QUEENSBURY – After competing in Saturday’s Foothills Council cross country championships, runners not yet old enough to vote got to experience some of the uncertainty that adults around the nation felt this week from the Election Day cliffhanger.
Hurry up and wait.
With new COVID-19 restrictions in place for the fall season, singular teams — one runner at a time — left the start line at Queensbury High School at one-minute intervals, finished, cooled down and then returned to their respective buses for the ride home to await the final returns from the timing center.
“It is very weird, it’s hard to base your time when all you have is your mind, your watch and whatever,” Scotia-Glenville sophomore Stephanie James said. “You can’t base your time off other people; you can’t pace with others and push ahead of them.
“It’s really hard to stay in order and see where you are at.”
When the emailed official results arrived at Scotia cross country coach Jim Krogh’s house, where the team was gathered, the Tartans let out a collective socially distanced cheer when learning they had captured their first Foothills Council championship since 2004.
“They’re extremely excited,” Krogh said. “It’s something they’ve worked hard for. They’ve had their sights set on this even from modified when this young group was coming up.
“They were like ‘Hey, we could do this.’”
James captured the girls’ individual title, covering the 5k course in 20:18 with teammates Erin Smith, a senior, finishing third at 21:09.8 and Delaney Krogh crossing in fifth place at 21:52.2. Clara Avery of Glens Falls placed second, and Miranda Habshi of Queensbury was fourth.
The Tartan girls edged Queensbury, 45-64 for the top spot.
“When we heard the news that sectionals weren’t going to be a thing this year, it was really hard, especially for me as a senior,” Delaney Krogh said. “We realized we still have Foothills, let’s win Foothills, this will be our sectionals.”
Glens Falls placed third with 73 points. Broadalbin-Perth finished fourth with 105 points followed by Schuylerville with 113, Johnstown 164, Amsterdam 169 and Gloversville 234.
Queensbury boys prevail
The Scotia boys’ squad missed out on a three-peat as Foothills Council champions, finishing behind Queensbury 37-54 despite Tartan runners going 1-2 across the line.
Noah Greski won the boys’ title in 17:05.8 followed by Tyler Greene at 17:06.9. Finishing third to fifth respectively were Jack Hicks of Queensbury, Cowan Leninger of South Glens Falls and Connor Wiekierak of Queensbury. Alex Tebano finished sixth overall at 18:05.3 for the Tartans.
“I was just talking to Noah [Greski],” said Jim Krogh, who coaches both teams. “For the big hit that we took last year and for the guys that we have this year, we ran extremely well, and I agree with him.
“Other teams, their pack times are closer.”
Greski kept the team on track, organizing his own practices with the boys’ team over the summer.
“We had a big turnout this year, almost 15 guys every single day over the summer, which is usually only two, three guys getting together, and it set us up well,” the Siena-bound Greski said.
Part of this year’s training was learning how to literally run your own race, without competitors.
“Usually when you are side-by-side, we don’t wear watches; you are more focused on the race than your time,” Greski said. “Here you have to check your watch, but you can’t get too wrapped up in it, you can’t get in your own head.
“You have to stay relaxed and stay calm, not freak out if you’re running too slow or too fast. You have to motivate yourself internally to keep pushing because you are going to naturally slow down when you are by yourself with no one around you.”
His teammate, Greene, managed to make a race of it, within view of the front runner during the final push up and onto the green fields at the Queensbury school complex.
“I relaxed during the second mile, something we did at one of these workouts and we ran really well as a team,” Greski said. “I try to stay relaxed and get out pretty fast and finish hard.”
Schuylerville was third overall with 89 points followed by South Glens Falls with 101. Johnstown was sixth at 171 followed by Amsterdam with 186 and Broadalbin-Perth eighth with 201.
Boys’ team totals
Queensbury, 37, Scotia-Glenville 54, Schuylerville 89, South Glens Falls 101, Glens Falls 129, Johnstown 171, Amsterdam 186, Broadalbin-Perth 201, Hudson Falls 271.
Greski, SG, 17:05.5; Greene, SG, 17:06.9; Hicks, Q, 17:28.0; Leininger, SGF, 18:01.0; Wiekierak, Q, 18:03.1; Tebano, SG, 18:05.3; Hayes, Q, 18:14.5; Mcgloine, SCHUY, 18:16.4; Engel, Q, 18:17.9; Putnam, GF, 18:20.4.
Girls team totals
Scotia-Glenville 45, Queensbury 64, Glens Falls 73, Broadalbin-Perth 105, Schuylerville 113, Johnstown 164, Amsterdam 169, South Glens Falls 180, Gloversville 234.
James, SG, 20:18.0; Avery, GF, 20:30.1; Smith, SG, 21:09.8; Habshi, Q, 21:18.7; Krogh, SG, 21:25.2; Wian, SCHUY, 22:13.6; Powers, Q, 22:15.3; Krempa, JOHNS, 22:41.3; Trackey, GF, 22:42.7; Benware, Q, 22:55.0.