The Saratoga Springs girls dominated the New York State Federation Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, as the Blue Streaks’ top five runners swept third through seventh on the individual podium en route to a resounding team victory.
Led by third-place finisher Emily Bush, who covered the 5k course in 18 minutes, 21.6 seconds, Saratoga Springs finished with 20 team points, 97 better than runner-up Bethlehem. Bush was followed across the line by Sheridan Wheeler in fourth (18:24.9), McKinley Wheeler in fifth (18:38.3), Anya Belisle in sixth (18:45.6) and Alycia Hart in seventh (18:51.1). The team was rounded out by Heidi Berglund in 14th (19:18.2) and Natalie Wilding in 40th (19:44.0).
Runner-up Bethlehem finished with 117 points and was led by Rylee Davis finishing 18th in 19:24.2.
Outside of the Saratoga Springs fivesome, two other Section II girls recorded top-10 individual finishes with Albany Academy’s Erin Boler in eighth (18:56.2), followed closely by Mohonasen’s Rachel Miller in ninth (19:02.1)
Four other Section II squads recorded top-10 team finishes. Niskayuna was sixth, led by Mary Kate Cestaro in 43rd (19:47.8); Shaker was seventh, led by Kaleigh Higgins in 13th (19:17.9) and Leonni Griffin in 23rd (19:29.4); Shenendehowa was eighth, paced by Leyla Bhusri in 73rd (20:20.1); and Guilderland was 10th, with Addison Vellekoop in 35th (19:37.8) as the team’s top finisher.
Scotia-Glenville, led by 42nd-place finisher Keira Macintosh (19:47.0) was 14th in the 30-team field.
In the boys’ Federation race, the top Section II finisher was Fonda-Fultonville’s Bennett Melita, who took 12th overall in 16:33.1. Finishing one spot behind him was Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake’s Matt Windecker in 16:36.4.
The top Section II squad in team competition was Saratoga Springs, which finished fifth overall with 269 points — 160 behind first-place Monroe-Woodbury. The Blue Streaks had three top-100 finishers with Masaon Talarico in 43rd (16:59.4), Leydon Hemsworth in 69th (17:18.8) and Thomas Isenovski in 99th (17:30.6).
Windecker led Burnt Hills’ 13th-place team finish, with other Section II teams competing paced by Niskayuna in 18th, led by a pair of top-50 finishes from Ryan Hesler in 41st (16:58.7) and NIcholas Thomas in 45th (17:01.6); and followed by Guilderland in 22nd led by 82nd-place finisher Aakash Iyer in 82nd (17:23.8); and Shenenderhowa in 25th led by Logan Doll in 28th (16:46.8) and Jonathan Wolf in 52nd (17:05.9).