The Mohonasen girls’ cross country team didn’t let the awful running conditions throw them for a loop on Saturday.
Head coach Bill Sherman tracked their progress through three circuits of the loop course at New Scotland Park in Voorheesville, watching their point total creep down closer to the number he wanted, and at the finish the Mighty Warriors pulled out a two-point victory over Voorheesville in the Colonial Council championship meet on Saturday.
Leading the way were eighth-grader Rachel Miller in first (16:07.9 for 2.6 miles) and senior Kate Sherman in third (16:38.0), less than three seconds behind runner-up Mariem Sayahi of Voorheesville (16:35.2).
It was three other eight-graders, Abby Marriner, Lexi Thayer and Kyde Power, though, who kicked in gear in the second half of the race to allow Mohonasen to squeeze out the close victory on a course muddied by Thursday’s all-day rain and buffeted by Saturday’s wind.
The Warriors finished with 32 points to 34 for Voorheesville.
“I’m ecstatic,” Bill sherman said. “This is the reason I couldn’t sleep last night. I knew it was going to be close. The girls just showed up.”
“Each loop, they came by and I scored my girls. I thought 30 points would win it, and after the first loop, we were at 40 points, and we were in deep trouble. That’s when Abby and Lexi and Kyde, the other eighth-graders really just poured it on.”
Thayer, in particular, needed to pick up the pace if Mohonasen was going to win, considering she got off to a poor start.
In her first season of cross country, she was thrown into Saturday’s mudpit off dual-meet competition only, never having run a big invitational-type setting.
“When the race started, she was almost in last place out of 50 kids,” Sherman said. “I think she just got swallowed up and was shocked by the mass start.
“After the first 300 meters, I said to Lexi, ‘We need you in the top 10. You need to get up.’ And she worked hard.”
The wind and the mud were fierce. She’s a really tough runner. She’s really competitive, and I think me letting her know where she needed to be, she just worked her way up. I don’t know how she made it through the mud and the wind, because typically in conditions like this, where you start is where you finish.”
The Warriors haven’t lost in a Colonial Council meet since they joined the league.
This one came just about as close as it gets, and was extra gratifying, Sherman said, since the league chose not to compete last fall because of the pandemic.
“On the final loop, I was scoring us and Voorheesville, and just on the fly I thought we won by two, but you never know, because the chaos of a cross country race, you can miss somebody or miscount,” Sherman said. “So I didn’t know until our timer showed it to me, and I was overcome with emotion.
“The girls have never lost a Colonial Council race since we joined. And we’ve been pretty far ahead. I can tell you, this victory was by far the sweetest, because it was the hardest to come.”
In the boys’ race, La Salle junior Gitch Hayes scored a dominating victory for individual honors, in 13:31.0, 55 seconds ahead of runner-up Joseph Simeone of Albany Academy, but Academy pulled out the team victory, with 48 points to 58 for Academy.
Rounding out the top five were Ravena’s Jared Lamson (14:30.2), Cobleskill-Richmondville’s Charles Foote (14:42.3) and Schalmont’s Jack Gemmett (14:45.3).
Team results: Mohonasen 32, Voorheesville 34, Holy Names 69, Ichabod Crane 114, Cobleskill-Richmondville 128.
Rachel Miller (Mohon), 16:07.9; Mariem Sayahi (V), 16:35.2; Kate Sherman (Mohon), 16:38.0; Caitlin McCarthy (V), 17:40.2; Abby Marriner (Mohon), 17:49.2; Megan Bell (HN), 18:01.5; Victoria Iacabucci (V), 18:27.9; Julianna Tourangeau (Ravena), 18:40.1; Madelyn Miles (HN), 18:42.1; Merrin Brick (V), 18:44.2.
Team results: Albany Academy 48, La Salle 58, Schalmont 92, Mohonasen 112, Ravena 121, Ichabod Crane 133, Voorheesville 145, Lansingburgh 189.
Gitch Hayes (LSI), 13:31.0; Joseph Simeone (AA), 14:26.5; Jared Lamson (Rav), 14:30.2; Charles Foote (Cobleskill-Richmondville), 14:42.3; Jack Gemmett (Schal), 14:45.3; Trevor Cavagnaro (IC), 14:51.6; Jay Madan (AA), 14:52.1; Garrick Smith-Growick (Mohon), 14:58.4; Caelan Lamberton-Dunham (V), 15:13.8; John Meddaugh (Rav), 15:16.6.