VERONA – Section II schools won three of the eight team titles at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association cross country championships at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School on Saturday, and Fonda-Fultonville senior Bennett Melita won the boys’ Class C race in convincing fashion.
The Saratoga Springs girls easily won Class A, by 56 points over long-time state rival Fayetteville-Manlius, and Voorheesville won Class D.
On the boys’ side, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake continued its dominance of Class B by winning its sixth straight state championship, not counting 2020, when there was no meet because of the COVID pandemic.
On a windy day in central New York, Saratoga junior Emily Bush (18:22.7 for 5k) was the first runner in the team scoring to cross the finish line in the girls’ ‘A’ race, while finishing third overall behind Zariel Macchia (18:02.6) of William Floyd.
Sheridan Wheeler (fifth overall, 18:38.9), Alycia Hart (seventh, 18:45.6), McKinley Wheeler (ninth, 19:00.3) and Anya Belisle (14th, 19:15.9) also scored for the Blue Streaks.
Heidi Berglund ran a 19:42.1 for Saratoga, and Natalie Wilding cracked the 20-minute mark in 19:59.5.
The Saratoga girls have won the state meet three out of the last four years it was held and 17 times overall since 1985.
Other top individuals from Section II in Class A included Shaker’s Kaleigh Higgins (19:11.8), Guilderland’s Addison Vellekoop (19:46.3) and Rylee Davis (19:46.4) and Olivia Deer (19:56.0) from Bethlehem.
Junior Matt Windecker led the Burnt Hills boys with a fifth-place finish overall with a time of 16:52.9 in a Class B race won by Maximus Haynia of Westhampton Beach in 16:09.7.
Also scoring for Burnt Hills were Mattew Rounds (17:13.1), Ben Smith (17:22.4), Keller Casey (17:41.8) and Cayden Robleno (17:53).
Thomas Kotkoskie ran an 18:37.0, and Brody Dugan finished in 18:55.1 for the Spartans, who have won the state meet 11 times since 1996.
Also in the boys’ Class B race, Finn Winters-Bona of Scotia-Glenville was 14th overall in 17:15.5, and teammate Tyler Knaggs ran a 17:32.2; Liam Burgess of Glens Falls finished in 17:43.7; and Averill Park’s Colin Brunelle (17:45.0) was one spot behind Burgess.
Melita won the boys’ Class C race in 16:36.6, 23.3 seconds ahead of runner-up Joseph Lavelle of Rye Neck, as Fonda finished fifth to Bronxville in the team standings.
Matheu Dettenreider (17:40.7), Ty Sanges (18:41.5), Brennan Melita (19:28.8) and Aiden Butler (19:29.5) also scored for the Braves.
Fonda’s Joey Susi finished in 19:56.9, and Jason Charte-Gagne ran a 20:51.6.
Stillwater sophomore Anthony Zazzaro was sixth overall in the Class C race in 17:16.0, and Schalmont sophomore Carter Flowers was 15th in 17:44.2.
Also among the boys, Saratoga Springs was fifth to Corning in Class A, led by Mason Talarico (16:15.5) in fifth place overall behind the winner, Baldwinsville’s Solomon Holden-Betts (16:06.9).
Jacob Bernd (17:11.3), Leydon Hemsworth (17:25.3), Caleb Yuhasz (17:36.0) and Darren Pasek (17:46.6) also scored for the Blue Streaks. Thomas Isenovski finished in 18:00.5, and Luke Dacey ran an 18:06.3.
Top individuals from Section II in the Class A race were Logan Doll (16:44.3) and Gabe Cornfield (16:53.2) of Shenendehowa; Ryan Hesler (17:03.2) and Nicholas Thomas (17:15.1) of Niskayuna; and Albany’s Neel Chittur (17:24.3).
Lake George finished seventh in the boys’ Class D team standings, and the top finisher from Section II was Berlin’s Gabe Kalisz (18:02.7), followed by Mayfield’s Cameron Abdella in 18:22.2).
On the girls’ side, Mariam Sayahi finished third overall in 19:40.7 to lead Voorheesville to the Class D championship, and Lindsey Wright (21:11.0), Caitlin McCarthy (21:12.2), Savannah Schmidt (21:31.9) and Merrin Brick (22:22.0) also scored.
Also from Section II in the Class C race, Andrea Sassatelli (19:40.8) and Sophia Squires (20:31.5) of Hoosic Valley were fourth and ninth overall, respectively, and Fort Plain’s Olivia Schaffer was 12th in 20:53.5.
Kiera McIntosh (19:53.4) was 11th overall to lead Scotia-Glenville to a fourth-place finish in the Class B girls’ race, and Schuyler Long (20:36.5), Briar Wells (21:15.3), Stephanie James (21:39.1) and Emily Miller (22:33.9) also scored.
Erin Smith finished in 22:45.6 for the Tartans, and Sophia Allen ran a 23:15.7.
Section II individuals made a strong showing at the top of the Class B results, as Mohonasen sophomore Rachel Miller (19:24.7) was second overall, Burnt Hills’ Mia Paolino was third in 19:31.2 and Queensbury’s Maddie Powers was fifth in 19:31.2.
Cornwall’s Karrie Baloga essentially ran by herself to a victory in 17:49.0, over a minute and a half ahead of the runner-up, Miller.
Averill Park’s Logan Barsalow was 13th in 20:03.7, and Burnt Hills’ freshman Addison Cyr finished in 20:33.0.
Schuylerville, led by Adeline Ballou (20:29.6) and Megan Vianese (20:45.3), finished eighth in the girls’ Class C standings.
Albany Academy’s Erin Boler (19:29.1) was second overall behind Allegany-Limesone’s Angelina Napoleon (18:14.1), Broadalbin-Perth’s Emma Frasier ran a 21:31.3.