hartman said. “This was fun. We’re enjoying this moment.”
In Class B, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake junior Rory Graham won the individual race and her Spartans won the team title. Class C saw Schuylerville win the team title and Duanesburg junior Jen Skeeter take first. In Class D, sophomore Brynne Wright came in first place for championship-winning Greenwich.
Saratoga Springs has won 27 of the last 31 largest-school level championships. That’s a stretch that goes back to 1987 when Saratoga Springs topped runner-up Linton, a school that merged with Mont Pleasant decades ago to form Schenectady High School.
“We lost [before] and we don’t give up,” Saratoga Springs coach Linda Kranick said. “We keep on working and we’ll do it again. I guess we’re on our next rotation.”
Chmiel’s area championship win was her third in a row.
“I just wanted to get out fast and keep a good pace,” Chmiel said.
Throughout the week, Cloutier said he kept the mood of his practices light. His athletes said they felt confident heading into Friday’s race.
“We knew we were fit and that we just had to get it done,” Reale said.
And, they did.
“These guys won doing it the right way — for each other and they’re healthy at the line and they love each other,” Cloutier said. “That’s what cross country should be.”
Chmiel, Kelsey, Saratoga Springs, 16:40.74; Spiers, Abigail, Niskayuna , 17:30.40; DeMars, Faith, Ballston Spa, 17:34.70; Reale, Hannah, Shenendehowa, 17:44.70; Lomascolo, Olivia; Shenendehowa, 17:48.23; Hodge,
Rachel, Bethlehem, 18:01.60; Vetter, Carly, Saratoga Springs, 18:07.88; Hartman, Charlotte, Shenendehowa, 18:13.58; Davis, Rylee, Bethlehem, 18:15.11; Kokernak, Amelia, Niskayuna, 18:17.05.
Shenendehowa 40; Niskayuna 60; Saratoga Springs 73; Bethlehem 96; Guilderland 145; Shaker 190; Colonie 218; Ballston Spa 218; Columbia 244; Albany High School 264.
Graham, Rory Burnt Hills, 18:05.29; Lazarou, Olivia Amsterdam, 18:15.89 2; Sherman, Kate Mohonasen 18:40.55 3; Atamanchuk, Emily Queensbury, 18:50.43; Geniti, Juliana Scotia-Glenville 18:57.42; Berg, Emily Burnt Hills, 19:00.91; Sherman, Anna Mohonasen, 19:06.46; Sinisgalli, Emma Mohonasen, 19:14.30 8; Borgos, Maggie Queensbury, 19:14.59; Dailey, Skylar Emma Willard 19:20.43.
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 61;
Mohonasen 67; Queensbury 85;
Scotia-Glenville 106; Academy of the Holy Names 127; Amsterdam 137; Schalmont 145; Emma Willard 214; South Glens Falls 235; Averill Park 274.
Skeeter, Jen Duanesburg 19:04.87; Atanasova, Elaine Duanesburg 19:29.04; Sayahi, Mariem 7 Voorheesville 20:17.05; Rohan, Meaghan Cairo-Durham 20:21.90; Goyette, Alexandrea Greenville, 20:39.29; Tracey, Khalifah Greenville, 20:39.66; LaPratt, Hailie Fonda-Fultonville, 20:45.35; Parnell, Anika Corinth, 20:52.52 8 ; Fitzgerald, Sara Mechanicville, 20:54.04 9; Clear, Haley Fonda-Fultonville, 21:06.67 10.
Duanesburg 55; Greenville 72; Voorheesville 83; Fonda-Fultonville 123; Cairo-Durham 127; Mechanicville 135; Corinth 136 ; Catholic Central 157.
Sarullo, Julia Johnstown 19:19.76; Culliton, Katie Glens Falls, 19:25.89; LaBounty, Sunni Schuylerville, 19:38.28; Vautrin, Anya Schuylerville, 20:19.33; Larsen, Gabrielle Broadalbin-Perth, 4 20:27.17; Murray, Teghen Schuylerville, 20:40.14 6; Tomson, Cate Albany Academy 20:42.03; Slade, Victoria Ichabod Crane 20:42.26; Madsen, Lauren Taconic Hills 20:48.73; Kubat, Ashley Cobleskill-R 20:49.79.
Schuylerville 46; Ichabod Crane 84; Albany Academy 89; Cobleskill-Richmondville 90; Johnstown 133; Broadalbin-Perth 139; Glens Falls 168; Cohoes 189; Hudson 214.
Wright, Brynne Greenwich, 17:58.30; Relyea, Madison Mayfield 18:30.99; Cronin, Emma 10 Greenwich, 18:59.45; Wright, Teagan Greenwich, 19:20.47; Burnell, Carolyn Hoosic Valley, 19:22.95; Pusateri, Angelina Maple Hill, 19:38.22; Puzulis, Michelle Berne-Knox-Westerlo, 19:48.67; Lilienthal, Madison Mekeel Christian, 20:16.92; Skiff, Emily Greenwich, 20:25.18; Wright, Brooke Greenwich, 20:27.74.
Greenwich 21; Chatham 101; Hoosic Valley 108; Fort Plain 122; Berlin 147; Berne-Knox-Westerlo 200; Maple Hill 205; Saratoga Catholic 215; Galway
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